The West

Music Festival: This is Nowhere
Tenniscoats. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian.

This is Nowhere

Sunday, October 14

University of WA

Devoid of booze and dunny queues, mulleted meatheads and mainstream music, This is Nowhere made its debut under overcast skies at the University of WA on Sunday. Featuring many rarely seen international indie acts alongside a selection of beloved locals, it lived up to its hype as a boutique event for those with a more refined taste.

Locals the Bank Holidays played their first show for two years and with such fondly remembered gems as Tread Easy, they reminded us that their sunny pop-smarts can brighten even a drizzly day.

It was the Inglorious Buskers that won the local stakes for the day. The sight of Chris Cobilis spewing howls into a microphone as hardcore guitar blasts looped through his laptop was something to remember, as was Frozen Ocean's Peter Bibby's rendition of the Kill Devil Hills' classic Drinking Too Much and his own song about the wonders of pharmaceuticals.

Japanese duo Tenniscoats enchanted a mid-arvo smattering of appreciative folk open to the oddball chantings of Saya Ueno, who wandered around the Somerville Auditorium singing, playing the melodica and even using it to "play" the fencing.

After opening for themselves as Holy Sons, Grails played a set that was utterly amazing.

A six-piece instrumental outfit from where else but Portland, they won over the crowd with lush and richly textured tunes.

The Bank Holidays. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian.
Xiu Xiu is the emotional output of one Jamie Stewart, a man who seems to have never had a good day in his life.

Joined by xylophone and percussion master Angela Seo, they played a stripped-back set of some of their favourite moans and groans and, despite Stewart's subject matter and delivery being somewhat taxing, they know how to spice up their visuals; using a slingshot to play a gong.

What a great idea!

Chicago instrumentalists Tortoise also know a thing or two about innovation. Featuring two drummers and a host of instrument swapping, their subtle jams veered from spaghetti western sounds to something more befitting a Disney flick.

A fitting way to close out the inaugural This is Nowhere, here's hoping it returns in 2013 and beyond.

The West Australian

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