Music

We Love Ministry of Sounds @Metros, Bakery, Capitol, Amplifier

The We Love (Ministry of) Sounds festival rolled into Perth for another long weekend of booze, parties and international superstars. The festival was staged across four venues including Metro City, The Bakery, Capitol and Amplifier, and was slated to finish just about when the sun would be rising over the Indian Ocean. With the earlier announcement that Cassius would no longer be playing the Westside, the night got off to an indifferent start as it always seems to be a bit sour when a headliner goes down the day of the festival.

Arriving at Metro City at about 10:30 we were greeted with an absolute throng of party-goers congregating outside and it became clear that Metros was already at capacity and it would be one in one out for the majority of the rest of the night. Luckily for this reviewer, and much to his surprise a media pass enabled him to go straight into Metros, unfortunately leaving mates outside in the line.

After quickly getting over feeling like a bastard, it was off to the Bakery to catch the end of Gameboy/Gamegirl. The 4-piece Oz adaptation of baile funk has certainly been catching some attention around the world with NME recently branding them as “unquestionably the stupidest band you’ll hear this year.” (in a good way.) Entering to the sounds of Pumps and Rumps, a fair crowd was enjoying the antics of front-women Jess and Katy and a half naked MC Tranter. It was a disturbing but strangely hypnotic sight. It isn’t a rare thing to see an MC with his shirt off, but it is unusual when the aforementioned MC is a voluptuous white-boy in dire need of a back wax.

Quickly following GB/GG was their label head and ITM number one DJ Ajax. He started with some old school hip-hop and immediately got some cheers from the crowd. The Chief Bang Ganger has no problem getting the party started wherever he goes and continued on with his trademark drop quick mixing style that didn’t want to sit still. Unfortunately that was it for Ajax, as it was time to head back to Metros to see some of Diplo’s kids, the newly refurbished Bonde do Role.

Arriving back at Metros though, it wasn’t the sounds of baile funk that greeted the eardrums but fluoro favourites and all-round electro cheeseballs The Potbelleez. They were fading down the mix to let the fans sing along to their most recent single_-  “Don’t hoooold back, is there any body out there...’, the kids sang with gusto and it was clear that high rotation hadn’t dented fan devotion. Finishing off with a bit of AC/DC and Thunderstruck, there was a loud cheer when they departed the stage.

After having pulled out of Southbound this year due to the departure of vocalist Marina Gasolina, (erm, Marina Ribatski) it was great to have the Brazilians in town. With two new female MCs Ana and Laura, who, incidentally, were chosen through a naughty reality TV show on MTV in Brazil, it was going to be interesting to see if everything had settled down in the group. Last year’s debut release With Lasers had the band toying with all sorts of pop music rip-offs and their live set continued on in that vain. Daft Punk, the Grease Megamix and Vanilla Ice all got a going over by the group, which onstage consists of a DJ and three vocalists. The band ran through a heavy selection of their debut and notable highlights including first and second singles Solta Frango and Office Boy. The three MCs had the crowd whipped into a frenzy with heavy percussive beats booming from the stacks and the Spanish MCing leaving everything to the imagination. Front-woman Ana had a monster set of dreadies that got a good workout throughout the set and they complemented the more petite Laura. Rave whistles came out for a classic cover of Reel 2 Reel’s I Like to Move It and finished it off with a cheeky adaptation of the Depeche Mode hit I Just Can’t Get Enough. It was truly an hour of power from the Brazilian funksters that got the night off to a cracking start.

A bit under two hours after leaving them in line, the boys finally got in just after the start of kooky Frenchman Mr. Oizo. It is understandable that venues have licensing arrangements, and a club with the history that Metros has would be silly to test them, but herein lies the problem with multi-venue festivals. When you put all the really popular names into one arena then it will generally result in problems. The length of time endured by a large number of paying punters waiting to even enter the festival seems like a bit of a travesty. Some people resigned themselves to sticking to the Bakery or Capitol, or both, it just seemed a shame that things took so long to get moving.

Ed Banger heavyweight and electro guru Oizo kicked off his set with a bit of Cold As Ice by Foreigner before launching into his signature, French durr durr electro. Chainsaw bass lines and chunky 4/4 beats were on the menu and it didn’t take long for Oizo to kick the BPMs up a bit. The bearded Oizo represented a bit of la FraníƒÆ’킧ois and let rip with some Daft Punk -as all French DJs seem to do these days (why wouldn’t they, the crowd laps it up every single time). Some Klaxon-like sirens set off an alarm, and a quick check of the timetable revealed that multi DMC winning turntable wizard Mix Master Mike had just started over at Capitol.

After missing the bus over by a couple of minutes, it was on the hop and over the bridge to Capitol to check out the man probably most well known as the Beastie Boys DJ. Unfortunately due to Perth’s antiquated alcohol licensing laws, all alcoholic drinks had been cut off and punters were left with Red Bull or some high quality H2O (Tap water). Who should MMM be spinning on entrance but the Beasties, before scratching up a storm into Eminem’s 2001 smash Without Me. Never giving a track more than about a minute and a half, The Master had his Serato decks working overtime, throwing down intricate scratches with every track. Hip hop did feature heavily in the set with tracks like DJ Kool’s opus Let Me Clear My Throat going down a treat. It was obvious Mike knew what the crowd wanted. From Danzel’s eurotrash classic Put Your Hands Up In The Air, to Song 2 by Blur and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, it seemed the man could mix anything while performing complex scratches and do a bit of MCing at the same time. Finishing off with Bananarama’s familiar chant of –  “Na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye’ from Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, Mike left the room pumped for one of Perth’s finest DJs Micah.

Micah has worked his butt off on the West Coast for a decade and has been recognised with the past five Breaks Awards at the Perth Dance Music Awards. He has also started letting some 4/4 creep into his sets which is great and he let rip with the storming Fake Blood edit of the Black Ghost’s Any Way You Choose To Give It. Settling back down to some squelchy Finger Lickin’ breaks, Micah had the room moving in no time, with his party-starting moves behind the decks.

Last and maybe not least it was back to Metros to see the reincarnated U-U-U-*Utah Saints.* With their recent resurgence in popularity due largely to Aussie boys Van She rubbing up their 1992 anthem Something Good, the UK duo are back on the road. This time it was without their famous live setup and sampler guitar that served them so well back in the day. Instead, there was the increasingly popular MacBook with sampler and decks. Throwing down a range of house tunes including local fave Down Down Down by The Presets, the lads didn’t seem to quite have the crowd as much as some of the other artists and might have been more suited to an earlier timeslot.

All in all a terrific night with a great range of dance acts and DJs putting on fantastic sets for all to enjoy, unless you were outside in a line without a media pass. Apart from the accessibility problems which are unavoidable at multi-venue events and the unfortunate alcohol restrictions, crowds everywhere were loving everything and everyone and there’s no doubt We Love Sounds will be back next year.

If you saw a photographer at the festival, you’ll probably find yourself in Stuo’s Gallery