Event: West Coast Lowdown Monster Beach Party
Location: Perth, Western Australia. Words & Photography: Kim Belcastro.
Most Tuesday afternoons I pack up my desk, head home and wind down with a dose of daily news via the TV screen. This particular Tuesday afternoon I checked my Facebook feed prior to departing the office.
‘Two of your friends are attending an event near you later today.’ Okay, let’s see what the event is. ‘West Coast Lowdown Monster Beach Party Pre-65 Rods & Customs Classics & Bikes. 7pm-9pm Rear car park Fremantle Surf Club, Leighton Beach Boulevard.’
Plenty of time to go home, freshen up and grab the camera then head down the coast via West Coast Drive for a look. This particular route takes one past a multitude of people walking, running and cycling along the coast with the Perth sun setting behind them as the backdrop.
Members of the West Coast Lowdown are there to greet participants as they enter the car park.
Cool vibe, radios are all playing the same station, coffee van, families and friends interacting. Yep, good decision to bypass the daily news cycle and take in some salt air, caffeine and gasoline!
Irish Jardine “Grand Poobah” at West Coast Lowdown provides the background on this event.
“The Monster Beach Party started from an idea I got from looking at old horror movie posters, and surf movie posters from the ‘60s one day. They reminded me of a car show I used to go to in San Pedro called the Luau for the Lowdown. It was a really informal beachside gathering organised by some of the guys on the HAMB, this was 2007. It got me thinking, we do have the best beaches in Australia, so why not have something like that here in Perth?
“Back in the ‘50s it was also pretty popular to head to a hangout spot with your girl or your friends and tune in to the local radio show to listen to music and get out of the house - usually to escape over bearing parents. My friends DJ Holly Doll, Razor Jack and David Redding host the show 'Rock, Rattle and Roll' on 92.1 RTRFM on Tuesday nights from 7pm until 9pm so I figured why not combine the radio show with a hot rod meetup on the beach?
“And ‘Hey Presto’ here we are.
“It’s cool to hear the tunes coming from all the radios people bring down and turn up, and the beach location makes everything really relaxed. Being mid-week it's a good chance to get out of the house, hang out with other car people and kick back to watch the sunset. We're only there for a couple hours so it’s not late for people to make it back home on a work night.
“By keeping the show pre-’65 (with some exceptions for cool rides) it keeps the focus on the nostalgia side of things, and also exposes people to what the West Coast Lowdown is about.
What custom culture is about and hopefully it rubs off on everyone.
“We had thirty two cars attend the first Monster Beach Party in December, and we had sixty two cars attend this time. The next one is scheduled for February 9th 2016.”