Hidden away

large-6363PAUL KELLY’S Under the Sun sings of “leaving South Fremantle in a Falcon panel van”, but it’s apparently the only song to give Fremantle a mention, despite the many talented musicians spawned by the port city, says local muso Dave Johnson.
It’s an imbalance he and fellow songwriter Dave Hyams and the Fremantle Songwriters Club are redressing tonight, Thursday July 3 at the Fremantle Workers Club, as part of Hidden Treasures.
There’s no shortage of local talent with APRA (the Australian Performing Rights Association) recording Fremantle as its highest membership area nationally, Johnson says.
The songs won’t necessarily be about Fremantle: “They may just mention a place,” he says.
He’s penned one about the “dark side” of Rottnest titled Wadjemup: “[And] maybe I will have a Walyup [Fremantle] song.”
In its fourth year, Hidden Treasures is a winter celebration of Fremantle music, drawing on the port city’s eclectic musical history dating back to the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Shows continue to sell out as people flock to the West Ends clubs, such as the Navy, Buffalo and the Workers Clubs to immerse themselves in the music—and the atmosphere.
“[It] taps into something more than just music, I can feel what it is, but find it hard to articulate,” organiser Alex Marshall, the man whose verbosity is legend, trails off.
The first year saw such blasts from the past as The Scientists’ Rod Radalj, Bungarra’s John Reed and the Angels’ Vince Lovegrove back on a Fremantle stage.
This year will see old groups reforming, and fresh young talent just emerging.
“We are bringing back things you haven’t seen for a while, and some new things, but all the bands are connected to Fremantle,” Marshall says.
Eighties band the Popular Front Against All Things Bad will reform for 60 fleeting minutes of the group’s haunting harmonies, relentless percussion and syncopated strings.
Gutterville Splendour Six formed in 1995, releasing one critically acclaimed EP before disbanding in 2000 with members going on to found renowned bands The Drones and The Kill Devil Hills.
But they’re back together for one night at PSAS, the artist enclave on Pakenham Street, which is also hosting a number of electronic bands–and Back to Phillimores, a high octane, interactive, history of dance music in Freo.
Jean Guy Lemire is harmonica player who can be found on stage whenever big bands such as the Zydecats are in town.
But this time he’ll be front and centre of his own show, with a mix of jazz and blues.
And for three Thursdays Jam Nation invites experienced and aspiring musicians to bring their instrument of choice to play with like-minded aficionados.
There’s something for everyone every Thursday during July. Check the program on Fremantle council’s webpage, or grab the much more satisfying real thing from the library.

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