Music: Hidden Treasures Winter Music Series

6 April 2017

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6-27 July @ various locations in Fremantle.

A curious selection of established and emerging bands have been drawing people out of their homes on Thursday nights this month. The Hidden Treasures Winter Music Series unites quality local bands with unusual venues around Fremantle’s west end each winter, and this year the atmosphere has been better than ever.

A $20 ticket grants access to six venues and you’re welcome to come and go as you please, choosing your own musical adventure. Set times are staggered and food is available at some of the venues, encouraging music lovers to make a night of it.

Hidden Treasures’ organiser Davey Craddock explains that when the event first started, the aim was to connect gig goers with the beautiful old workers clubs that are dotted throughout the Fremantle’s west end. “They’re so full of character and it’s a great way to support those institutions financially as well as drawing their members into the contemporary music community,” he says. Whilst some of the initial venues have since closed, they have been replaced with unusual spaces that, Davey is adamant, “retain the original ethos of the festival and foster a sense of community between a broad age range.”

Filled with old salts and mid-century charm, the Buffalo and Navy Club is now overrun with a thousand fresh faces each winter. The regulars are pleased to share their local with eager punters: the response has been remarkable and each year attendance grows. This year the iconic corner pub the National Hotel is involved, as well as student favourite Bar Orient. Cutting edge exhibition hall PS Art Space also welcomes in the punters. A mobile venue has also been introduced for the first time in 2017. The Fremantle Tram departs the Buffalo Club at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm each Thursday night for an intimate set from a stellar solo artist. With Lucy Peach and Carus already treating guests to stripped back sets, Steve Parkin and Timothy Nelson are still to come on 20th and 27th July respectively.

In a major coup for this year’s Hidden Treasures, a handful of loved and lost Pert acts have re-formed to give punters a walk down memory lane. Regulars of the Scarborough Beach Hotel in the 1970s, Wayne Green & the Phantoms, smashed out their old school rock ‘n’ roll in week one, followed by Freo stalwart Lucky Oceans with friends in week two.

This Thursday 20 July The Neptunes will hit up the Navy Club with their energetic surf rock stylings. In the late 1980s to early 1990s, The Neptunes’ sense of fun and their catchy sound resulted in a record deal, a series of vinyl releases and a number of national tours despite only intending to form for a single show. Getting together for Hidden Treasures this week, The Neptunes will introduce a new generation to their low fi sound at 10:15pm at the Navy Club.

Automasters are another act re-forming for the music series. The quintet haven’t played together since 2008 but many remember the infectious sense of fun that the band radiated at every gig they played. Don’t miss their set at 10pm at the Navy Club on 27 July.

Other highlights on the bill include edgy folk songstresses Childsaint, unapologetic punk rockers The Skakeys, and psychedelia favourites FOAM on Thursday 20th July, plus genre bending melody maker Grace Sanders, Grace Barbé’s Crucial Rockers and alt-country act Tom Fisher & the Layabouts all taking over town on 27th July.

Davey Craddock suggests that Hidden Treasures’ “homely and understated staging makes it feel like an enormous house party.” Get down to the port city before the month is out and you might just discover your new favourite band.

Pictured: Luke Dux at the Buffalo Club.

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