Culture hubs get rock pigs and families  grooving
Rocking: Addision Axe of Axe Girl. Picture: Perry DeGennaro

Nothing makes you grip your Emu Export tinnie with extra pride than catching a few dozen local bands flying the flag for WA music.

Part of the WA Day long weekend, the State of the Art festival drew thousands of people to catch about 30 bands playing in the Perth Cultural Centre.

The talent was undeniable. The headliners rapper Drapht, pop rockers Eskimo Joe and local garage rock veterans the Stems have topped charts in one form or another.

The festival worked in part because of the venue. Who would have thought the best centre for culture in Perth was the Perth Cultural Centre?

There were four official stages, one of them free, with four more acoustic "pop-up" stages.

Rock pigs rubbed shoulders with young families at the WA Museum stage where Fremantle pop darlings San Cisco pulled the biggest crowd. Hit singles Awkward and Fred Astaire got younger fans dancing.

However, the cover of WA Day goes to Melbourne-based indie rockers Split Seconds for a cracking rendition of Sleepy Jackson's This Day with help from Ghost Hotel guitarist Jacob Snell.

It was almost impossible to get into the 400-capacity State Theatre courtyard stage where Eskimo Joe's session was sandwiched between DJ sets from Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker.

The mighty Stems earned their headline status in the cool air of the Urban Orchard. "You ready for this," singer/guitarist Dom Mariani asked rhetorically before tearing into Mr Misery.

Melbourne guitar gun Ash Naylor ably filled in for Richard Lane on garage rock rippers, such as Get to Know Me and Surround Me.

But it was the sweet pop rock ballads, including Love Will Grow and - of course - the finale At First Sight that made the Stems absolute winners.

Young rock outfit Gunns played the WA Museum stage after a feisty set from rock trio Axe Girl - British expat Addison Axe and Jebediah's rhythm section.

Nascent acts the High Learys and Tired Lion played on the free stage. Both stopped many people in their tracks, proving State of the Art is a good chance to convert the uninitiated.

The West Australian

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