Photo & Words: Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung
Saturday night held a plethora of bands and good vibes for the North Freo folk, and everyone else who trekked it down to the seaside. Held across two venues that have played a significant role in showcasing local rising acts over the four years the North Freo Pub Crawl has been running. The organisers couldn’t have picked better host locations than The Swan Hotel and The Railway Hotel.
With a few last minute changes to the line-up there was still a band for even the pickiest of music listeners but for my friend’s and I, it seemed like literally ever local love of ours was there. It’s safe to say chaos ensued between set-times and us taking up a brisk pace to walk between venues.
With Custom Royal kicking off the night over at the Swan with their alt-rock and throwbacks to the noughties, Hip Priest opened the Railway outdoor stage in true lo-fi seduction and energy that seemed to float across the grass like the smell of weed did later in the evening.
Indoors, Pool Boy laid out their quavering synth licks as frontwoman, Beth Commons’ crooned over the wavy reverb. With the group only existing for less than a year their self-produced discography is impressive ensuring their set was chock-a-block full of sad girl synth-pop.
Meandering outdoors to grab a bite and see the garage-punk goodness Kitchen People had to offer up, we scored some lawn chairs and bobbed our heads to the frenetic revelations unfolding on stage as the lo-fi scuzz group approached the crowd with their wall of sound. At one point front man, Jake Suriano questioned how long the band had left of their set, the reply being two minutes. Cheekily, Suriano jested that the group could get through at least six more tracks and it didn’t feel like they wrong with the ripper of a number I Can’t Feel My Teeth only taking up a mere 56 seconds.
As Verge Collection took to the stage the whole floor seemed to pack itself tight before the band were even midway into their set. Gaining a lot of traction lately, it’s clear the group have impacted upon the Perth local music scene, especially when punters are yelling out requests from all areas. Unfazed, the relatable rockers glided over their blend of tunes with a few tid bits of interspersed banter.
Venturing over to The Swan Hotel Lounge to change up the vibes, we walked into David Craft mid set as his voice lulled over the sounds of acoustic pop. The lounge definitely harnessed a more laidback atmosphere as punters relaxed at the bar and surrounding tables listening to the smoothest of tunes performed by Craft, a personal favourite of mine from the night being Milked Out.
Back at The Railway Hotel there seemed to be an endless line at the bar and an ever increasing crowd for Hideous Sun Demon’s set. The group killed it on stage pumping out track after track of high octane fuzz. With the band recently making the shortlist for the Path to Laneway competition, the gig was a good identifier of what these guys could be offering up to Laneway Festival and a larger audience than their already growing Perth base.
Last to play for the night at the Railway were The Love Junkies and the varying tone of their tunes was definitely the perfect end to the spectrum of sound the North Freo Pub Crawl offered up. Tying up both ends of their grunge genre, the group had us swaying to their track In The Belly of My Beast before tearing up the mosh with Maybelene.