By Mae Anthony
The last two Saturdays at Badlands Bar have been dedicated to the launch of the recently re-opened cozy music venue nestled east of the heart of Perth City that was once known as Devilles Pad. Last Saturday saw the likes of local bands Damian, Human Buoy, Ah Trees and Perth music legend Katy Steele. It was a killer lineup to kick off what I’m sure is one of Perth’s hottest music venues.
Don’t be fooled by the bar name, there’s nothing dark about this place, except for the moody lighting. The venue is intimate, yet spacious; obscure, yet comforting; and classy without being overbearing. Cave-like architecture adorns the walls and the internal structure and décor is sleek and visually stunning.
The night kicked off with Damian Crosbie, who offered up an exciting solo show. It wasn’t an acoustic set, but he used pre-recorded tracks to fill and back him whilst he dominated the stage with a confident stage presence. And why was he confident? His songs were great, and his voice was positively alluring. You don’t need more of a reason that that.
Human Buoy reminded me of the likes of your standard [albeit great sounding] Perth experimental rock band, mixed with MGMT, mixed with The Police. The impressive collaboration of each member was flawless, and they melded together and offered up some very creative and exciting tunes.
Ah Tress were a great edition to the cleverly crafted scaffolding of the evening’s line-up. These indie-pop Perth locals were suited perfectly to amp up the crowd even more and prepare us for the main act. Their music contained impressive vocal melodies and a fusion of mixed-styles, from indie-pop, to new-wave that even had an element of funk genre grooves to it held nicely in its toe-tapping rhythmical drive.
Katy Steele swept audiences off of their feet with her new tunes, all of which make up her new LP to be released later this year. She always had such a unique voice and song-writing style in Little Birdy, but her recent, soon to be released, solo stuff is evolved. Her preview of it showed us that it is more percussive in nature, and electronic in its conception, compared to her rock styled tunes from Little Birdy – the tunes of which there was nothing wrong with, but this new direction marks an exciting change of style for her. Her vocals had a wholesome choral quality to them, and piercing, beautiful vocal ideas were synonymous to that of bird-calls. Her vibes were off the charts good, and it was solely due to her immense talent and creativity.
Her latest single, released Friday August 12, can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/katysteele
Showcasing such a wide range of Perth talent, including the rock music goddess Katy Steele, was an excellent character portrait for the new Badlands Bar. I for one can’t wait to see what Sweet Mate Music has installed for this new and exciting venue.