Live Review: AMSO's Yardfest
(Photo by Tess Crow)
Throw in a night of immersive local sounds, fairy lights, some intoxicated people and the most Australian backyard you can think of, and you have AMSO’s annual Yardfest. The secret suburban backyard gig featured the local sounds of Mal de Mer, The Psychotic Reactions, Boykie and Fox Scully, bringing something that felt a little more electric than just a rowdy house party. Something that captured the culture of suburban Perth.
I arrived around 8:45 pm for Boykie to kick off the night. The band says farewell to Perth as a duo in an intimate set surrounded by cosy couches and $2 homemade mulled wine. The laid-back acoustic sounds and impassioned lyrics echoed through the backyard, earning sways and soft hums.
Mal de Mer graced the stage next. The 5-piece surfer indie pop group brought a feel-good dancey vibe to the yard, with the light drizzle of rain adding to the homely feels with crowds huddling around the tin veranda. The set up was better than a UE boom but caused a wirey mess.
At 10:15 pm Fox Scully rose to the occasion. Despite playing as a duo, their loud folk-rock songs spoke for themselves. With their recent single launch of ‘Fear’ the crowd came alive with the familiar tune. As the rain settled, everyone started to explore the nooks and crannies of the yard.
By 11:00 pm, the homespun sleep out and veranda filled with the rowdy audience bracing themselves for Freo based youngsters The Psychotic Reactions. As it showed, their 60s garage band feels were made for bopping and dancing – leaving the audience chanting "One more song!” which subsequently morphed into “Where’s my mum?”.
Midnight came by in a flash as the crowd made their way indoors for DJ Pat Merit and his groovy raw wintery tunes. People cheered as the smoke alarm was set off, then subsequently plucked off from the roof with a beer bottle in a fit of annoyance and alcohol-filled blur.
If you are a seeker of warehouse parties, secret locations and mysteries, this was most definitely the place to be; a magical night in the dark streets of North Perth with goon bags on washing lines, fairy light lit alleyways and some good live music. Personally, I had a great time snuggling up under the portable gazebo on verge collection couches. This was a gathering of strangers that were all there to make memories on a mid-autumn night.
This year’s Yardfest was none other than a hidden local treasure.