FOR 40 years Perth community radio station RTRFM has helped local artists and songwriters get their music out into the world.
Some musos have hit it big after being played on the station, and they’re getting a bunch of them back together for a 40th anniversary shindig.
Caitlin Nienaber has presented the breakfast show at RTR for the last three years and been involved on and off there since 2009.
“I think most musicians who are making original music in Perth have had an association with us over the past four decades,” she says.
“It’s great to see people like Methyl Ethel and Tame Impala have crazy worldwide global success, and know that they started here, they got their first radio play here.
“I knew Abby May [who’ll be playing at the 40th] and her music before I started listening to the station.
“It’s been one of the coolest things to see her evolution as an artist over the past 10 years, the albums she’s released and the journey she’s been on, and it’s watching artists grow and find themselves that is really special.”
Ms Nienaber says “it’s still a real thrill seeing a band post on social media: ‘I heard my song for the first time ever on the radio today’, or when I hear that anecdotally from people.
“You see that effect of what RTRFM can really do for young creative people, to really legitimise that process of sitting in your room and having ideas and feelings and putting it into something creative.”
RTR general manager Stu McLeod—whose band Eskimo Joe got their first airplay on the station—says The Big 40 is not just about looking back.
“It’s a way for us to showcase the last 40 years and the next 40 years at the same time, with the finest artists from our past and present, performing alongside each other and creating unique performances together that you simply will never find anywhere else,” he says.
A WA supergroup called the Slightly Oddway Orchestra, has been put together for the show, and members of Childsaint, Rag N’ Bone, The Love Junkies, Grievous Bodily Calm, PUCK, The Chlorines, Kitchen People, Jacob Diamond, Bells Rapids, Carla Geneve and Dream Rimmy, will perform cover versions of WA songs written in 2017. The night will end with A Musical History, a voyage through the station’s past by Adam Trainer, Davey Craddock, Steven Aaron Hughes and Timothy Nelson, with the team presenting audio, video and photos from the station’s archives.
The Big 40 is on this Sunday, November 19, 3pm to 10pm, at Perth Concern Hall, tickets through the Perth Concert Hall website or Ticketmaster.
by DAVID BELL