Tuesday night in the iconic Charles Hotel in Perth and I have been given a suggestion to check out some Blues talent organized by The Perth Blues Club (a proven institution when it comes to Blues music). A reliable source has told me I need to check out The Swamp Stompers and Hussy Hicks.
Firstly, in the fairness of transparency I am not much of a “Blues” aficionado. I have seen a few sets and have my favourites but would struggle to name five Perth Blues artists especially if my proverbial life depended on it… So, I had very little expectation as to what I was going to experience. I had never been to the Perth Blues Club and have not even heard of the two fore mentioned bands before.
How my eyes were about to be opened!
I entered through the main door, straight from the Pub and I was not expecting a big crowd…. It’s a school night, not even hump day, I thought no one will be here – this will be a very easy gig to shoot, so I thought but I was greeted by hefty crowd of eager punters wanting their “Blues” fill. I was in early (about 25 mins before the curtain) and Blues fans where still flooding in, right up to the lights dimming for The Swamp Stompers to come on stage. I knew right then and there that I had underestimated the Australian Blues scene – it is fair richer than I had thought or even gave it credit for. I needed a greater understanding of this magical subject, and I knew that The Swamp Stompers and Hussy Hicks were just the right teachers for this student.
I sat upfront with my Rockpit shirt on, camera poised ready to capture the action of The Swamp Stompers. It was a mixture of tie-dye blues with a hint of rock and a bucket load of fun. All three came out swinging, constantly engaging the crowd and keeping the energy high. For me The Swamp Stompers felt like a mix of John Butler / Red Hot Chili Peppers with hints of Bernard Fanning. The music is extremely catchy and dances freely across your ears. These three lads share a chemistry that binds their performances individually so seamlessly, the change of passion and tempo so is smooth that it is almost like they are reading your mind and emotions during the performance and always giving the crowd what they want.
I enjoyed the uniqueness of the conical didgeridoo in their originals, and it felt like it added another layer to the music which I had not experienced before. The Swamp Stompers read the room so well, carefully delivering a balance of originals and covers that the crowd ate right up – it took only two songs before punters where up dancing, celebrating and enjoying the lyrical platter that had just been served. For a second in The Charles Hotel everyone had forgotten that it was a Tuesday night and they were just there for the amazing music and engagement.
You can always tell when performers actually enjoy performing and are not just running through the paces… the energy is reflective – they were having fun and so was everyone else. It felt natural and unforced… it felt like Blues music – and I loved it.
The Perth Blues Club hold events each and every Tuesday at The Charles Hotel, North Perth.
Live Music Perth | The Best Blues Club in Australia (perthbluesclub.com.au)
GALLERY by Hunter Brothers Media
THE SWAMP STOMPERS