Interview: Anton (Petanque)

Anton from Petanque
Interview by Leo Abbs

How long have petanque been around for?
There is evidence in the geologic table of Petanque being around during the Middle-Cambrian Period, along with the first invertebrate sea life. This evidence may be based souly on my own perception of time, and is perhaps a little exagerated. A more likely figure is 6 years.

How did the band get together?
I used a combination of pleading, flattery, cajoling, sweet talk, outrageously unrealistic promises and chocolate biscuits.

How do you take criticism of your music?

Where is your favourite place to play gigs?
Within the Rococo splendor of The Hyde Park.

Do you prefer playing live or recording?
If the performance was good, I prefer playing live. If the performance was a stinker, I would prefer to spend a week doing laps in the Mt Claremont Effluent Pond.

Are there any bands that all members of petanque like?
You know, I’ve never asked them, but I’m doubtful…

When did you first start playing guitar and singing?

In Year 10 I bought a cheap accoustic guitar, and I remember shortly thereafter my Mum saying “Ooh Anton, will you stop making that terrible noise” – the noise being me trying to sing along with my guitar, which I couldn’t play.

What are your musical ambitions?
To have “The Theme From Petanque (AKA The Iced Vovo)” bought for use in a beer, coffee or luxury car television advertisement.

Do you use the internet to promote the band? If so, how?

Aside from cultivating an online personality on a certain internet forum as a vehicle for spruiking up coming gigs (which in marketing terms has been negligible at best) , I’m afraid I have been fairly remiss in such affairs. I’m thinking of starting a “Myspace” page. Do you think that might help?

What is planned for the next six months for petanque?
We are currently recording an album with Roly Skender which is all very exciting.

It’s in the pipeline. Does that sound glib?

Upcoming gigs? insert here.
Ah yes, I must get onto that…

Live Review: Harry Smith CD Launch

Harry Smith, One Horse Town, Mo Wilson and the Drivers
Mojo’s Bar
Saturday 5th November 2005
Review by Rohan Hewson

Mo Wilson and the Drivers never seem to play anywhere on a bill except first. That’s OK though, their loungey, sometimes rock, music is well suited to kicking off a night. They were missing their bass player tonight, so a more stripped down set than usual, although there were still some piano flourishes from Mo. There was a fairly decent crowd even before they started playing, helped by the jazzy music coming from the DJ setting the party mood nicely.

One Horse Town have been referred to in the press a bit lately as swamp-rock… OK so ‘swamp’ is hardly a genre, but I’ll use it because nothing else quite fits. Rock? Definitely. Grunge? Probably. Country? Not really. Blues? Uhhh… Anyway, their unique sound comes mainly from the Rhodes piano of Ronan Charles, the same thing that made Seahorse Radio so unique a few years ago. He had no vocal mike but was every bit the frontman, a couple of times almost jumping up on top of the Rhodes. Recent WAM Rock Song of the Year winner ‘Information’ was probably the poppiest part of their set, whereas some of there other songs were quite raw and really rocked hard.

Harry Smith were the stars of tonight, this being the first of two launches for the ‘PreleighEP. They played to a similar sized crowd that greeted the first two bands. They’re yet another band that plays music not easy to classify; quirky, slightly dark rock / pop with the occasional strange time signature or chord structure… yeah, that should cover it. They had a heckler who yelled out ‘Titties!’ – one of the more interesting consequences of having a female bass player. The next heckle was ‘Stage birth!’ which could well have happened, the bass player also being several months pregnant – now there’s something you don’t see every day. Though there was to be no fifth member of Harry Smith saying hi to the world at Mojo’s this night.

There was a good atmosphere to this gig, so much so that when the band finished, a bunch of people started calling out for an encore. Often when bands come back for an encore, they’ve rehearsed a couple of extra songs and possibly even written them down on the set list, making the whole thing seem rather shallow and cynical. Not Harry Smith, however – they hadn’t counted on an encore, and ended up playing an old song they claimed not to have played for ages, although I could have sworn I heard it at the Hydey not that long ago, and considering they weren’t too optimistic about their ability to play it, they did it pretty well. Just like all their other songs, really.

Punter Profile: Josie

Punter Profile: Josie

When did you first start going to see local perth bands?
it would have been six or seven years ago now. back when they were still doing the “eat more fruit n veg” calendar.

Do you buy many local cds?
ummm…. not really, to be honest. but i don’t actually buy many cd’s at all. they’re something i keep meaning to buy, and then never really get around to it.

Are you involved in the music scene besides going to gigs?
kind of. just in a minor sort of way. i’ll put up posters and plug gigs and that sort of thing.
occasionally i’ll go through a spate of doing some little reviews and articles if i’m feeling creative.

Which venues do you like and why?
the rosemount is my favourite. it’s big, it has great sound, and it’s got this real sort of social vibe to it. when it’s quiet or quiet-ish, it’s an awesome place where you can l about on the couches, or play some pool or just sit around and drink. when it’s packed, it’s just magical, standing at the top of the stairs and seeing that sea of punters. wicked.i’ll be frequenting the beer garden a lot come summer.

Who are you favourite local bands and why?
subtruck just blow me away. their sound is just so big and heavy. it’s just this hot, dirty rock n roll, and every time they bring out a new song it impresses me.

snowman are another current favourite. they have this aura of having a constant in-joke happening between themselves which makes them intriguing, but not alienating.

i’ve kind of been going to see the same bands over and over again recently, because i tend to hibernate in winter, but hopefully that will change sometime soon. i’d love to discover something new.

What is the best gig you’ve ever seen?
fuck, that’s kind of a hard one. it would probably have to be a four member jed whitey gig, because they were just a really, really fun band to be into. but i don’t think i could pin point which one exactly.

What do you drink at gigs?
anything but beer. but i rarely drink spirits because pubs are stingy with measurements and charge too much. lately it’s usually wine of some description, but in a perfect world it would be bulleit bourbon.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on stage?
mike wafer.

Are there any new local bands you have discovered lately?
see the question about my current favourite bands. i blame it all on winter.

CD Review: zxspecky – Pseudo-Intellectual Pop for Retards

Zspecky – Psycho-Intellectual Pop For Retards
Review by Dylan McArdle

In my collection of local music CDs, some of obscurest releases rank amongst my favourites – like Anodyne 500’s “Built for Speed, Not Comfort” or Lowdown’s “The Green EP“. Sadly, I don’t think zxspecky’sPsuedo-Intellectual Pop for Retards” will ever join that company.

The first thing that grabs me with this CD is that it really sounds like an amateur recording, the first thing that came to my mind in comparison was Love Camp 7’s “Chicha” tape of years ago. The quality’s not THAT bad (because that was recorded on a home computer), I guess we’ve just been spoilt with some top notch local releases this year.

The CD itself has ten tracks and in true punk fashion they are (except for the last track) under two minutes in length. So it’s all short and to the point. Ironically, the longest (and last) track on the album “Pete’s Manual” is the best and is somewhat a cut above the rest.

I’d be inters ted to know what artists influenced Zxspecky as there’s a hint of (the already mentioned) Love Camp 7 and track 3 “Up Yours” reminds me very much of Jed Whitey. But unlike the two bands aforementioned there’s not that trademark ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humor that both were remembered for.

While I heard better releases, I’ve also heard worse ones. The CD’s OK, there’s come catchy guitars (especially on track 9 “17”) and I like the faster drum beats as on track 7 “Rock n Roll”. But the CD is quite repetitive (though I guess that could be said about the whole punk genre) and I don’t think it’d rate very high on anyone’s long-term playlist.

Cd Review: Halogen

Halogen –
Building on the Edge of the Sky
Review by Susan Clark

Building on the Edge of the Sky has been released for about a year now, but seeing as it is such a beautifully crafted album, I just couldn’t go past it. This is the second album release from halogen, following on from where Save the Ones You Love left off. Jasmine Yee’s voce is amazing- fragile yet powerful.

Although it is their second album, this release heralds something of a first for halogen- collaboration. 15 Perth electronic artists have produced a song each to provide an eclectic mix. The music itself could best be described as gothic pop. It’s not quite pop despite the catchy tunes and poppy beats, there is too much darkness, angst and ache.

Several songs have been singled out and have featured on RTR and JJJ, but each song has been finely crafted so that combined they meld together perfectly to create a seamless soundscape. It’s awe-inspiring given 15 produces had their fingers in the pot.

Building on the Edge of the Sky is a landscape of emotion, of arriving at bitter truths, but seeing that glimmer of hope that perhaps all will be good and lovely again, perhaps sometime soon. It is about love dying, love rekindled, hope in love, and being hopelessly in love. It’s all about the lovin’. The standout tracks on the album for me were Collide and Neon Lights.

The only mix I didn’t like was of the last song, Innocent. The song was perhaps overproduced with the mix and beats overly dominating. All of the songs have been mixed with a subtle touch, you know it’s been done, but it is generally supporting and enhancing the beautiful tunes. Innocent isn’t so subtle, and I found it jarring to listen to, waking me out of my halogen induced dream.

Building on the Edge of the Sky is ethereal music guided by a beautifully lush voice, (Yee’s). It’s an absolutely outstanding release.