The Newport Record Club is quenching Perth’s thirst for performances that are dripping with richness and quality. Paying tribute to some of the world’s most classic albums and artists, local music icons are getting together from renowned bands to put on shows that are mind blowing, precise and passionate.
Last Thursday night at The Newport Hotel was no exception. Featuring Andy Lawson from The Avenues, Chris Daymond from Jebediah, Stu MacLeod from Eskimo Joe, Paul Mitchell from Evergone and Russell Loasby from The Autumn Isles; the band was put together specifically to pay tribute to The Smashing Pumpkin’s Siamese Dream and combine their mutual love and respect for the record.
Playing to a sold out crowd of nearly 500 people, the 400+ capacity band room at The Newport Hotel came alive with raw, meaty guitar riffs, epic drum beats and almost exact Billy Corgan style vocals. Starting the set off with Cherub Rock, the album Siamese Dream – which cemented The Smashing Pumpkins as one of the most important alternative rock bands – went off.
Fusing a solid mix of grunge, progressive hard rock and dreamy pop, these guys put on a performance of Siamese Dream that reminded us all just why we love The Smashing Pumpkins in the first place. Moving onto Quiet, Today and Hummer, the audience was eerily still for the first half of the set – immersed immensely into the songs but by the second half, the head bangers were out and the crowd was in fine form.
Hearing Disarm live was one of the highlights, filled with bittersweet melodies and powerfully dark dynamics that the band worked together flawlessly. The crowd lapped up Soma and those that have seen The Smashing Pumpkins live would agree it was freakin’ fantastic hearing that track actually being played. That’s one of the advantages of The Newport Record Club – hearing the full album of bands and music that changed lives, not just the commercialised favourites. Playing a full album show adds a little more magic into the performance than just a ‘mix’ of songs does. And Thursday night flowed just like an album should, with highs that got your heart racing and fists pumping, to lows that made you close your eyes and let the music transport you to another place and time.
Geek USA had impressive guitar solos that both Stu and Chris absolutely nailed and near-perfect drumming from Russell – even Jimmy Chamberlin agreed his version of the song “sounded awesome”. Silverfuck kept things brilliantly weird and Luna was powerful and solid with Andy dominating the vocals all the way through. Whilst it was a little disappointing that bass player Paul wasn’t wearing a black dress and a blonde wig, the boys pulled off Siamese Dream brilliantly. Their encore of 1979 read the audience’s minds and whipped everyone into a wild frenzy of vibrant energy and passion, too.
The Smashing Pumpkins were always an ambitious act of their era and to take their music on board – without being a ‘cover band’ that’s just butchering the songs – is pretty damn impressive. These local music icons certainly nailed it with a monster performance, something any die hard Smashing Pumpkins fan would be thoroughly impressed with.
Special thanks to The Newport Hotel and Dean Smith for the use of their fantastic photos. Make sure you follow The Newport Record club on Facebook for more information about their upcoming shows in Season 3.