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

The Rosemount Hotel, Perth, Western Australia
26th December 2010


Whilst a touch cooler than Perth’s 40 degree Christmas, Boxing Day’s SCORCHERFEST was still aptly named as the mercury soared, and almost 40 bands took to the Rosemount’s three stages to help continue the seasonal festivities.


We entered halfway through COLD FATE’s set in the main room, and even though their old school black thrash assault (think Slayer meeting Venom for a few pints and some biffo) was as accomplished as it was ferocious, they were let down by an average mix and some squalling feedback.


We jump back to the Bar Four5Nine stage for something altogether more esoteric in BURNhabit. Let’s call this duo heavy acoustic folk… though that doesn’t sound right either. One woman with an awesome voice (Imagine the love child of Grace Slick and Juliette Regan from All About Eve), an acoustic guitar and a knack for other-worldly melodies, and one hard hitting drum basher. Powerful and beautiful, BURNhabit were a pleasant unexpected surprise.


CHET pitched in with some more acoustic rootsy folk on the main stage, at times accompanied by bongos and a violin, only to veer off-piste with a celtic folk tune which could’ve come from the Braveheart soundtrack.



VELVET ECHO get their folk on in the beer garden, the sunlight no doubt pleasing this hippyish acoustic duo.



Back in Bar Four5Nine we’re treated to some poppy Blink 182 new-punk from the otherwise dangerous looking VARIAL, which rocked along bouncily without showing any great strokes of genius.


Over in the main room JUWANA cooked up a musclebound brew of hard edged classic rock riffs with echoes of Thin Lizzy and some nice guitar work. They look like a band to watch if you love that classic eighties rock vibe brought up to date. A mixture of killer tunes, and musicianship as tight as any band here today means that The Rockpit will be keeping a close eye on these guys. Coming across as an Aussie answer to The H.E.A.T: closer “Talk Talk Talk” was one of our favourite songs of the day.




A catch-up with organiser Andrew quickly dispels internet rumours that this is a “pay to play” scenario when he clarifies that the bands are expected to sell a certain number of tickets, which actually make them more money than their initial outlay. Standard practice on the Sunset Strip in the late eighties glory days, we think that if it’s good enough for Guns n’ Roses, Poison and Motley Crue, its good enough for our local boys. And as Andrew commented: “If they can’t sell a few tickets to get some people along, then they shouldn’t be getting a gig anywhere anyway!”




UK enchantress LIZZYSPIT put in a touching ‘singer songwriter’ performance which fell on largely deaf ears in the beer garden, whilst Perth’s own Slipknot – bemasked madmen MATTY TRASH & THE HORRIBLES – laid waste to the main room. Sounding like the Murderdolls that John West reject, Trash & Co attracted a decent sized crowd of headbangers and horrorpunks, freaks and geeks, all too scared to look away lest the band rape their brain while they weren’t looking. With songs like “Jesus Was the First Zombie” if nothing else they grab your attention – just don’t go into the cellar alone when they’re around!


Matty Trash & the Horribles (photo by Shane Pinnegar)


Back in the cramped confines of Bar Four5Nine MUDGUTS kicked out the jams with their highly individual sound. A sprinkling of AC/DC, a pinch of Sabbath, a whole lotta attitude, a half a cup of Rose Tattoo and more all go into the Mudguts mix, and they make a mighty noise that will definitely be worth exploring further. Mark thought that Accept plays Shout at the Devil era Motley Crue might capture the essence of it all!




APPLEBITE – THE BEGGARS ON ACID followed The Guts with a fine set of post grunge hard rock. Whilst simultaneously in the main room WHO IS JOHN SMITH delivered a set of funky modern rock that is only a bit of a polish away from being something special.


Applebite the Beggars on Acid (Photos by Shane Pinnegar)


Out in the garden again WAITING4ANDY pulled together a nice set of blues-infused tunes to actually get the crowd moving again. It was nice to see another band we hadn’t heard before pull out all the stops, even though they were a member down. Definitely a band we’ll be keen to catch again in the New Year. There’s a bit of the blues in there, a bit of Aussie pub rock and even a bit of Neil Young. Well worth checking out.



Will Young & Greg Fawcett, Diamond Eye

Greg Fawcett, Diamond Eye photo by Shane Pinnegar



Headliners DIAMOND EYE brought the metal to the main stage with their usual aplomb and entertainment value. Imagine seeing eighties Kiss with all the moves on a small stage. When you go to see Diamond Eye you always get more than just a show, you get a performance. Honestly if these guys keep getting tighter they may implode, which would be a stage effect we’d definitely pay to see!

Scorcherfest is a bold undertaking and despite several bands pulling out last minute, seemed to be a great success today. With such a startling variety of music on show there was plenty for every taste, and we were as happy to see some unplanned gems as much as we were to catch some old favourites.


Thanks to Andrew at Scorcherfest HQ for inviting The Rockpit along to review the gig.


Shane Pinnegar
Additional words and all pictures by Mark Rockpit except as noted