Stealing the sesh by Song List Rat


Perth In the late 70s and early 80s was relaxed in its self proclaimed state of the excitement. That was until Sunday afternoons came around.

Archaic liquor licensing laws concentrated Sunday drinking into a short morning and a slightly longer afternoon session. The Sunday session or just sesh, as it was affectionately called, was an invitation to drink as much alcohol as possible in the shortest possible time. The publicans supported this concept with $2 jugs of black duck (Swan Lager) which were sculled spilled or vomited across the floor. From this drunken  slurry emerged Perth’s original band scene. Most notable were the Shenton Park Hotel (The Shents), The Nedlands Park Hotel (Steve’s) and the Victoria Hotel (The Vic).

Congratulations then to the Rosemount Hotel for hosting a live band Sunday Sesh in their car park on 28 April. 

Bang on time the car park bar opens at 4.30pm and first act, local goddess Carla Genieve, axes her guitar through some of  her newer songs. GREGG’S DISCOUNT CHEMIST is a blinder with local content written about the same said chemist in adjacent Fitzgerald Street.

Spacey Jane take the stage next for some of their sun drenched pop. SAW TEETH awesomely orperyesque .

Out of the corner of my eye I spy RVG’s leader Romy Vager pushing through the crowd towards side stage carrying a guitar case and a large cake. She looks almost Stelazine Stomp. On stage she seems a little confused about which lead plugs into where. Do not be deceived! Romy opens the set like a jackhammer. It’s a cover of John Cale’s classic DYING ON THE VINE. And it has never sounded so good. With every word Romy catharts every lost ambition she had ever held to becoming a rock star. Two years ago she had given up on ever realising that dream but a chance show with roped-in friends changed all that.

A $100 live recording of A QUALITY OF MERCY upstairs at Collingwood’s The Tote and the rest is the stuff of a music fairy tale. The title track comes next and Romey and group deliver in spades. It’s an amazing song about the brutality of waiting for execution written from the perspective of one of the Bali Nine. Romy’s banter is sparse but mentions this is her first trip to Perth and that she was originally from Radelaide but left as a teenager as its RAD didn’t cut the mustard. She’d returned to tour the previous day and made a truce with the city but not with Adelaide’s consistently brown tap water.

RVG’s influences are many. THE EGGSHELL WORLD could be The Saints and VINCENT VAN GOGH could be The Go-Betweens. But once Romy opens her glottis and bares her teeth it’s like a tornado meets the microphone and she takes all before her. She is spectacularly backed by her cracking Romy Vager Group. Most of the songs come from RVG’s first LP (although now in its third release) but there are a few new songs including the pogoing CHRISTIAN NEUROSURGEON

Just before the final few songs Romy is covered in sweat. “Perth water tastes like shit too,” is her only comment before dousing her head with a full jug of water. Kurt Vile and the Violators followed with a performance of awesomeness but RVG stole the Sunday Sesh award. 

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