Fat Shan Records born from a love of music and changing Perth’s “boring city” perception

Fat Shan Records. Pictures: John Aliaga
Fat Shan Records. Pictures: John Aliaga
Fat Shan Records. Pictures: John Aliaga
Fat Shan Records. Pictures: John Aliaga
Fat Shan Records. Pictures: John Aliaga Fat Shan Records. Pictures: John Aliaga Fat Shan Records. Pictures: John Aliaga Fat Shan Records. Pictures: John Aliaga

SIX young local residents have come together with a shared love of music and Perth – and a view to change the “boring city” perception.   

Wil Perry (23) and Renee Dodds (24), of Joondalup, Chris Healing (23), of Carramar, Kacie Sanders (26), of Edgewater, Sam Perry (22), of Mullaloo, and Liberty Hills (20), of Ocean Reef, are the owners of the Fat Shan enterprise that includes a record and clothing store, recording studio, design label and an events company.   

Co-owner Wil Perry said Fat Shan Records looked to support the Perth music industry in as many ways as possible.   

“We sell secondhand and new release (vinyl) records and we also sell CDs but the only ones we really endeavour to get in are local ones which we sell and promote for free, meaning we take no commission,” Wil said.  

“When we took over, the store had a kitchen out the back but nobody had bothered to use it as more than a storeroom.

“We pretty much demolished the entire thing and knocked a hole in the wall and made an extremely intimate and cool underground recording studio complete with a vocal booth.   

“The cost of recording is a huge deterrent for bands to make their music tangible, and we just wanted to offer the most affordable alternative, so the rates are very cheap.

With a few of us having been in bands previously we knew how few opportunities and support there was for upcoming Perth musicians and so we’ve really tackled that issue head-on, and we do sell and promote any musicians from Perth without taking a penny – that’s a firm rule that will never be broken.”   

Another aim of the Fat Shan crew is to change the perception of Perth being a dull city by creating in-store gigs and holding events combining local music, art and fashion around Perth.   

“Our main event in-store is the Friday I’m In Love series where we showcase three local artists on the last Friday of every month,” Wil said.

“It’s a live music night where everyone comes in, sits on the floor with a few drinks and actually quietly listens – no jostling for space or trying to hear over everyone talking; it’s actually a little daunting for the artists but they really appreciate the atmosphere.   

“Everyone drones on about the eastern states being culturally superior but we really do have everything we need; we’re just endeavouring to show it to them.   

“We all ‘volunteer’ in-store at the moment as it’s only seven months old and we want to get it off the ground before we take a cent.   

“This can make it seem like a thankless task but there’s always a stranger with a kind word to say about what we’re doing and there are also obvious perks of just meeting exceptionally cool and like-minded people every day.”

  • Fat Shan Records – The Basement, 37 Barrack Street, Perth