Byron can get so bright that everything becomes bleached and washed-out. Here, time is a slow pulse. You can wander aimlessly through town, feeling cradled by the bay and sheltered by the verdurous hinterland. People from all over the world venture here on a seldom holiday to ‘Slow Down and Chill Out’. They come to stretch for a moment; to bend their bodies beneath the salt-trees shaped by generations of seasonal winds. At night, the town hums with life and the lighthouse dances in full rotating circles. But in the shadows of all this light, there is a movement of young creatives scratching themselves awake again, refusing to be lulled to sleep by content and a warm ocean breeze. They take the town and wash it into obscurity.
WASH was born out on a farm in the Byron Bay hinterland. Fronted by Creed McTaggart, the trio includes shaper/surfers Ellis Ericson and Beau Foster. Their life on the farm appears almost Post-Morning-of-the-Earth as they continue to harvest their own food and shape their own surfboards. This DIY ethic has coalesced with their music project for their recordings carry a heavy weight of jaded and lo-fi compositions. It pretty much sounds like waking up on a dirty kitchen floor, grinning wildly. To call it garage would be an understatement, it’s more like a rusty Australian shed that’s had its structure shaken to the bone. Their first EP ‘Point of View’ was actually recorded in a shed and their second EP ‘Don’t Touch Me’ has just been released. I was stoked to get the chance to see WASH play live at the Foundry, Brisbane.
WASH co-headlined the gig with Dumb Punts while up-and-comers Voiid and Draggs opened the night as support. I was outside on the balcony when WASH erupted into their set. The sound leaked through the walls and the room began to fill. Their songs were fast and the energy palpable. After a while, we moved like a dark body of water; churning and lapping up against itself. It was great to see people laughing and thrashing, pulling each other from the ground. On stage, Creed emanated a wicked irreverence and yet beneath it all, a quieter presence brooded. His features bent and warped as he sung. The sound seemed to both obscure Creed and help him breach into clarity. And there was clarity, amongst all of the static. Just like that, the band belted through their short but growing repertoire and left the stage reverberating with sound. We walked out onto the street with smiles and new bruises. The sky above was brimming with darkness.
You can find WASH’s music on ITunes and Spotify.