Fremantle Prison opened its doors this weekend for a show that reminded us of the power of live music.

After what was a tumultuous 2020 for the arts, it’s great to see live acts slowly make their way back into normality with Birds of Tokyo supported by Dunsborough local Brayden Sibbald and local 4-piece indie-pop girl band Dulcie.

Fremantle Prison played host to an amazing display of local talent to two sold out audiences across Friday and Saturday night.

The outdoor space was set out to allow concert goers to sit on the grass and enjoy the music, stand at the bar tables available or stand in front of the stage and take in the acts up close and personally.

With a large bar area, food trucks and lights cascading around the venue – Fremantle Prison was able to create a distinctly festival feel whilst adhering to the world’s current restrictions. 21 year old Dunsborough local Brayden Sibbald opened the show with his distinct layering of electronic soundscapes with authentic folk-driven songwriting.

He was followed by the indie-pop sounds of Dulcie. The all-female group had an electric energy that had the crowd up and dancing along to their music. The harmonies between the three vocalists Ashleigh Carr-White, Saskia Brittain and Timieka Denton were highlighted in the band’s breakout track ‘Fall.

Backed by the steady beat of drummer Madison Hanley, the band creates a soulful pop sound with an emotion that was made to be experienced live.

After a short interlude, Birds of Tokyo took to the stage with a vigour that was instantly matched by the Fremantle crowd. The Western Australian formed band have grown from strength to strength in their reputable career.

Image: Don Benson Photography

Formed in 2004, they have remained one of Australia’s most popular rock bands with their music quickly becoming anthems of the decade and gaining them positions in every major festival in the country, in addition to headlining spots at the AFL Grand Final and NRL State of Origin.

It wasn’t until the concert began that I became aware of how many Birds of Tokyo songs I actually knew quite well. The Band is a WA staple with their music on local radio, televison, festivals and I even heard them in my local shopping centre the very next day!

Lead singer Ian Kenny, along with band members Adam Spark, Adam Weston, Ian Kenny, Glenn Sarangapany and Ian Berney, lead the crowd through their extensive repertoire of songs including ‘Plans’, ‘I’d Go With You Anywhere’, ‘Two Of Us’, ‘Good Lord’, their new song ‘Weekend’ and of course, ‘Lanterns’.

The quick transition between each song meant there was never a dull moment, with the band performing hit after hit for the crowd who were hooked onto every note.

Watching groups of people dancing together and singing along confidently to each and every song made the band’s steady place in Western Australian music abundantly clear. The show closed with a rousing rendition of ‘This Fire,’ which despite being released in the early 2010’s, perfectly encapsulated the times we’re currently living in and highlighted the longevity of Birds of Tokyo’s music.

Image: Don Benson Photography

The audience camaraderie was something I have never experienced at a concert before. From the woman next to me encouraging people to join her in dance, to the man who offered to film the performance of ‘Wayside’ when he noticed I was just a few heads too short to get a good angle.

To come together and share a common love of the arts is something I’m sure none of us will ever take for granted again.

Birds of Tokyo, along with their support acts, highlighted the beauty of WA music and the importance of supporting the arts in this time. If you ever have the opportunity to catch them live make sure you do – you’ll be in for a great night.

To find out about more events taking place at Fremantle prison this Summer, click here.

Feature Image: Don Benson Photography