Live Review: Pitstop Festival

Pistop Music Festival, Fairbridge
Friday 25th November 2005
Review: Susan Clark

Fairbridge Village is known by thousands as an idyllic wedding location, or the place where many smuggled alcohol to for their year 9 camp.

According to Pitstop event organiser, Adele Dixon,
“The concept of the Festival is to provide as alternative avenue for entertainment whilst encouraging young people to celebrate the end of school in a safe and controlled environment, which will be a ‘Drug Aware’ no alcohol, drugs or smoking event.”

A noble statement, and it probably secured funding from certain groups, but it seemed to have scared off all the schoolies.

There was a very poor turn out, less than 250 tickets were sold pre-event, and only a few more turned up at the gate on the day. The prospect of not getting tanked on alcohol and other substances, running and partying madly through the streets, then eventually passing out and waking up in some strangers bed probably scared the schoolies off.

It’s a pity the crowd turn out was so poor, as Pitstop does have the makings of a fantastic festival.

3 Degrees of Separation were first up, and were asked to start 10 minutes earlier, and cut 20 minutes from their set. There was a wedding at the church at 4pm, and apparently you need a bit of quiet for those kinds of things. So that meant most people missed the band. I happened to turn up for the last song, “Goonbag,” as some guy jumped on the stage
wearing a chemical suit. Interesting…

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving played after the vows were exchanged. My tangled thoughts seriously counselled me to leave while this band played. I hate to ever say a band was truly terrible, but for the lack of a better term, they were terrible! This band is a fusion of metal and rock styles. Bits were death metal, bits were that new style of “emo” metal (where the singer whinges on for a fair bit), with a bit of Muse thrown into the mix. It was a particularly uncomfortable style- stick with the Muse bit I reckon.

The Flairz were running late, apparently their car broke down on the way. While waiting for them to turn up, the stage manager decided he had talent, grabbed a guitar and graced the crowd with his own musical offerings. There’s a reason why this man is the stage manager, and not one of the performers.

Thank crap the Flairz eventually turned up! They’re fantastic musicians, but there seemed to be something missing. I dunno- a few feet of height? Puberty? To be fair though, the group had more talent and performed better than most other bands on the bill. Most of the crowd didn’t know what to think, and neither did I.

Antistatic seem to have created a fair amount of buzz on the strength of their debut EP, Still Life Portrait. The fans showed how much they loved the band by throwing balls at them. I reckon there were a few bruises from that lot! The band plays that new emo metal style that I seem to be such a fan of…
Well, the schoolies seemed to like it.

Veterans of the Perth indie scene, Red Jezebel played a fantastic set. I haven’t seen them for a long while, and it’s great to see the pretentiousness stripped away. Red Jez were a lot of fun tonight and debuted a couple of new songs that are to be included on the new album. Look out for a fantastic new song, “Amsterdam”. They played one of the best sets of the night.

“Man can that chick wail or what?!” asked the multi-“talented” stage manager about Abbe from the Fuzz. I have to ask, why did this man continue to have access to the microphone? I had to agree with him though.
The schoolies ran out from the trees at the first husky screams of Abbe’s voice. The Fuzz blistered through a dirty set, blowing away the crowd, really getting them moving.

There was a guitar signed by all the acts on the bill and kindly donated by Music Force Mandurah raffled off. Congratulations to the lucky winner of the Ashton Accoustic. All funds raised went towards the Fairbridge Music Program in hosting similar events.

I decided to leave on a high note and left after the Fuzz. There were three other bands to play that night, Cog, Gyroscope and the Butterfly Effect, but my little indie being couldn’t stomach the thought of more metal rock.

Apparently the gig was cancelled soon after I left due to weather concerns. The place turned into a bit of a windy dust bowl and there were concerns about safety and the equipment. It was perhaps the last nail in the coffin for an otherwise promising event.


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