Norma Jeans answers the call for live music in Mandurah with new BRAT event launch

Norma Jeans marketing manager Dixie-Rei Emmerson and venue manager Ethan Male are excited to announce the launch of new live music event BRAT. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.
Norma Jeans marketing manager Dixie-Rei Emmerson and venue manager Ethan Male are excited to announce the launch of new live music event BRAT. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Head bangers from Triple J favourites laced with epic tunes from up-and-coming artists and all the rocking guitar, drum and bass you could dream of.

That is what will be awaiting music lovers at Norma Jeans Retro Bar later this month when the nightclub's edgy new live music show comes to town.

The new event Band, Recording, Artist, Touring, better known as BRAT, will launch on June 27 to kick start a fresh era of live music events in Mandurah.

On the last Thursday of every month, locals and tourists alike will have the opportunity to enjoy fresh lineups, hot national touring acts, killer vibes and the best names in original West Australian music.

The announcement comes after the Mandurah Mail reported on the lack of live music in the city centre.

A number of factors left the Peel region's live music industry gasping for breath, including the closing down of Rollercoaster club and noise complaints from increased residential development.

Norma Jeans venue manager Ethan Male said they were happy to be a part of bringing the scene back to life.

"We were prompted to do something after all the talk in the Mandurah Mail about live music," he said.

"There hasn't really been anywhere since the close of Rollercoaster club so it's an opportunity for us to hop in and do something because our venue is probably the best venue in Mandurah for it - we have the capacity and $1 million worth of soundproofing.

"There is a whole community down here that has really been starved of it so we want to do our bit to open the doors and allow people to get connections in the industry and perform their stuff.

"It is a win-win because we get to create this new culture and re-introduce live music back into Mandurah."

Read more on the issue:

Mr Male said the idea of dedicating at least one night a month to live music at the nightclub and dishing out some of the best original music Mandurah has seen was one that had been in the pipeline for a while.

"We have been wanting to do something for a little while but it's about trying to get it right - live music is difficult to work out," he said.

"We've spent a lot of money and time putting together a live music system because it is an entirely different system - there's speakers, leads, amplifiers, mixing desks, lights, lighting operators, mixing operators, all sorts of stuff.

"It has taken us a while to get it right because it is really passion-driven but quite costly so we have been working on it every week back and forth for two months now.

"The venue will transform into a live music venue by building out the stage to make it bigger and it's going to be a really intimate and engaging set up."

BRAT will launch with Perth punk rockers Sly Withers as the headlining act, best known for their hits 'Google Maps', 'Closer' and 'Pleb'.

They will be joined by indie surf band Mal de Mer hot off the back of their new single, Grace Armstrong straight from the Groovin the Moo stage, Mandurah rock trio Mirrors At The Arcade and King Mantis with their freshly launched EP.

Mr Male said BRAT nights would focus on showcasing local talent but had the capacity and intention to accommodate national and international touring acts on special occasions.

"It's an umbrella for entertainment so we can attract bigger artists to Mandurah in the live music scene - the more entertainment we can bring down here, the better," he said.

"If there are national acts touring into WA, we'll have them as a headliner but the openers will be WA or even local bands so it's really for anyone doing great things in WA.

"The reality is we are now set up to host live music which allows Mandurah to be a spot on the map for anyone touring which is great.

"There are always great acts that are super keen to come down here - most of the bands we have been talking to are really excited to perform in this space because it's been a bit of a black hole for a little while."

Mr Male said the event had a number of knock-on advantages for both local musicians and the Mandurah economy, particularly businesses in the heart of the city.

"On a Thursday night, there is no one anywhere. It's a ghost town. But potentially if we have a big act playing on the night, people will come out and go to the pubs first or get a meal somewhere first and they'll go to the kebab shop afterwards," he said.

"People are already out on a Friday or Saturday night but to have headlining acts come through on a Thursday night is creating a bit of a buzz around Mandurah in general so it will hopefully improve the night time economy for everybody.

"Also our booker is from West Australian Music (WAM) so Norma Jeans and Mandurah will become a destination for WAM and whenever they are placing acts around WA for WAMFest, this will be one of them.

"Any local bands that play at our events or get in contact with us, it's a chance for them to get in front of people from WAM who will be facilitating the night and really network and go somewhere - it's a platform for them."

Norma Jeans will host the inaugural BRAT event on Thursday, June 27. The nightclub will open from 8pm until late with tickets available online in advance or at the door for $10.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Facebook event or BRAT social on Facebook.