If it’s gonna be loud it better be good.

Saw some interesting stuff at The Amplifier Bar 383 Murray Street last night (non-obvious entrance round the back alley beside No.381, explains why I once before failed to find this venue.)

Dropping in Orange – guitar and organ, with drippy but thunderously loud bassist / vocalist – opened with Hawkwind’s Quark, Strangeness and Charm, which kinda set their weird scene. Hmm.

Kill Devil Hills – folk rock by contrast, with mandolin, fiddle, acoustic, electric and bass guitars, and primitive drum kit. Nice atmospheric original sounds, bit like the openers in that sense, despite being worlds apart.

The Volcanics – manic, heavy, lone guitar and bass with separate vocalist. Crackin’ sound, good frontman though tuneless shouted vocal style not really to my taste. (Compare QOTSA review below, heavy rock vocals don’t have to be painful guys.)

MF & The Truckload of Hope – country style blues / rock to follow. Huh ? Was this really the headline act ? Presumably MF is some local hero, and his audience and the other bands in it were all “friends”, but it didn’t do much for me so, unusually, I left ’em to it. (Ironic, given that I’ve neen regularly watching Rick Steele’s country blues style acts around Perth in recent months, next time Sunday lunch at the Dianella. Spookily a photo of Rick’s son Luke in Sleepy Jackson, in the Amplifier Bar. It’s not what you do, it’s how well you do it. Quality rules OK.)

I’d looked out the venue (Amplifier Bar) because I’d seen Sin City are playing there tonight, the goth-metal Perth band I’d seen in Melbourne’s Green Room back in Feb (Complete nonsense, but well-executed good “clean” fun, with stonking drumming from Tom Brownrigg). Noticed they were doing a return to WA tour taking in Margaret River (Thursday, noticed as we drove through on the whale-watching trip last Monday), Bunbury (last night), Perth (tonight) and Freo (Swan Basement tomorrow). Anyway, the venue is excellent, if way-too-loud by any objective standard. Great lighting and sound systems built in (hence the name presumably). All individual instruments miked-up, including off their own amp speakers, and all the drums including the bass fed through a huge rack of floor mounted under-stage units as well as ceiling/side mounted PA. Massive sound, very loud, shifting-bodily-organs-loud, low frequencies visibly driving the stage smoke around, but somehow perfect, despite serious health and safety failings no doubt.

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