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Live – Reverse Grip, Perth 5th October 2012

| 14 October 2012 | Reply

Rocket Room, Perth, Western Australia
By Paula Da Horta | Photography by Maree King



Canadian mad dogs Reverse Grip kicked off their Australian tour at The Rocket Room, right here in Perth. Supported by special guests The Wishers, Stone Circle and The Sure Fire Midnights on Friday 5th October, 2012.

Reverse Grip – Sean, Dru & Dylan Broda, Kramer White


Opening up the night albeit a tad later than expected was The Wishers, stepping up at the last minute to fill in for Nymph Honey who had to cancel due to illness. Fronted by Paul McCarthy who has been involved with The Boys, Jackal and more, this band is a little bit different, a little bit unusual, but a whole lot of interesting.

With a genre that they like to call Australamericana. You’ll find this band with Mark Constable on Harmonica, Luke Kristoff Dux on lead guitar, produce a sound that is very Aussie rock and roll with an american blues pushing through.

Although faced with challenges on this particular night from poor sound and foldback issues, it’s difficult to review them.  With their set as short as it was due to a late start and not quite being able to get their sound right [Editor’s note – the venue had installed a new PA the day before and it was untested], The Wishers still pushed through and produced an amazing rendition of the classic Children of The Revolution as well as Why’d You Do That, an old Boys song.

Even with the sound difficulties I think the small crowd that had come to the Rocket Room early  found The Wishers set to be quite a toe tapping set and were pleasantly entertained. They were a good start to the night’s entertainment and I definately think they should be pulling gigs at places like the Indi Bar that pull in that crowd of Indi American music lovers.

With sister act Kylie and Abby Soanes (on drums and bass guitar) they make a very cool band indeed.

Fresh off their South American tour, those rockers, Stone Circle take to the stage. With a clearer PA happening for their set, they kicked off with a newie called Northern Lights (Coming Home). The guys, whilst packed tightly onto the RR stage, were onsong and ready to rock.  With no chance to draw a breath they ripped straight into another new song, Sold Me Out, waking the punters from a slumber. The new songs are heavier but still with the SC touch through it.

With Jeremy Harris up front you could be forgiven for mistaking him for the Energiser Bunny. No matter if they are playing to 50 people or 500, Harry and the boys give it their all, all the time.

Jeremy’s energy, Craig Skelton’s brute force bass playing, Scott Howe’s intense facial expressions and that delightful smile from Derrin Kees, these guys have fun on stage and one can’t help but get caught up in it all.

In fact one feels a little guilty enjoying this set so much more than the first band who were not so lucky for sound.

Going into Transparent off their latest album, Living for the Sunshine. Scott Howe, looks cool, plays cool, get’s into the moment. A definate Guitar God.

With a nod to the ladies (yes we know who we are) Gero Love Song is introduced. A big call, but quite possibly one of the most poweful love ballads ever written. The passion and charisma that Jeremy Harris puts into singing this song is enough to make even the hardest of men swoon.

Not giving us ladies a chance to recover from swooning it’s straight into Tied to Stone, with Mr Craig Skelton’s grunt and Scott’s force on lead we are rocking! We are treated to another new song called Skeletons before the grand finale of Living For The Sunshine off the album of the same name. Unfortunately by this stage, the sound system started to falter again and Jeremy’s vocals were not clear from where I was standing at the back of the room. Did that make this band of rockers, slow down? NO! The crowd had not built up much more from the first band but Stone Circle certainly made this room stand up and listen. The Canadian boys were standing just behind me during their performance and they definately took note of our Stone Circle.

Small stage, big stage, 50 people, 500 people, sound difficulties, perfect sound, it doesn’t matter for Stone Circle, they BRING IT EVERYTIME!

So in a strange sort of line up where the headline artist was not actually the last band playing, those Canadian mad dogs, Reverse Grip take to the stage (again not without more sound difficulties). Looking like a cross of Poison meets Axl Rose, these 4 energetic hotties light up the stage.

Fresh off their 3 1/2 week tour of Japan, the boys are eager to please Perth and get a good start to their Aussie Tour promoting the new album “Hunger For Chaos”.  The sleazy riffs, boundless amounts of energy, a wolfman on drums who looked like he would gobble you up with his crazed wildman eyes and a bass player… oh DANG! that bass player was dripping sex appeal… and oh so pretty to look at, all of them… had this reviewers head in a spin not knowing where to look!

It was always going to be tough for Reverse Grip to make an impact on this small but tough crowd. Perth punters are difficult to please at the best of times let alone bringing in a virtually unknown band, even if they are International. It’s a shame the RR didn’t pull in the crowd its used to, to help these 4 rockers crank it.

They had a very 80’s feel about them not just in their stage presence, but their performance. Vocally they just didn’t come across strong enough, though this was due to the PA issues on the night, rather than the band.

I personally don’t know a lot about Reverse Grip and so to critique each song individually, well, I just cant do as it was the first time I’d heard them. Certainly a lot of their songs are catchy rock tunes that one could quite easily crank at a party. Their final song of the song Nasty Reputation is one that could and should get radio play for sure.

Are Reverse Grip fun? YES, for sure. Definately with the right crowd, a large crowd, these guys could send you into a rock frenzy, but there’s no doubt the 80 or so present tonight had a great time.

Credit where credit is due, they are 4 guys having a crack, doing what they love and trying to bring rock to the people, and good on them for doing that. That alone is enough driving force for you to get to a Reverse Grip show!

Rounding out the evening are Perth’s premier rock chick outfit, The Sure Fire Midnights.  If you love, rock n’ roll, you love not just women, but HOT looking women, then get to a Sure Fire’s gig, and soon. These girls get better and better each time I’ve seen them. Forging themselves as a powerhouse band in this town, which was evident in the slightly larger crowd that had merged forward, yes it was mainly guys, but hey, who’s going to critique a woman playing rock music more than a man?  I don’t think there was any criticism happening as the crowd were rocking to this 5 piece rock outfit.

Cranking out their hit, Strike at Midnight, which was used earlier this year on an advert for the local WAFL, Laura McCormack on lead guitar reminds me of a young version of Joan Jett.  She gets in and gets dirty with her riffs that has local musicians smiling from ear to ear.

A surprise cover of The Cult’s Love Removal Machine, shows this bands diversity in music knowledge and prowess. What had me slack jawed was Kylie Soanes on drums. Now if you have ever seen the Sure Fire Midnights or you do get to their show, Kylie is a small petite young lady, who smashes those drums like a woman from the caveman era. She is brute force, whilst still maintaining this sweet persona.

With the rhythm section of Abby Soanes on bass and Sharni Pearson-Misich on 2nd Guitar they hold the pace and play with a whole lot of Sass. Clair Sargeant led the girls into Too Hot to Touch as they get the place cranking and the girls gel well together.

Unfortunately that’s as far as they get before the troublesome sound system blew up leaving only lead guitar and drums, but boy did magic really happen then. As though possessed Laura and Kylie started channelling their inner rock goddesses and left the room open mouthed as they jammed like no tomorrow. It was a real Rock n’ Roll moment and one I’m sure glad I didn’t miss.

It’s a shame their set was cut so short, as these 5 young, hot, rocking women deserve to be on the big stage and entertaining the masses.

All four bands endured sound difficulties throughout the night, none of which were their fault. But the professionalism and heart in all these artists to get up week in and week out to play sometimes to a crowd of 50, sometimes to a crowd of 500 – or in the case of headliners Reverse Grip, to self fund an international tour – shows their passion and drive for a dream that Perth (and everywhere!) people need to wake up and get out and support.

Rock n’ Roll is alive all around us, go out, live it and support it!

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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