Big acts that rocked Geraldton in 2021

Edward ScownMidwest Times
Birds of Tokyo's Glenn Sarangapany and Ian Kenny backstage with opening act Ian Weggler and Carly Markham.
Camera IconBirds of Tokyo's Glenn Sarangapany and Ian Kenny backstage with opening act Ian Weggler and Carly Markham. Credit: Facebook / Ian Weggler Music/Ian Weggler Music

With international, and at times interstate tours put on hold, we had some massive acts in town this year. Equally, we had some massive acts pull out at the last minute, such is the nature of the beast that is 2021.

So let’s take a look back at what was, on balance, a great year for live music in Geraldton.

The year began fairly quietly. With Perth under strong restrictions, the bigger acts simply weren’t allowed to come our way. We thought it would all change with the Summersalt festival in March.

A big lineup was in store. John Butler, The Cat Empire, and The Teskey Brothers were all set to headline a massive gig at the QEII centre, but mysterious circumstances canned the show.

Not to be discouraged, a few months later John Butler came back on a tour of his own. It was an evening of songs and stories from the road at Queens Park Theatre, with equal parts roof raising guitar, and intimate moments where you could hear a pin drop.

As if to foreshadow their own demise, The Rubens were set to tour here in May with their album 0202 — titled for the backwards year that was 2020 — until the inevitable happened, and the New South Welshmen were locked behind our strict border rules.

Redemption came in the form of Birds of Tokyo. Possibly one of the biggest Australian acts over the last decade sold out Queens Park Theatre with ease, and brought something for everyone at the all-ages show. Kids were screaming for their favourites, dads were headbanging to the back catalogue. Brilliant.

October was shaping up to be a big one. Our own Battle of the Bands was to be overshadowed by Drapht and The Chats, but once again it was not to be.

The Chats simply didn’t want to delay their tour by having to spend two weeks in quarantine, while Drapht’s postponement was a little more complicated.

With just days to go, Drapht himself announced they couldn’t find security for the gig. It wasn’t the first we’d heard of labour shortages but it still stung. Not that we was gone forever. Just a month later, Drapht was back with all his tour mates in tow, and Geraldton’s rap fans got their taste of Jimmy Recard.

The month was saved by the flamboyant Southern River Band, who packed the Wintersun the night before The Chats were supposed to play. Their snare drum bursting antics more than made up for the loss of The Chats.

All these big names almost overshadowed the achievements of our own music legends. The WA Music awards were a huge night for Geraldton, with punk rockers RATSALAD and native language outfit Warralgurniya taking gongs against strong competition. Then to top it all off, Spacey Jane took out a well-deserved ARIA Song of the Year.

With WA set to open up in February, who knows what live music next year could bring?

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