Aarght Records celebrates Ten Years at The Tote
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Aarght Records celebrates Ten Years at The Tote




So let me tell you a story. When I decided I wanted to document the Melbourne Music Scene almost a decade ago not with a pen and paper but with a $250 cheap and nasty little camera, I wanted to cover the emerging scene of new music that wasn't getting any commercial airplay. I was excited seeing these new bands like Eddy Current Suppression Ring, SixFtHick or Bitter Sweet Kicks that got my heart pumping.

So I was really quite chuffed when the then Managing editor Darren Levin gave me my first paying jobs photographing gigs for Mess+Noise. It was the only music website covering the DIY and the underground punk scene. I would be covering music showcases for obscure underground record labels like Chapter Music, R.I.P. Society or Stained Circles. I have always been a music nerd with an unquenchable desire of discovering new bands. What a delight it was to see Royal Headache, Dick Diver, The Twerps or The Naked Cats the first time on a Flip Out Festival lineups or photographing those early Sugar Mountain music festivals at The Forum Theatre and watching the energetic sets from Boomgates or Straight Arrows or travelling to Tallarook, for the Boogie music festival and seeing the first interstate show by The Gooch Palms from Newcastle. It was exciting times! Some of those bands imploded, others just faded away and other like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Courtney Barnett, Pond and Tame Impala exploded onto the world music scene.

So here I am in 2017 and I would have classed this Aarght Records Birthday show at The Tote, a Mess+Noise kind of gig. Well if that indie music website still existed. It is still online but when Sound Alliance got taken over by Junkee Media in 2009, the website got hit with a stun gun and just froze in space. It's a pity that no music website has picked up where Mess+Noise left the scene. I will continue to march on, wanting to document important shows that nobody want to review or photograph because I know what I like and I know there are punters out there in this Melbourne music loving community who love it too.

I was excited because it has been at least two or three years since I have seen The UV Race play live. Warragul Warrior of Punk Rock, lead singer Marcus Rechsteiner once told me I was the only music photographer he actually knew by name. I took that as a nice complement. It was great to see them on stage ripping through some of my favourite songs like "Inner North" off their first album, Homo.

The UV Race - Inner North (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


They are such a great band on record and always entertaining on stage. I saw Drug Sweat last year at River Rocks in Geelong and they blew me away, so I was very keen to see them again. They three unexpected guests on stage, so it entered some kind of strange performance art territory. Lucky the keyboard was not plugged in though, as it had a enough beer spilt on it.

Aarght Records celebrates Ten Years at The Tote
Drug Sweat

There are a few Aarght Records artists not playing today including the very popular Ausmuteants, Terry, Hierophants and Exhaustion that I have all photographed before. Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Super Wild Horses are both long gone but I miss them and still crank up their music. I was keen to see some of the other Aarght stable mates: Spotting, Ubik and Leather Towel and I have had a few close friends tell me how great Nun are.

Ooga Boogas got the ball rolling as the sun was setting, with a laid back performance at The Tote's front bar. What a supergroup with frontman Stacky aka Leon Stackpole (Of Sailors fame). On guitar, we have ace music producer, Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control fame. Rich Stanley of The Onyas, Drug Sweat, The Unfuckable, booker of The Tote and the main man who runs Aarght Records with Jake Robertson, who plays in four of the bands on the label, is looking relaxed on bass guitar. Finally behind the drumkit, there is Per Byström of Exhaustion and who also has his new solo project called Compound.

Aarght Records celebrates Ten Years at The Tote
Ooga Boogas

Midway through the Ooga Boogas set, a guy standing next to me said to his friend that "they sound just like Ween". Which made me laugh because how can any band sound like Ween? They are most chameleon sounding band in the world, as they effortlessly change their music from sounding like Thin Lizzy or Prince and then going into blues or reggae or screaming punk or full on twangy country and western number. It was great to see Ooga Boogas again, in the very cramped front bar of The Tote.

Anyway that is enough waffling from me. Here are twenty videos from the Aarght Records tenth birthday concert at The Tote. The concert was SOLD OUT and as I was lining up to get inside the main area of The Tote, there was more than a few punters asking around to score a ticket. My apologies for missing out on the front bar performance by Rabid Dogs, as there was no way I could get anywhere near them by the time they played. Enjoy the following videos of a very special day. Let us hope there is another ten years for Aarght Records.

Ooga Boogas - Ecstasy (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Ooga Boogas - Back In The Time (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Ooga Boogas - Sentimental Stranger (excerpt) (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Spotting - No Prize (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Leather Towel - 1 (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Leather Towel - 2 (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Ubik -1 (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Ubik -2 (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Drug Sweat - 1 (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


Drug Sweat - 2 (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


The UV Race - Girl In My Head (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


The UV Race - MASH (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.


The UV Race - Burn That Cat (Aarght Records Tenth Birthday) @ The Tote, Collingwood (23rd Sept 2017) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.

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