Travis Aron, 10000 Rupees and Lillium Stargazer @ Ya Yas
"Get your Ya Ya's out!" he screamed at me from across the bar.
Okay- no one has screamed that at me ever, because I've never been to a Rolling Stones concert. But they might! You never know. Anyway now I have your attention......
Ya Ya's is unashamedly one of my favourite venues in Perth. You've probably walked past it a thousand times and not even noticed it was there. Well shame on you if you have! Like I said, it's my favourite. It's a little purple building on the corner of James and Lake street in good old Northbridge that sticks out during the day and blends in during the night. You may remember it as The Impact Bar, or Novaks, it became Ya Yas about three-ish years ago and has been making waves ever since. For those of you with no sense of direction- it is right next to that crazy black and white roundabout art, and for you chocolate gluttons- it's across the road from San Churro. (Incidentally San Churros is another of my favourite places...)
There are so many reasons I love Ya Yas and the main one is because it's so different. The setlist wall is a good example. I love seeing the setlist of bands that I know personally, bands that I've never seen play but want to, and bands who I have never heard of immortalised in paper and glue. The main wall behind the stage is covered in chalk writing, where band members have scrawled their name and maybe even doodled a small picture around a bright purple neon sign screaming 'Ya Yas'. There are records nailed to the bar above the roof and there are famous faces painted on the walls. Ten points if you can guess them all! The small army of staff love their jobs and are usually musicians themselves. It's a truly unique place where musicians are made to feel completely at home and encouraged to experiment and play original songs and that is really rare in a world where people move away from Perth to chase their dreams and discover a different music scene.
Ya Yas doesn't serve food but they do serve drinks and lots of them. Ya Yas has the usual range of on tap local beers and ciders, stubbies of spirits, and house wines but what really stands them apart is the fact they do cocktails, and they're quite reasonably priced at either $13 and under or $16 for you rich people. You can get a pint of delicious on tap goodness with a ten dollar note and receive change for everything except Bulmers Apple which is $10.50. DAMN YOU BULMERS.
Ya Yas is a pretty small venue but you can get a decent sound in there if you know the room and these particular sound guys are really great at doing that. The new addition of a digital desk in recent months has certainly helped quite a lot with adding to the unique sound that is Ya Yas- but as with everywhere it sounds better when it's filled with people- so what better excuse do you need to go check it out?!
It cost me $5 entry and I was greeted by Travis Aron. Trav is a solo guitarist who also plays in a punk band 'Mr Chance' who are definitely worth a look if you spot them around. It was interesting to hear familiar songs from his band played on an electric guitar. I thought he did quite well though I do prefer these songs when he has the full band with him, especially because without a band the endings to some songs felt a little unfinished. Other than that I felt the set could have done with less covers and the vocals definitely dropped off towards the end of the set which was disappointing and a pedal tuner would definitely add to the performance factor. Otherwise it was a good show from a regular on the local scene.
10000 Rupees is usually a two piece who preformed as a one man band. This charismatic traveler was a breath of fresh air and I really enjoyed his performance. There are a lot of performers who use a loop pedal but very few own it the way this guy did. It's incredibly hard to explain how he commanded the stage but I was incredibly impressed with Daniel's creative use of alternative guitar sounds, his strong vocal performance and the way he owned the room from the second he sound checked to the second he walked off stage. Every song was something different, whether it was his vocals, slide guitar, or just his technique. I want to say he is like an Irish Andrew Winton, with a few different tricks up his sleeve- if you get a chance to see him do yourself a favour and make sure you do. He was absolutely incredible.
Now the headline I was most interested to see, Lillium Stargazer. I first saw these guys in early 2011 when they had first formed and after a brief hiatus they reformed last year, replacing the drummer and the rhythm guitarist and bringing a second bassist to the mix. I was really interested to see how this would go and as expected their sound has completely changed. It's very much a full wall of noisy noisy sound. I enjoyed the two bassists Calum and Andy but I did feel like there was a lot happening which meant Lilly's vocals which are supposed to star didn't get the attention they deserved- especially with the cool effects Lillium Stargazer were using. I want to hear more of that pretty voice! Drew shone on lead guitar and was quite good in back up vocals too. I thought the rhythm guitar could have been doing a little more than just following one of the bass lines- otherwise you might as well only have one or the other but it did certainly fill out the sound which I assume was the desired effect. I noticed the the whole load of guitars weren't as in tune with each other as they could have been which didn't help with the OH GOD SO MUCH IS HAPPENING thing. I would have enjoyed seeing more interesting patterns on the drums but Mike kept good time and this six piece certainly would have fallen apart without him there. I would like to see a kick drum with a sound hole so we get a bit more of that low end goodness coming through to meld with the double shot of bass.
Altogether I think it was a fairly solid performance from a lot of individual members (if a little loud) but unfortunately I did feel as though there was too much going on for full cohesion. A band like this would certainly do better in a bigger room but in the smaller one they definitely were able to show off their 'noise rock' genre. LS have an incredibly easy and energetic onstage presence which is good to see in such a young band. Keep it up! Lillium Stargazer have just dropped their newest EP 'Lady Bird' at Fat Shans or you can grab it at any gig near you for a mere $5, I've got my copy and I'll let you know how it all goes!
Everyone mentioned tonight has a page on Facebook where you can keep track of their whereabouts, and I am on twitter so follow me to your hearts content (in a non stalky, completely legal way) @perthsoundchic
My ears are ringing! Until next time...
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