Garage2V WA Heat feat the Preytells @ The Bakery, Perth (28/02/08)

Wales opened the night with their nu-wave indie-pop sound; still a touch of The Cure about them, but not derivatively so. The band performed well, despite the emcee ridiculing them by way of introduction, and then admitting that he didn’t know anything about them. Clearly, it was too difficult for him to listen to a song on the V website. With an introduction like that who needs enemies? Luckily, Wales have talent enough to introduce themselves, and need not rely on kind words from promoters.

The crowd moved outside between sets, desperate for any hint of a breeze, so that when the emcee brought his megaphone out, entreating us to come back inside; everyone thought they had just felt a breeze, and didn’t move until he came back again pleading, –  “Come on guys, give them a chance.’ then reluctantly shuffled back into what felt like a real Bakery – complete with roaring fire- to see the next finalists play.

It was a rather disappointing set from The Leap Year, who sounded like little more than feedback and shouting until heard from the back corner of the beer garden. The drummer looked like he might fall asleep, but the other three seemed to be having a good time, despite the heat. From a distance however, the guitar melody and musical interplay could be distinguished from the muddy mix inside; the vocals were so consistently off key, by all three singing members, that it could only have been intentional... They don’t feel the need to explain their art to you, Warren. Besides, they have a fan at RTRFM.

The Transients played next, a short sharp set of tracks that made the audience dance like it was winter. Very similar in sound to the Presets, they included all the elements of a great dance mix. Unfortunately, computers aren’t that exciting, and watching someone play with computers is even less fun, even if the music is awesome, so the Transients may remain a treasure of the club scene for some while yet, -at least until they discover a way to entertain an audience who are less chemically enhanced.

The last finalists on the bill were Electric Limosine, unhelpfully introduced in the same way as the last electro band, as having lost a WAMi Award to Pendulum. Ask either band and they will tell you it is no shame to lose to Pendulum, a Perth act who started out in the same way, only six years earlier. In a devastating display of bad grace, the man-with-a-megaphone then went on to dismiss WAMi as if they weren’t a huge part of the reason there are so many Perth bands around!

Electric Limosine were finally given the stage, and gave us their all, electro with disco and rock and some retro Depeche Mode sounding vocals as well. Again, the crowd danced until they were dripping and roared with approval at the end of the well-balanced set, which gave all members a chance to show their strengths and made everyone think they could dance.

After a set by special guests the Preytells, who kept the audience entertained and dancing whilst the judges deliberated, the winner was announced, after an important warning that the champagne they were about to receive was expensive, so they shouldn’t waste it by spraying it around. Wales were so surprised to hear their band called, they froze in shock until fans and friends poked them and prodded them into motion, but when they got to the stage they didn’t know what to say, and charmingly stood, grinning madly.

An important lesson best learned early in their career, for it wouldn’t do to win an ARIA and not have an acceptance speech prepared. They now head off to Sydney to compete with the finalists from all the States to win the coveted spot on stage alongside the headlining acts at V Fest 2008.