Words Sophie Dunsford
Photos Kim Anderson – Shoot The Wicked Witch
Those chord progressions! Pat Decline’s hair! Drunk guys diving off the stage! Passionate fans wholeheartedly singing along with Pat Decline and Dan Cribb’s harmonies! After a whirlwind national tour, The Decline returned home to Perth for their Can I Borrow A Feeling? EP Launch at The Rosemount Hotel.
Earlier that night perennially energetic and youthful synth-pop punkers, Being Beta, played their earworm tunes as proudly grinning friends gathered. Their loyal fan base sung along and bopped about to fun and familiar tracks as the boys performed their well-rehearsed songs interspersed with Andy Storey’s trademark on-stage antics.
Sail On! Sail On! frontman Skinny hollered lyrics at the growing crowd. Their less pop and more punk vibe attracted an older and more bearded crowd. A friend brought beers to the stage. The guys looked impressed and Skinny (whose fantastic beard was a hot discussion topic outside after the set) voiced their collective gratitude: “Thanks to Dylan who gave us the beer. Can we have a round of applause for beer please?”
Tired Lion’s sweet Betty Boop-esque vocals enchanted the audience. This band was anything but tired! They were full of spunk, energy and guitar riffs reminiscent of 90s rock bands. Their vibe had people rollicking from the moment they started to play. Each song was greeted with louder and more enthusiastic applause; clearly the audience was thoroughly enraptured. Vocalist Sophie Hopes had incredible stage presence and interacted with the audience confidently, and she was evidently stoked about sharing the night with the headliners, “Let’s give a motherfuckin’ fuck yeah for The Decline!”
Pat Decline came in during Tired Lion’s set and was greeted with high-fives from people in the crowd as he made his way to the front of the room.
Main support The Novocaines played to a slightly sparser crowd. Perhaps this highly talented and well-respected band was too loud and heavy for the ears of those who had retreated to the beer garden. Remaining giggers watched like statues; this wasn’t a dancey affair, although a small drunk group jigging by the ATM machine thought otherwise. The Novocaines played an excellent set, but seemed to know that the crowd wasn’t feeling it, “Just a couple more songs and then we’ll get out of your way.” Ouch.
At 11.27pm an eager crowd watched The Decline’s sound check like it was a performance. 11.29pm and there was a flurry of excitement as people found their friends and claimed positions. The set started with a bang and there was an instant mini-mosh in front of the stage. The varied set provided one rapturous moment after another. Noah Skape (FAIM) supplied guest vocals for Excuse Me. When they played Cool Kids Can’t Die, the mosh became seriously enthusiastic with guys climbing onto the stage and leaping off; the correct reaction to The Decline’s skate punk sounds! Some attempted to crowd surf but the rabble was too thin to carry any weight. During a rare rehydration pause, Pat Decline took the opportunity to say “It’s fuckin’ awesome how many people are here!” The revellers turned manic upon hearing Treasure Island Was a Sausage Fest, but Showertime in the Slammer was the clear favourite of the set. The crowd responded perfectly, knowing exactly when to sing, clap in time, yell out whoa-oh-ohs and when to simply go nuts!