Mountain Hope; Botticelli’s Angel, Planet, November 3, 1995

The ‘Botts’ have long held up Perth’s end of the more energetic live music available, their stand-alone and credible local reference to the funk metal genre has been with us for near on five years now.

It is funny to talk of a band with such longevity in terms of tightness, but on Friday night I finally saw Botticelli’s Angel pull it all together – the creative timing, the sudden pauses within songs, Barry’s ligament damage – into a coherent mosh in extremis.

The Botts motored through a range of largely new, faster songs replete with Brad Gill’s ‘Barry White’ backing vocals and Declan Barry’s maniacal pacing, as usual, stealing the attention. Big bass speakers became the gymnastic floorboards of Barry’s arena, his screaming runs through the crowd threatening to squash any indie kids busting to catch their last glimpse of Mountain Hope.

But the threat to life and limb was worth it, comrades. Mountain Hope put forth one of the best sets I have ever seen from a band in Perth … sorry, a band? A lot of people would agree t’was a religious experience with an undeniable mysticism abounding.

Commencing with Riverside and continuing do delve into their fantistic debut album (from 1993) A Toast to Absent Family, every individual element of Mountain Hope’s last hoorah was both spellbinding and infinitely saddening. Lead vocalist and spunky glove-wearer Ryan Grady’s comments before most songs of “this will be the last time you hear this live” cut home to everyone in the club.

Through stages of disrobing, Grady, forever the frontman, was astounding but never drew attention away from the meticulous, enveloping sound of the rest of the band, though guitarist Geoff Sweeting’s hiding in the shadows was a tad mysterious, maybe a touch sadder because of the occasion.

By the time My Madchen was played, the title track of the “hope to be released” second album, followed by a Misfits cover and finishing with Souls, eyes were wiped while the dancing slowed throughout the crowd.

Mountain Hope are a true loss to music, though this gig cemented their spot in people’s musical minds forever.

Adam Connors