The Music Industry in WA hasn’t got a clue

Gozzy Rock 2011 came and went…and are we any better endowed with the musical throng from Western Australia?

There definitely were a few unexpected pluses, there was a lot of shit and the so called ‘Music Industry’ who judged the competition are out of their tiny minds!

It’s no wonder there isn’t really a music scene over here.

It’s no wonder that people in WA can’t wait for bands from anywhere else to come here and play.

It’s no wonder that bands with any credibility actually want to play here. Let’s face it, the only reason that overseas bands come to WA to play is for a holiday…for the sun…there may be other reasons, but the point I am making that there is no music scene to be proud of, and it’s down to the music industry people that allow outfits to shit outside the pan.

Anyway…Gozzy Rock…there were 30 bands that were reviewed, and 16 went through to the second round. Then, there were 4 heats with 2 bands going through from each, which means that 8 bands make the final.

The judges had their 8 bands for the final at the Centennial Pioneer Park amphitheatre Saturday 26 February, from between 1pm to 8pm.

Stillwater Giants won with Gombo coming second, and The Kings and Sons won the encouragement award. I don’t know what the encouragement award shit actually is, but I’ve got some encouragement for them…GIVE UP BEING IN A BAND! …God they’re shit…but it’s not their fault. Of course it’s their fault for being shit, but it’s the people that put them through…as I might have already mentioned…are out of their tiny minds.

The Kings and Sons went through the second round heats along with Jake and the Cowboys. They played a 20 minute set and it felt like Julia Gillard had just read War and Peace to me…it seemed to drag out forever. They went on and on and on…

There was absolutely nothing to these bands…utter shit. The two bands that went through were the wrong two bands. Pound actually looked like they meant it. I would call The Cunts and Sons contrived, but they are beyond contrived…believe me. On the other hand, Pound have got great catchy tunes with real meaning. They looked comfortable on stage and played great songs that sounded original, with of course, influences that are shoved in here and there. They were a memorable band…with memorable songs…with memorable stage persona.

For Pound not to go through…I mean, I just don’t think the Judges got it right on the night.

On the night when Gombo played, there was a band called Hey Hurricane and Buffalo Everything. They were both different genres but they both optimised live guitar music.

Hey Hurricane weren’t the greatest band I’ve ever heard, very, very far from it. But they were memorable. They had 20  minutes like everyone else, and they really grabbed the bull by the horns and went for it. They reminded me of The Libertines. HH didn’t care if anyone was even watching, they just bulldozed their way through the songs…all be it they were bulldozing with a lawnmower, but they were bulldozing…unlike most of the other bands in the competition.They even had some young girls at the front dancing, and trust me, it doesn’t get better than that in Gosnells in the middle of the week.

Buffalo Everything, were great musicians with good songs. They didn’t go for it in a way that Hey Hurricane did, but they didn’t have to. They were sort of a heavy Jamiriquai…which was great.

These bands weren’t in the final, but Jake and the Cuntboys and The Kings and Cunts were. I don’t mean to keep abusing them but they were truely awful…if you were there…I mean it’s not funny…I’m now on medication because of it.

But there were other mistakes by the judges in the other heats, too.

Although, they did get it almost right in the final. Gombo were and are fantastic, and in my mind they were the best and should have won. The music is clever, sharp…and you didn’t know what was coming next…really good stuff.

They’ve been together for about a year, I think. I advise folk to go and see them…I’ll let you all know soon.

I did speak to someone at Gosnells council who was involved in Gozzy Rock 2011. And I did ask why The Kings and Sons were put through and she said, “I think the judges were looking for something different.”

After laughing, I mentioned that this was incredible.

I have been watching and writing about bands…from all walks of life for a few years now, which doesn’t mean that they were shit, and I don’t have a right to force my musical opinion on anyone, but I said to the Gozzy Rock spokesperson that they were shit. And she paused…and whispered to me, ” I thought they were shit, too,” and then giggled.

The finalists were Wrongtown, Gombo, Ticket for Two, Here Come the Cavalry, The Kings and Sons, Jake and the Cowboys, Between Oceans and Stillwater Giants. As I said, Stillwater Giants were ok, Gombo were fantastic and the rest were…hugely forgetable.

OK, now for the bands the apparently professional bands that played at Gozzy Rock 2011.

Optamus headlined, and they were fresh sounding.

They have a quality sound…and what I mean by that is they sound really professional. They’re a hip-hop band. And they obviously have their influences, as do we all. White rappers, may take some influence from Eminem…but I am just guessing of course. They do sort of fuse Rhythm and Blues with a modern flick to it.

Hip-hop comes from a working class, lower class background. I know it’s changed, but these ‘wannabe urbanites’ come across like most other bands that I’ve seen in Western Australia…contrived.

Don’t get me wrong, they sounded OK, and they performed good, but as I said before, Gombo were the best band on the day. But as Optamus went into the third song…it was just boring, with no real quality in the songwriting. Maybe I’m just not getting it.

And if you look at the promo pictures…you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that these middle-class lads are trying to look like working-class herberts. The music sounds like it, too. The Libertines have a line in a song that says, “Poor men dressing like they’re rich…Mugs, rich men dressing like they’re poor…Oh my God, White kids talkin’ like they’re black…”, I think you get the gist.

I don’t mean to have a go at them , but this whole Gozzy Rock farce has really got to me this year…it’s just sending out the wrong message, so I guess I’m laying into anyone who was involved in it. Optamus aren’t half as bad as I’m making out, really.

They’ll be playing alongside the Chemical Brothers soon, at the Future Music Festival at Joondallup. There’ll also be Pendulum and Mark Ronson, so they’ll be hanging with good ‘middle to upper class’ company.

City of Gosnells Mayor Olwen Searle said this year’s bands were fantastic and the judge’s scores were all very close.

“At the end of the heats, only eight bands could make it to the final, which is set to be a great celebration of youth and WA music,” she said.

This is Gosnells, love. This isn’t a celebration of anything. It was advertised as a drug and alcohol free one day festival, and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but…rock will be dead if these things are taken away…I mean, there wasn’t even a Bogan in sight.

Maybe next year they should just cancel it…oh…who am I kidding…I ‘ll be there, going on about a couple of bands that I like, slagging off the rest of them, and moaning that I can’t have a beer watching bands outside in 38 degrees heat.

by Wallace McTavish


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