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You’ll have to be connected to score an invite to these
chilled-out concerts, strewn across a crop of backyards –
pretty much everyone in attendance is involved directly
in the Perth music scene. Think a progressive dinner, but
with a menu of local musos, not amuse-bouches, as you
move from yard to yard. It’s the antithesis of festivals like
Stereosonic, where the sole purpose of attending is showing
off one’s toned biceps or tiny midriff under trendy clothes.
No fake tan or fluoro here, but paisley, beards and rolled-
cigarettes are abundant.
THE HIDDEN SOUND CONCERTS
Moonlighting as DJ Steve Aoki isn’t the only way
photographer Jarrad Seng likes to surprise us. Using his
musical pedigree (he’s been the resident photographer for
bands like Passenger), he organised an intimate concert last
year with a couple of catches: he gave absolutely no clue
who was playing at the concert, or where it would be. Risky,
but the proof of how much we love a mystery was in the
reception. Just hours after the concert was announced by
a Facebook post, the one hundred tickets sold out, and
people who were lucky enough to snarf up a ticket (here’s
looking at you, ed) still talk wistfully about the beautifully
styled Kate Miller-Heidke concert, staged in Freo’s old Myer.
Jarrad tells us he has plans for another this year, but is yet to
confirm acts. Well, not like he’d tell us anyway.
WAVE ROCK WEEKENDER
Alarm clocks, bills and deadlines getting you down?
Resenting adulthood’s inevitable onset? Get thee to Wave
Rock Weekender, an unadvertised boutique festival in
September that’s a utopia for adults who want to be children
again. Held at Hyden’s impressive Wave Rock, the camping
festival has cheap drinks, food trucks, and a surreal vibe:
think a rickety old bus converted into a cinema, and a huge
salt-lake pool across the way. The line-up is always solid
(The Cat Empire headlined last year), but it’s the vibe that
makes this festival magical, with a diverse crew breaking it
down and tearing holes in your ‘boring adult’ posturing.
And hey, the namesake landmark itself is 270 million years
old and still knows how to rock.
Wave Rock, last weekend in September.
If you can’t make Wave Rock Weekender, the group that
organises it – Soul Highway – holds Special Occasions,
one-off secret events throughout the year. It might seem
a bit much to commit to a ticket when you don’t know the
venue or the artist, but trust us, it’s worth it. The acts are
electrifying, the drinks are ludicrously well-priced, and the
venue and extra touches are designed to make you feel like
you’re at the most rockin’ house party ever.
Don’t be offended, Freo, we say this with your best
interests at heart: though we love your bohemian roots,
heritage architecture, and pockets of pure epic-ness,
we sometimes feel you fall short of your true potential.
Thank God for Hidden Treasures, then. Each Thursday
in July, the concert series activates underused spaces
usually reserved for members – has anyone under the
age of ninety entered the Navy Club recently? – with
local music acts, so-bad-they’re-good drinks, and
sausage rolls (to mop up said drinks.) The elderly staff
and endearingly tacky decor remain. Yep, there’s the
Freo we know and love.
Fremantle, each Thursday in July.
THE JAZZ CELLAR
This isn’t the kind of place you’re likely to stumble across,
unless you like strolling through suburban Mount Hawthorn
on a Friday night (yeah, didn’t think so). Actually, even
if that was your loitering place of choice, you still don’t
stand much of a chance: entry is through an alley, into
a red phone box, and down a staircase. Whew! The
trek and the $25 entry fee are worth it though, with
BYO food and wine, a boppin’ jazz band, and a sardine-
packed crowd with people as young as your niece and
as old as your grandpa.
Corner of Scarborough Beach Road and Buxton Street,
THIS SHOT, AND ABOVE Kate Miller-Heidke performs at
her Hidden Sound concert (photography Jarrad Seng).
Hidden Sound concert with Sam Perry
(photography Daniel Craig).
Wave Rock, the venue for
September’s music Weekender.
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