Abbe May headlines wildly eclectic "Clam Jam 2016" at Jack Rabbit Slims
A plethora of local acts rocked it out at Jack Rabbit Slims as a part of the very first Clam Jam – i.e some schmancy branding coming from Abbe May herself. Either way, it was a great way for punters to receive a hefty slice of local talent. Supported by the likes of Bells Rapids, Abacaxuva, Timothy Nelson, Odette Mercy and Her Soul Atomics, it felt that every musical taste imaginable was being catered for. From foamy grunge, to sharp, stabbing staccatos of soul, it was variety show where the body could sway just as well as it could mosh.
Bells Rapids opened up the night with some quirky beats and grimy, distorted rock. Effortlessly smashing out an off-beat aura intertwined with an old-school rock feel, the band were the perfect opener for the night, making the crowd feel all dirty and anti-establishment.
Indie-rockers Abacaxuva provided a breezy slice of Drums-eque rock, with vocals from lead vocalist Rex giving off a smooth reverb finish, Rex made the band feel stripped back and retrospective – filling the venue with a party atmosphere leaving an impressionable performance upon the punters who were gathering attentively thick and fast around the limits of the dance floor.
The delectable muso with the most impressive afro in the Perth music scene emerged onto the stage only now sporting an exceptional beard. Timothy Nelson and his band dazzled the crowd with a blend of acoustic, no-frills generic rock. Simplistic and easy to listen to, Nelson had you covered with his vaguely Bee Gees-like chorus vocal and songs with emotive lyrical content.
Easy to kick back and listen to, things soon changed when Odette Mercy & Her Soul Atomics switched over. The quick changes in acts and short duration of the sets did give Clam Jam a slightly rushed feel, but who knew that could have been totally down to the enjoyment of the concert, after all - time flies when you are having fun.
Giving a heady dosage of soul, it took a few drunken “jazz-cats” (that would be the right term right?) to gather the crowd to take a step forward. By now the stage had turned into a podium in which a jazz fest could ensue, Odette Mercy ripped out some mad, blues vocals – evoking an element of class and distinction as she smashed out each blues tack after the other. Props were to be given to the sax player and lead guitar who threw out impressive solos. Finishing up with a generous encore of two or three tracks, if you were into your jazz you were surely gluttonous.
When it came around to Abbe May’s set, the crowd had gathered right up to the front of the stage. With the live band slowly setting themselves up, anticipation for the crowd grew into a rapturous applause when they saw her. May cycling through tracks old and new; including Kiss My Apocalypse, T.R.O.U.B.L.E and Are We Flirting?
The peak of her performance was when she played her guitar like an assault rifle and pointed it towards the crowd, making it look like May had reached some impossibly achievable guitar-like zen. The end of her set involved an exceedingly generous encore, with the May leaving the stage with her band for what was probably just only two minutes, they played on for what must have been five tacks.
With the crowd reaching capacity as those arriving for the DJ set after May caught a glimpse of her finishing the set with her cover of Ginuwine’s Pony, the vibes got heated and a lil’ bit sexed up as May’s performance concluded on a steamed up fog of brilliance.