Music of Perth

Music of Perth

Perth is a city in Western Australia that has produced a number of notable performers in popular music. Some of the more famous performers include Rolf Harris, David Helfgott, Luke Steele and Tim Minchin. Perth is now home to many notable artists in genres including rock, classical, and electronic music.



Perth's isolation is problematic for many rising artists, as it increases costs associated with touring and promotion. For this reason, many artists leave Perth to improve their popularity, with varying degrees of success.

While most artists leave after achieving some popularity, some acclaimed performers only gained their fame after leaving, such as The Triffids and Pendulum.


The city is also home to several popular music festivals, such as the Big Day Out, also held across Australia, and Rock-It, which is unique to Perth. The Perth International Arts Festival bills itself as the largest and longest-lasting multi-arts festival in Australia.[1] Music institutions include the West Australian Opera, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and numerous choral groups.

Popular Music

Perth is also home to a major local scene, which has produced nationally and internationally renowned bands like Eskimo Joe, John Butler Trio, Gyroscope (band), Birds of Tokyo, End of Fashion, Little Birdy, Jebediah, Sleepy Jackson, Karnivool, Institut Polaire, The Panics, Ease, The Waifs, Tame Impala and several drum and bass acts, like Pendulum and Greg Packer.

Perth's hip hop scene has produced artists such as Drapht, Downsyde, MC Layla, Matty B and Lo-Key Fu. Many of these artists are members of the Perth hip hop crew named Syllabolix.[citation needed] A majority of Perth's premier Emcee's are featured on the Obese Records label. This connection has seen several Perth artists feature in the recordings of other Australian acts, such as The Hilltop Hoods.

Many of Australia's critically acclaimed hardcore bands originated from Perth, including Extortion, Miles Away, Break Even, Rupture and Heist.[citation needed]

As well as the Big Day Out and Soundwave, the West Coast Blues & Roots Festival and Southbound are major popular music festivals.


Perth is home to the West Australian Symphony Orchestra which performs a regular programme of orchestral music, usually from its base at the Perth Concert Hall; it also tours regional Western Australia. There are a large number of smaller professional, semi-professional and non-professional music groups and choral societies and choirs which perform in a variety of venues in and around Perth. Repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary.

The West Australian Youth Music Association (or WAYMA), allows the youth of Perth to experience playing in a musical ensemble. Acceptance is only granted to amateur student players under the age of 25 years and who are currently under instrumental tutelage. The association runs a symphonic band, a flute choir, several choirs and four orchestras in total (two string orchestras and two symphony orchestras).


Major music venues in Perth include the Perth Concert Hall, the Burswood Dome, Challenge Stadium, the Metropolis Concert Clubs in Fremantle and Perth, Fremantle Arts Centre and the Belvoir Amphitheatre. The Perth Entertainment Centre hosted many international acts, including KISS, Queen, Robert Plant, and Fleetwood Mac, until it was closed in 2002. Large international acts now usually play outside, in sporting venues like the WACA cricket ground, Subiaco Oval and Members Equity Stadium or the Claremont Showgrounds (home of the Big Day Out) and occasionally large outdoor areas like the Supreme Court Gardens.

Many former venues have been demolished, including wartime dancehalls such as The Tearooms and The Pagoda Ballroom. Others, such as The Raffles Hotel and The Grosvenor have closed as music venues but have been redeveloped as restaurants and public bars.

Current live music venues are predominantly located in the Fremantle and Perth/Northbridge entertainment districts. Many smaller venues host international and interstate acts, including the Fly-By-Night, Mojos and the Newport in Fremantle, The Rosemount Hotel in North Perth and The Amplifier Bar in Perth city. Other clubs and pubs in these districts and in the suburbs present hip-hop electronic music, cover bands and lesser-known local artists e.g. the Hyde Park Hotel.


Local street press publications dedicated to the music and arts scene include X-Press Magazine and Drum Media Perth.

Many newspapers and magazines include sections on the Perth music scene, including the Wire Magazine, The West Australian's latest attempt at appealing to the youth market, and university publications such as Grok Magazine, Pelican and Metior.


92.9, Triple J, 6IX 1080, Mix 94.5, 96fm, RTRFM, Nova 93.7 and Heritage FM 108.3. The 101.7 FM band is shared by Groove 101.7 FM from 4:30pm to 4:30am, and Country 101.7 FM from 4:30am to 4:30pm. 100.9FM


External links

Further reading

  • The Town Crier : newsletter. Western Australian Folk Federation. 1972 - current

See also

WikiProject Australian Music.svg Australian music portal

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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