If You Know…You Know – Secret Show
December 2, 2021
Convenients, Perth, WA
Feat. Noah Skape, Being Beta and Matthew John
I was asked to review a secret headline show where my first thought was “but why? Have you seen my reviews?” However I do need the practice so headed into Perth to check out local acts Matthew John, Being Beta and what I thought was Queen Hyena.
Matthew John was on first performing his brand of folk punk and one of the first things I noticed was his setlist – it was on a whiteboard! I’ve spent this year continuously hating on artists using NFT’s and here’s an eco-friendly setlist. Honestly impressed. The Johnny Cash t-shirt Matthew wore was quite fitting with his music style: somber story-telling lyrics and strong vocals. A couple of the songs had me thinking of sea shanty’s but maybe that’s because of the mention of mermaids and ships, and his set included a cover of his own band, The Murderbirds’ song ‘Karma Crow‘.
The atmosphere did a complete 180 as Being Beta got up on stage with their fast, upbeat songs. ‘Headphones’ and ‘Read More Books’ were played first, but I did notice it was difficult to hear Jacob’s singing over the instruments. This is a band that never fail at having an over abundance of stage energy jumping and dancing about to every single song and it was at this point Andy asks “Is it just me or are all of our songs really fast and exhausting?” Someone in the audience replied “yes”. Even their drummer David looks like he’s giving it his all and is definitely my favourite Perth drummer to watch – he’s so expressive but he actually looks like he’s enjoying himself! Far too many look like it’s a chore to be on stage. ‘UTI’ was up next and is possibly the most ridiculous song I’ve ever heard but somehow they make something unpleasant (I wouldn’t know, but I’ve heard they suck) into a really fun song to yell along too. Medical advertising should be this fun. Being Beta are pretty good at the stage banter too even if it consists of some dad jokes.
I’m sad to announce that the secret headline act was not named Queen Hyena and it was in fact Perth punk icon Noah Skape with his new band. I’m only slightly disappointed because that’s a fabulous name going to waste, perhaps it can be Noah Skape and the Queen Hyenas? I don’t think I’ve seen Skape in action since 2014 so it’s awesome to see him back on a stage again. Well kind of, the stage is fairly small so he spent a chunk of the show on the floor with the audience.
Noah entered the stage with thick black eyeliner and a crop top with MY DRUG written on it. The top only lasted during opening song ‘Junkie’ and it was off ready for the next song ‘Work of Art’. ‘Junkie’ started off mellow and builds into heavy guitars and it felt like I was witnessing the start of a rock opera. A bag sat at the front of the stage ready for wardrobe changes and as Noah tells us “There’s a running theme with this gig that we’re all over 30” he puts on a sequined jacket ready to deliver the next song. The set included some new and old songs plus a cover of ‘Bowerbird’ by his old band FAIM – not to be confused with The Faim who are also from Perth and basically ripped off their name. I can’t tell you how many of us thought Faim had got back together the day they popped up on the scene! Anyways back to the point…the best way I can describe this set is Punk Cabaret.
Noah Skape isn’t just a musician, he’s a performance artist. He’s not just telling us stories with his music, it’s also a visual performance using his full body to convey emotions. It’s hypnotizing to watch and time flies during the set. As they announced their final song ‘Miami Moon’ (which I included in my 2020 Year In Review here) I had to check my watch to see if 30 minutes had really flown by. I could have easily watched them for longer. I look forward to seeing what comes next from Noah Skape in 2022!
Gig Review & Photo Gallery by Kim Anderson. Insta: @shootthewickedwitch
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