The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






Ragdoll - "All I Want" EP Launch and Homecoming. Reviewed by Paula Da Horta


Friday August 9th 2013, saw a typical winters night in Perth. Rainy, cold, dreary...It also saw local bands Legs Electric, Vida Cain, Hailmary and Ragdoll playing at the Rosemount Hotel for Ragdoll's Launch of their newest EP "All I Want". The wintery night didn't keep the punters away though, not for a minute, just going to show the pull and respect that these artists carry in this town. Starting the night off and setting the standard were all girl rock band Legs Electric. I'd heard so much about these girls in the lead up to this set and finally I got to see what all the fuss was about for myself. These girls mean business, and they play mean rock n roll. With the stunning, sultry songstress Ama Quinsee on vocals, Lady Evil rocking Lead Guitar, newest member Abby Soanes on bass and all the smash and bang that you could hear from out back came from the smallest most petite young lady, Kylie Soanes. These girls have arrived on the scene and are more than comfortable to let all and sundry know. Laura McCormack is fast becoming one of the best guitarists in Perth and her stage presence is becoming more apparent as is her confidence. Not quite getting those high kicks like Leon Todd does she's getting closer and letting the guitar guns in Perth know, She's Here! Legs Electric are a no fuss, rock and roll outfit with Ama's voice matching it with some of the best female vocalists in Perth. The delivery and carry of some of the longer notes, saw me punch the air.. "YES!!" Her stage presence and dynamic makes her the ideal front woman for this newest all girl rock band. This girl can sing, her band can play. They're stunning to look at and judging by the crowd reaction to them - They ROCK!


Vida Cain were up next. Relatively unknown to me even though they have toured nationally and had their music played on many national radio stations and tv networks! If Legs Electric set the standard of the night... that being Rock. Vida Cain stepped in and kicked it up a little more with their punchy rock groove. Rocking it out, and making a punter or two tap their feet. It was easy to see why these guys are getting recognition nationally. I'm looking forward to seeing these guys play a bit more around town.


Local rock legends Hailmary stepped up to the stage next. Kicking the rock up just a few notches more. These rock gods have been stamping their authority all over the rock scene both here and over in the eastern states. With Ben Elphick filling in on bass, Hailmary lost none of their raw intensity that they are known for. Playing a set that consisted of a couple choice older tunes, such as Bringing out the Best, and Good to Go (still my personal favourite tunes), the majority of songs came off the new album, Choice, Path, Consequence Solution. Heavier, rockier songs such as Yellow Light of Death, Two Wrongs, Monday Mundane, would make a man (or in this case woman) say "Oh HAILMARY" hold onto your hats. Kevin Curran's voice is in my top 5 in this town. Its edgy and dark and as far as I'm concerned it's right up there with some of the best heavy rock singers in the world. With Todd Fishwick bringing out the dirty riffs on lead guitar and Vas a real life version of Animal on drums, there was so much to look at and listen to. They have a fat sound, dirty riffs, dark tones while still keeping within the realms of Heavy Rock. Hailmary are one of my favourite bands to go see, there is always something different to observe and so much to like about this band.


With the first 3 bands having done their jobs for the night, the buzz was about the finale. The band we'd all come to see, and welcome home after nearly 3 months touring the USA. A welcome home celebration and launching their new EP "All I Want", it was time for RAGDOLL. This was their night, and they were going to make sure that no one was going to take that away from them. With no signs of fatigue, or jet lag, this dynamic trio hit the stage with gusto. Firing up the set with "Here Today" It was eminent from the start that we were about to experience something special. Smashing through their set with a mix of songs off the Here Today EP and of course the new EP " All I Want", its not hard to get caught up in the excitement and enthusiasm that this trio bring.


You would think that with Leon Todd on lead guitar, producing some of the most amazing guitar artwork you can imagine, would be enough. But then he starts his theatrics of high kicks and high jumps, I reckon some of our Aussie Track and Field athletes could learn a thing or two from him.


Ryan Rafferty on Bass and Lead Singer, also makes my top 5 of male singers in Perth. His voice is one that men envy and brings grown women to their knees. It is nothing for Ryan to belt out a Led Zeppelin or Creedance tune, without a punter turning to make sure they are not hearing things and mistaking Robert Plant or John Fogarty on stage. Ryan's presence, his dynamic voice and good looks makes him just about one of the best front men going around in music today.


There isn't much more that can be said about Cam Barrett on drums that hasn't been said already. To see him would be judging a book by its cover. You see this sweet, quiet, shy guy that no way would one think this is the drum monster that powers this trio through their sets.


The standard and quality of the new songs such as Tell Me, Heaven Above, Irreplaceable, and of course All I Want, proves how far this trio have some in the couple years that they've been on the scene. Ending the night with Led Zeppelin's, Immigrant Song, the maturity and power leaves me in no doubt where these guys should be performing.


Ragdoll tonight took us on a journey, that pushed the standard of local music up another level. A Sensational set that left me gasping for more. It went far too quickly and I didn't feel like I got to soak it all in. There was so much to see, so much to absorb, so much to listen to, so much to dance to! The new songs are heavier, raunchier, sexier.. Ragdoll are tighter, better, confident.. I loved it all.


Ragdoll were nothing short of fantastic. They are destined for great things and what we witnessed was pure raw rock and roll magic. It was "All I Want"ed.



Here Today Tell Me Break You Heaven Above Irreplaceable Foot to the Floor Self Censored Astray All I Want Immigrant Song



Ragdoll took it to the next level tonight, pure and simple. After an early start covering a Whitesnake classic on Perth’s biggest and best Rock Station 96fm it was great to see such a big crowd here tonight to witness the best of what Perth’s local scene has to offer. Talking to a few newcomers to the band it was great to see the mile-wide smile on their faces after a show that really showed that all the hard yards of their second US tour has paid huge dividends. Man these guys were tight tonight, tight, professional and delivering the goods at a whole new level.


Launching their third EP ‘All I Want is Everything’ Ragdoll has taken some huge steps over the last two years, they are now the complete three-piece they always threatened to be; and with Cam Barrett in the engine-room the golden voice of Ryan Rafferty and the guitar wizardry of Leon Todd have the room to shine.





The evening started off with Legs Electric, an all-girl hard rock band that on the evidence of tonight’s show will be a real force to be reckoned with. The crowd loved it and the sheer quality of the songs combined with the energetic performance was a real eye-opener. Comprising of three members of The Sure Fire Midnights they surprised many with the sheer quality of their material and won over the crowd from the off. Definitely a band we will be keeping a close eye on and in the studio at the minute working on their debut release.


Vida Cain who followed showed the real diversity of what we have in Western Australia. The band combined a fine ear for a hook with some glorious pop-rock noise and while they didn’t always hit the bullseye the newer material from their forthcoming release had a real edge to it.





Hailmary of course need little introduction, as Perth’s finest exponent of Grunge, Kevin Curran fronts a band that don’t ever seem to put a foot wrong. Tonight may well have been the best we’ve seen them yet, as they put on a hugely assured and dynamic set.




The evening of course though belonged to Ragdoll, last seen at Sunset Strip’s Roxy they seem to be hugely invigorated by the experience of tracking round the States taking in festivals and dive bars with equal vigour. Tonight I saw a band that transcended what we’ve seen before: hugely confident and so happy to be back on a hometown stage. Ragdoll offers all you love about Hard Rock but adds a modern sheen that brings a much maligned genre kicking and screaming into the modern day.


Over the last couple of years we’ve seen Leon Todd, a supremely gifted guitarist, grow before our eyes into a musician that seems destined for greatness and his writing has moved along with him in leaps and bounds. Opening with staples from their last EP in 'Here Today' and 'Tell Me' followed by a track from the new EP – ‘Break You’ Ragdoll put the foot on the pedal and never take it off. But Todd is not alone to be singled out: when you have a drummer like Cam Barrett on the stool, someone who has really started to shine in his own right since the band became a three piece, and the honey-smooth vocals of Ryan Rafferty up front you have liquid gold. 





Songs like ‘Tell Me’ and old favourites like ‘Foot to the Floor’ went head to head with tracks from the new EP: we also got to hear Rafferty at his peak on a cover of Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Sog' (I'm totally honest hear when I say I've never heard anyone sing that song like he does). To be honest if Ragdoll continue producing quality material at this rate the sky is the limit. Almost overnight it seems that Ragdoll has found their signature sound and it’s huge!


Last year’s EP launch packed out the Civic Hotel and this year the larger room of the Rosie was both full of people and full of love, and it’s a testament to the band that a local act can draw that kind of crowd to such an iconic Perth venue that has seen so many Internationals over the years.


As far as the set went, it all seemed to pass in a blur. Ragdoll has so much quality material these days that there is never a down moment, just a change of pace. New EP tracks featured prominently amongst the old favourites like ‘Foot to the Floor’ that dates from the earliest days of the band. In truth the new material is a more intense distillation of what was always a very potent brew.


As a night of entertainment this was hard to beat, four amazing bands with Ragdoll the huge cherry on the top. Ragdoll do what we all love so well and they just keep getting better. These next twelve months should see them hit the heights they so richly deserve.



Great interview with Leon from Screamer Magazine: HERE




words by Jo Rockpit and images by Mark Diggins and Rahi Varsani Photography


Check out: Rahi Varsani Photography