Blog Roddus

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Friday, January 13, 2017

The Prophet Hens - The Darkroom - Christchurch January 12 2017

Been a few months since my last gig and seeing as I had picked up both of the Prophet Hens albums not that long ago and was getting to enjoy their Flying Nun/Dunedin brand of jangly indie pop more and more with each listen, I thought I should also go and check them out live while I had the opportunity. Regular readers(If such a thing exists) will now be familiar with The Darkroom in Christchurch after I saw several local bands there last year ( see previous posts). It is a tiny venue but I like it a lot and the sound is pretty good and not too loud.
   An all to familiar tale in Christchurch, a quality young band with two good records under their belt and some pretty catchy well constructed pop songs coming up from their home of Dunedin to play for us and only about 20 people come to see them play and it wasn't exactly an overly enthusiastic audience either. It is probably because of playing to audiences this small that the band announced during their show that this was probably going to be their last tour. That being said, they put on a good show and looked to be enjoying themselves as they played a good selection of their album tracks. They don't sound too much different from their records and the band gell together well as I was tapping my feet throughout the whole set. Really glad I saw them and the gig just deepened my appreciation of their music.
  They actually supplied their own support, as the opening act, Grawlixies, is actually The Bass player(Robin Cederman) and singer/keyboardist (Penelope Esplin) from The Prophet Hens. A nice folky duo with Robin on acoustic guitar and Penelope playing accordian. They played some lovely folk pop with interesting song lyrics/subjects and great vocal harmonies. Again I enjoyed their set a lot. A good night.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Don McGlashan & Shayne Carter - Aurora Center - Christchurch 20 October 2016

Two of the Godfathers of New Zealand Indie rock/pop have teamed up for some live gigs around New Zealand in October 2016 and because I admire McGlashan so much I really needed to attend this, as I missed him last time he played here.
 Don has been in several legendary New Zealand bands over the last 35+ years, including  BlamBlamBlam, The Front lawn and The Muttonbirds, as well as putting out solo stuff as of late. I think his song writing is second to none in NZ and he is a most versatile musician and a great singer.
 Shayne, likewise is very well known in post-punk indie circles, also fronting several near legendary NZ bands such as, Bored Games, Double Happys, Straightjacket Fits and Dimmer, he also releases solo music of late.
 The Aurora center is a great venue at Burnside High School with a capacity of about 700 punters, the place was almost 3/4 full and surprisingly we were feeling reasonably young, looking at all the gray hairs milling about in the foyer before the gig.
 The lads hit the stage about 8pm, just the two of them and went straight into the first song, with Don on amplified acoustic guitar and Shayne on electric guitar. I think, from memory the first track was a McGlashen song and as Don explained they would alternately be playing Don's songs and Shayne's songs. He also explained later in the show that they picked the songs from each others catalogue, i.e.Don picked all the Shayne songs and Shayne picked all the Don songs. Of course I knew a fair number of Don's songs that they played even though it was far from a "greatest hits" show, where as I was not so familiar with Shayne's songs and indeed it appears Don picked several of Shayne's more experimental songs which made for some really interesting pieces. Don played drums on a couple of songs and also some sort of Trombone thing  where he played a bit and then put what he played into a repeating loop on a couple of numbers. The whole thing was very informal and laid back with plenty of banter from Shayne and some really great music, they played for a little over 2 hours and I was just so impressed, thinking what a couple of great old hands entertaining with so much fantastic music. Overall an awesome gig. If they are playing near you go and see them.
I didn't do any videos at this gig but below is one of the songs that they played recorded live in the studio for a CD they are releasing of the music they played us this night. 


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Bill Direen & the Bilders - Darkroom - Christchurch - 8 October 2016

 Bill Direen has been around forever, it seems, an original in the Christchurch punk scene, as I have just found out, he was in an early Christchurch Punk Band called Vacuum before moving on to front The Builders among many other collaborations over the last 40 years. Bill is a bit of an underground legend in New Zealand, playing with many other semi underground figures in the local scene and some overseas artists as well, he now has a quite extensive discography, albeit, one that it is difficult to track down many of the releases.  
 I'm not familiar with all that much of Bill's output over the years but I do remember hearing some of his stuff on Student Radio back in the early 80's and I have just discovered, through checking out his discography, that I actually had a copy of The Bilders second album, "Lets Play" from 1985, which I had completely forgotten about. With my current obsession of collecting NZ music, both old and new, I had recently picked up The Builders 4th album "We Are The Coolest Cats In The World" from 1989, a fantastic record and listening to that inspired me to go see this gig when I saw it was coming up.
 I arrived at The Darkroom about 15 Minutes before the advertised start time and already there was a reasonable number of punters there and it turned out to be the biggest crowd I had seen for a gig at The Darkroom so far, not full, but close.
 I was in the toilet when someone got on the stage and started talking to the audience, and when I came out there was a lone figure on the small stage with a guitar about to start his first song. The concert was advertised as Bill Direen, Builders and Guests, I didn't know if that meant guests doing their own thing or guests playing with the band. I had never seen Bill Direen in person before so I wasn't sure who I was seeing on stage playing these short intense, very locally themed songs and I was thinking how amature this sounded as It started to dawn on me that this might actually BE Bill Direen. It took a bit of getting use to Bills singing for this portion of the show and his guitar playing was very minimal and staccato like, but he wasn't alone for long as he invited the first of his guests to join him on bass for some better sounding songs in this, what Bill called, "bracket" of the show. The gig was fairly chaotic or disorganised looking as each "bracket" started and stopped as other guests came and went for numbers throughout Bills career. The guests turned out to be various locals that Bill had played with over the last 40 years, including Steve Cogle, who played in the original Vacuum as well as other local bands like The Terminals and The Victor Dimisich Band and has a current band called Dark Matter. He also had another original acquaintance from those early punk days, the writer Grant McDonagh, who gave a reading from a manuscript he is writing, describing how he met Bill Direen back in the late 70's. His memoirs could be quite interesting for people interested in the local scene back then.
 As the evening progressed with each "bracket" I thought it got better and better until the final bracket that was the longest and included the current 3 piece line up of the Builders where they really rocked out the best, playing for me the songs i new the best including their "hit" The Alligator Song" which got a lot of air play on student radio back in the day.(see Video below)
 Bill Direen is a great song writer and social commentator, and although what I have heard of his studio recordings are far more complex than what they were able to play live in this situation, it was a great set that I enjoyed a lot.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Antipodes - Orange Studios - Christchurch - 6 October 2016

Another cool Jazz gig at the Orange Studio. Antipodes are a composite group of Australian and New Zealand Jazz Players with a couple of members being in NZ band The Jac, of whom I have on CD from Rattle Records. This Line up consisted of Bass, Guitar, Sax, Drums and Piano.
 Playing to an audience of about 30 people, the group were recording this gig for what ever reason. They played all original compositions and were a fairly young band. The first set went for about 45 minutes and although I enjoyed it I didn't think it was a good as the previous concert  we attended at Orange about a month before by Reuben Bradley trio . The second set was much better, perhaps because the material was better and also seemed more challenging to play as they lifted their game to suit. There were certainly some strong compositions being played. The Pianist was most impressive and was playing some pretty wild stuff in amongst it all but was often drowned out by the volume of the other players. The guitar suffered a similar fate when not soloing and one of his own compositions contained some most impressive ECM like playing.
 Still a most enjoyable gig and looking forward to some more jazz at Orange Studio in the future.
The video below is from a show in Auckland last year and has a slightly different lineup.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra - Bold New Worlds - Christchurch 4 October 2016

Keeping things far more cultured again, we attended this, our second only classical music concert by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Like the previous concert, I was attracted to this particular concert by the inclusion of the piece "Three Movements" by Steve Reich. I have a soft spot for Minimalist music and have several Steve Reich CD's in my collection, including one with the above piece. Other pieces preformed this night were Mason bates "Violin Concerto" and  Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No.9 "From the New World"
  The concert was preformed at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena, and although I have been to quite a number of concerts there, this was the first of this type. Normally something like this would have been held at the Christchurch Town Hall but that venue is still closed from the 2011 earthquakes. Unfortunately, I felt the Horncastle arena isn't quite the ideal venue acoustically for this type of music, it is a sports arena and has a concrete floor and very high roof and also our seats were much further away form the orchestra than I would have liked. The ticket allocation, when I was purchasing the tickets suggested all the closer seats were sold and ye there were many empty seats below us on the night, go figure? The Charles Lumley Auditorium, where we saw the recent CSO concert was far superior to this sort of music, although may be a bit small to house the NZSO on it preforming area. I thought maybe the Aurora Center at Burnside High School might have been a better venue, but I'm not sure if their staging area is big enough.
  We took our seats about 10 minutes before the show, along with about 300 other patrons. It was more of a mix of ages this time, as the last show we were almost the youngest there, and although the very grey did predominate, many other age groups were present in numbers.
  They opened the concert with the Steve Reich piece, it's inclusion in the concert was in celebration of his 80th birthday, and in live performance I found it much more interesting and enjoyable than listening on CD. It is a great piece of music and it is gratifying to see this "Modern" music getting played here.
  After a big stage reshuffle, during witch the composer, Fawzi Haimor, gave a talk on the three pieces to be played this night, they then presented Mason Bates "Violin Concerto". Batede is a much younger composer and this piece was written specifically for Anne Akiko Meyers, whom we had the privilege to see actually preform this piece herself here in Christchurch. This modern piece is a very enjoyable composition with some great melodies and some outstanding violin from Anne Akiko Meyers. It also had some cool percussive moments and the orchestra did a great job of presenting this piece. Below is a video of the same piece played in 2013 by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

 The final piece, after intermission, was Dvorak's "From the New World" Symphony. I  had no idea what this would be like, I know Dvorak's name but couldn't tell you if I knew of his music. It turns out this Symphony is very well known and I certainly recognised the Melodies presented in both the first movement and especially the fourth movement. A great piece of music that, like the Copeland piece we heard at the earlier concert we attended by the CSO, evoked images of western movies ( the first movement) and surprisingly, the Star Wars movies. I wonder if John Williams borrowed from this music when composing the Star Wars music. The violins in the third movement reminded me strongly of the music to the fight scene with the Sith and the Jedi in the Phantom Menace. The forth movement evoked vision of Luke Skywalker on Tatooine in the very first Star Wars Movie. A robust and vigorous Symphony, full of great melodies and preformed with much gusto by the NZSO, it turned out to be the highlight of the night. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Connie Benson - The Darkroom - Christchurch 30 September 2016

Who the hell is Connie Benson. I had never heard of her, was in complete ignorance of her and her music. Still am to a certain extent. First she was just another unknown name playing a gig at The Darkroom in Christchurch. Lots of small time Local bands play there and I seldom know who they are. Then I saw a video of her playing outside Death Ray Records in Wellington that The Darkroom posted on their facebook page and I was so impressed that I thought I had better go and see her play.

I showed the Mrs. the above video and asked if she wanted to come along also. She was keen.
We arrived at The Darkroom just on Nine, Connie was suppose to hit the stage around ten and there was supposed to be a guest playing first I thought. There was a pair of turntables on stage when we arrived but the doors don't usually open till 8 or 8:30pm and there were bugger all people there when we arrived, so if something happened before we arrived then no one saw it.
 We grabbed some drinks and found the most comfortable seating and chatted while waiting for the lass to come onstage.
 This girl is very young, she looks barely 20 or even younger, although playing in a licensed venue, she was probably over 18. She plays a great style of Rockabilly, and is a very very cool guitarist. I just loved her sound and playing. With just drums and guitar, the sound was pretty clear and so was easy to hear the great stuff she was playing. I am not all that familiar with this archaic style of music so I have no idea if any of the songs she played were originals, although I did recognise one song she covered but couldn't tell you the name. I thought, from the videos I watched before the gig, that it would be all instrumental songs but the lass does sing, although I wasn't all that taken with her style or her voice. I don't know if she was trying to sing in a weird American country accent of if that was just how her young voice really sounds. The vocals weren't mixed very well so got a bit overpowered buy her guitar playing.
They only played for just a tad over 40 minutes which I thought was a bit short seeing as they were the only band on for the night and the punters were keen hear more but maybe they didn't have any more songs to play. Don't know! They were quick to start dismantling their gear so we headed home. Definitely worth going to see, she plays so well, really gets into it. Great gig.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra - Appalachian to Zappa - St Margaret's Collage, Christchurch 10 September 2016

Classical music is a branch of music I have struggled with over the years. I have made many attempts to learn  to enjoy it more than I do and I think it deserves more of my intention than it gets but I do struggle to stay interested in the extended pieces of romantic symphonies or the more primitive Baroque styles. Sure there are many hugely famous pieces of classical music that are so well known and are very good and I do enjoy in small doses, like Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Beethoven's 5th or Bolero by Ravel, but to be honest I really prefer late 20th century and early 21st  century composers like Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Zorn.
 I was browsing the gig guides for local events recently when somehow I came across some information in regards to the event depicted by the above promo graphic. What really caught my attention was the fact that the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra was going to present Frank Zappa's G-Spot Tornado as part of their concert. This was more than enough to catch my attention in regards to an event that I would normally just pass by. After checking dates and ticket prices etc, I discussed it with the Mrs and it was decided to check it out. She enjoys Classical music in general more than I do.
  We dressed appropriately for the evening and arrived at St Margaret's collage just under 30 minutes before the scheduled starting time. It was being held in the Charles Luney Auditorium, a very impressive new building built after the earthquakes trashed most of the original school.

We settled into our seats on the far right of the Auditorium and waited as the orchestra tuned them selves up and the rest of the audience took their seats.The place was almost full and we felt quite young amongst all the rather grey haired punters sitting around us, although there were some quite young people there also.
 The Orchestra Leader soon came in and settled the orchestra down just before the guest conductor entered and took his position on his rostrum.
 The first piece they played was Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring Suit. This is a reasonably modern composition and I could tell that by the style even though I kinda knew already. It was an enjoyable piece and at one point I imagined a scene out of a western movie as the music was playing, which I think is what it was supposed to invoke. I spent a lot of the piece marvelling at how much easier it was to hear all what was going on in a live setting as opposed to recorded classical music, even though classical music is recorded so well compared to a lot of other music, especially rock. Mrs Roddus and I both enjoyed the piece a lot.
 Next up was some Mozart, piano Concerto No.20 K466 in D minor to be precise. I was not familiar with any of the melodies of this piece but enjoyed it in a live setting to a certain extent, the novelty of seeing this stuff live and the quality of the sound helped a lot but both of us agreed we didn't like it as much as the first piece.
 After intermission, the Conductor gave a short spiel, especially on the next piece, which was  the one I had been waiting for, Zappa's G-Spot Tornado. The orchestra was a lot smaller for this piece with only four or five violinists. I was a little disappointed with the piece to be honest, the violins were getting drowned out a bit by the other louder horns and percussion and I wondered how much better they would have sounded with more of them. The whole thing did sound a little flat though. It is certainly something a little different perhaps for this orchestra, but I don't know enough about their usual repertoire.
 Last piece was another Mozart piece, this time Symphony No. 41, K551 in Cminor, known as Jupiter. Another piece where I did not recognise any of the melodies and although I was enjoying the experience as a whole, this piece I struggled with a bit, although being really tired at the time didn't help. There were some interesting moments I found but I was glad when it finally finished. 
 Overall it was great experience which we both really enjoyed  and i 'll be keeping my eye open to future concerts where they play something I might be interested in.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Street Chant, Wurld Series, Best Bets - The Darkroom, Christchurch - 8 September 2016

My second gig this week and my second at The Darkroom and one thing I am noticing about The Darkroom is that there is no security there. The staff consists of two ladies on the bar and one tall lanky dude, who looks a bit like one of the recent Dr Who's, on sound and whatever else is needed. This is a good thing and it is great to see that after being in operation for several years they still don't feel the need to employ bouncers. The place has a good vibe and it looks like the riff raff stay away.
  Anyhow, I arrive just before the 8:30 door opening time in the belief that tonight might be a packed house, considering the kinda high profile Street Chant have and it was door sales only. My fears were unfounded though as by the time Street Chant hit the stage later that night there were only about 50 or 60 people there, just slightly more than the last gig I went to here. Although a tiny venue, this is still a little disappointing for such a great little band but is the usual way for NZ bands it appears.
 When I arrived, the guy on the door mentioned that the band had been a bit delayed due to their flight from Auckland arriving later than expected, the weather here had been pretty bad, so the first act of the night, which was to be Slenderman( an Emily Edrosa, from Street Chant, side project apparently) didn't play, which meant a hours wait for the first band due on at 9:30pm. With an hour to kill, I scored a drink and settled in on the most comfy couch in the place and was soon joined by a fella who introduced himself as Chris. We chatted awhile about music, as you do at a gig and eventually he revealed that he was a musician and operated under the name The Transcendents. I had heard of them as I told him and that I had possibly heard his music on Chris Walker's "Counting the Beat" radio podcasts. He confirmed that Chris was indeed a supporter of his music on the aforementioned radio show and that I could check out his music on Bandcamp. I will.
 Best Bets hit the stage soon after their allotted time and this three piece impressed me with their thrashy punk/new wavy sound, which reminded me of The Sex Pistols sometimes but a little more poppy. They also played a great cover of Gang Of Four's "I found That Essence Rare" and a surprise Neil Young song that I know well but can't remember the title of right now. A great start to the night though.
  Wurld Series were next and right off  I was super impressed with their songs, a great singer with catchy tunes and a sound totally enthralled to early Pavement and of course the Flying Nun sound of the early 80's Their short set was end to end great songs and it is a real pity that they don't have any music released on any physical media. They do have a bandcamp page though. Worth checking out.
  I am pretty new to Street Chant. They have been around for about 8 years apparently but I first heard of them through "Counting the Beat" and I had seen some people I know on Facebook, flashing about the last album they released earlier this year(a copy of which I finally picked up at this gig). I checked out that album on Tidal and although it was good I personally wasn't overly impressed. Over time I gave it occasional listens and eventually it grew on me as I became more familiar with it's catchy tunes. Street Chant consist of two women on bass and guitar and a bloke on drums and they play a great brand of catchy indie rock. Considering that the band have been nominated for songwriting awards in NZ and seem to have a higher profile than any of the other local bands I have been checking out lately, the numbers at this gig were lower than I expected. This seems to be the case with NZ music, apathy from the punters towards quality homegrown music and lack of air play for this kind of music, even thought it is quite poppy and catchy in places.
 Live, these three rock out pretty big and Emily Edrosa really gets into some great guitar shredding during this short set. Unfortunately she was having some technical issues with one guitar cord giving out and feedback problems throughout the gig. She handled it pretty well and their set was most enjoyable as they rocked through their brand of great catchy guitar riffs, which many may become NZ classics over time. Their set was short but they were talked into doing a one song Encore, where they played one of their best songs that I now knew quite well. This is their last tour as they are now disbanding for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Reuben Bradley Trio - Orange Studio, Christchurch - 6th September 2016

I have been thinking about how little live Jazz music is presented in Christchurch, especially considering that we have a Jazz school attached to out local Polytechnic. Looking through the gig listings on several web sites for the area seldom throws up much Jazz, occasionally some small time local band doing a residency at some bar and we recently had a Jazz and Blues festival earlier in the year, but there wasn't all that much that enticed me to attend. Maybe I just don't quite know where to look or the stuff is too underground. When I see something like this advertised, I investigate closer to see if it would be something that would interest me and I soon discovered that Reuben had several releases out on Rattle Records, a great NZ Jazz and contemporary music label that I have been exploring their catalog of late. I checked out some of the videos on his website and decided this was just the thing I would be into.
 The gig was held at a place called Orange Studio, which turns out to be an actual recording studio but puts on small gigs and other events in their main recording room, a very cool venue, with a bar and all. I was most impressed an am looking forward to attending more gigs there in future.
 This concert was also something that my partner could hopefully enjoy and so we both arrived at the venue about 15 minutes before the due start time and settled in to a couple of seats on the end of the front row.
 It was good to see the place pretty much full to capacity with maybe 40 odd people taking all available seating and a few standing at the back. The Trio of Bradley, Drums, Rodger Manins, Sax and Brett Hirst, Bass, wandered in about 10 minutes after the advertised start time and after a quick spiel from Reuben, started in on a John Coltrane piece. The sound was excellent and louder than I expected and the bass did get a little drowned out when the group was in full noise, but what a great room for live Jazz. They played several original compositions from Reuben and one from Rodger, all impressing me very much, as well  a Joe Henderson piece and also Tami Neilson's "Don't be Afraid". They played mostly up tempo Bop like stuff and were really getting into it, all three played some great solos as they do. They were having a great time playing with some great banter between them and presented two most enthralling sets. I also managed to pick up two of Reuben's Rattle CDs that he had for sale for a very goo price, so i'm really looking forward to listening to them as he did play several pieces off both CDs and I was most impressed. A great gig and My partner enjoyed it even more than I thought she would. I didn't attempt to record ant video for this gig so here is a clip from Reuben's website. A slightly different band but still with Rodger and Reuben.

Check out Reuben's website,
And also check out Rattle Records for some great NZ Jazz and other music.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Via Kaleidoscope, Hawaiian Maiden, Dead in a Year - The Darkroom, Christchurch 2 September 2016

I had been keeping an eye on the Darkroom's website and gig listings for quite some time as they had been listing some interesting looking gigs from both local, and occasionally, overseas artists. Unfortunately I hadn't got it together to actually attend any of these gigs but finally I took the plunge on the three Christchurch groups listed above. The lateness of the gigs also put me off a bit, especially the mid week gigs as I have to drive an hour to the city to attend.
 Anyhow, I duly arrived at The Darkroom just on 8:30pm which was the listed time the doors opened. I got there early as it was door sales only and incase there was a large crowd turning up and the venue was going to be full and I drive all that way for nothing. This was not to be the case, as I expected, for a bunch of pretty unknown groups like this and the tiny venue really only had about 50 odd people there on this night. The place certainly is a tiny venue and would be pretty well jammed with 100 people in it, the stage is also miniscule and the two 4 piece bands that played were well cramped up with little room to move about. In saying that though it is a great little rock venue and so suits the raw roots rock n roll of the local groups playing there, I imagined it would be similar to some of the small DIY venues the original US punks played in LA in the late 70's.
 The first band, Dead in a Year, hit the stage about 9:15pm, a duo of girl singer and guitar player and bloke drumming, like the White Stripes in reverse, but there the similarities ended. It was only their second ever gig and their indie pop songs were ok but nothing to get excited about. The girl wasn't a particularly great singer and her guitar playing was difficult to make out much in the way of melodies. Their set was short and the punters didn't really take much notice.
 The second act, Hawaiian Maiden, were a four piece surf rock group and hit the stage in shorts and Hawaiian shirts. A fair chunk of the punters were now in front of the stage as they ripped into their first instrumental song, and what a blast they were. The first two tracks they played were full on rockin' surf punk and had me poppin' and grooving to the max. They were tight and fast and intense and having a lot of fun and just rocked our socks off. I was blown away. What a great little band.  The rest of the set didn't quite match the intensity of the first two songs and this type of music can be quite limited, although they did have a trumpet player join them for the rest of their set. Overall a great 30 odd minutes of  Hi-NRG rockin' music.
 Band three, Via Kaleidoscope,are the "headline" act and again are a four piece. They play what seems to be Termed Post Rock, an instrumental band with quiet atmospheric parts to their songs followed buy some bone crushingly heavy riffing, not quite Metal in nature but pretty close. Doomy, stoner post rock. A common if not hugely popular form of music round here at present judging by the number of bands cropping up playing variations of it. I enjoyed these guys to a degree although they were a bit short of soloing which could have made them more interesting and of course it was very loud, creating the usual wall of noise that makes it difficult to hear all of what they were playing, as is usually the case with heavy rock music. Their songs are quite long and all sounded much the same but overall they were worth checking out for a bit of live entertainment.

Being in such a small venue and so close to the action, my poor phone camera struggled to capture the sound in these videos but they are all I got.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Into Orbit With Trioka and Samsara - Churchills Tavern - Christchurch 22 July 2016

So I was just checking out the live gig listings on Under the Radar when this gig caught my eye at Churchills Tavern, where I had been on a couple of other occasions recently, and after doing some research into the bands and listening to some online music from each group, I decided I would be keen to go check it out. Into Orbit have a record out on vinyl from 2014 and so I ordered it from their Bandcamp page. I received an email the next day where one of the band suggested they could bring the record down with them from Wellington and they could drop it off to me but he soon realised that I don't actually live all that close to the city and so the other suggestion was they would bring the record to the gig and put my name on the door in lieu of the postage I paid and I could pick up the record then. This was agreeable to me as i was already intending to attend. The other two bands on that night were Samsara and Trioka, both local bands I think.
Doors opened at 9pm and I soon checked in that my name was on the door(it was) and the record was there(it was) and I stashed it in my car and went back into enjoy the night. As is typical of Christchurch the venue capable of holding around 300 people was mostly empty with probably about 50 people in attendance, that number including the members of each band.
 Samsara hit the stage about 9:30pm, a four piece of twin guitar, bass and drums, they played pretty straight ahead post rock, grungy stoner shit, or whatever you want to call it and they were really good and I enjoyed all of their short set of just over 30 minutes. Certainly had my toes tapping and head nodding as I was propped up by the bar near the mixing desk in this small venue. Nice reasonably clean sound and I do like their sound system at this venue.
 Inevitably, there is a lot of down time between bands as each group disbands their equipment before the second group starts to set up theirs. It must of been around 10:45pm that Troika hit the stage and this lot were a three piece, Bass, Guitar, Drums. Stylistically similar to the first group, As they all were this night, although these guys had a bit more of an experimental edge than the first band and the guitarist really attacked his guitar producing some real walls of noise with his fast high fret board riffing plus some nice soloing thrown in as well. There were some technical problems with his sound board of  effect pedals and he ended up disconnecting some of them during the first song. The drummer was also outstanding in this group and I was so impressed that I went and purchased one of their CDs after their set. They have two CDs out and are currently working on another, of which they played a couple of tracks, that really impressed, so i might have to keep an eye out for that later.
 The first two bands impressed me so much that I was thinking that Into Orbit are gonna have to be blood good to keep pace with their support acts. They hail from Wellington and as they hit the stage things were looking a little bare up there as they are only a two piece, guitars and drums. They were straight into it with some spacey jangly guitars that remind me of Explosions in the Sky and they were definitely the most experimental band of the night with their atmospherics interspersed with some pretty heavy guitar thrashing. They also had some second guitar tracks or loops or something playing along with the guitarist as several times he stopped playing and was bent down playing with his effects pedals while there was still plenty of sounds coming through the PA. Their set was intense and seemed quite short, was over before I knew it and although enjoyable, I was a little underwhelmed compared to the other two bands. I also thought there was a bit too much distortion with much of the more intense guitar playing so it came across a bit dronie. The drummer was very good though, I enjoyed his playing. I have since listened to the record and am enjoying that more than the live experience, far less distortion and even more experimentalism. Overall though I had a thoroughly enjoyable gig and it is impressive to see the quality of these local bands even though this is seemingly not a highly popular form of rock music here. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

J G Thirwell - Christchurch Art Gallery 30 June 2016

J G Thirwell, the brains trust behind the Foetus group of releases, i.e You Got Foetus On Your Breath, Scraping Foetus Of The Wheel and Foetus Interruptus, just to name a few, as well as other collaborations like Wiseblood and the Flesh Volcano, and other musical projects like Steroid Maximus and Manorexia, has been a musical hero of mine for over 30 years, although I don't possess as much of his recorded music as I should nowadays. I was surprised to find that he was finally coming to New Zealand to do something for us here.
The contents of the show were pretty vague when I bought my very cheap $15 ticket a couple of months back and being held at the art gallery and being billed under his own name instead of any of the other musical names he has used over the years, suggested maybe a non musical presentation, i.e, a talk or lecture or something.
I arrived at the Gallery just on the 8PM advertised start time and was ushered into a small auditorium/lecture theater. Taking a seat three rows back and near center I settled in and started wondering what was going to be presented. There were two small speakers either end of the "stage", a big projector screen on the wall in front of us and a small collection of electronic equipment on a table in center with a laptop and some bells and triangle in front of a microphone, which suggested were were in for some music even though it looked more like a lecture.
JG, appeared briefly a couple of times not taking any notice of us and doing things on the Laptop and other equipment and making notes before disappearing again.
Apparently the show was suppose to start at 8:30pm but it was nearer 8:45 when Jim finally cam out just after the projector kicked into life with a film taken from the front of a vehicle travelling down various large highways probably in New York, where Jim has been residing since 1983.
With his head down focused on the manipulation of his electronics, Jim presented us with an approximately 45-50 minute electronic pulsating soundscape of pretty cool sounds. Very experimental/avant-garde and a different and unique live musical experience for this scribe. I was trying to figure whether this was an improvised piece or more pre-constructed and the notes he had spread on the table suggested the later. This was confirmed after in a short conversation with the man himself at the end of the show.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mt Catley 25 June 2016

Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary: Tramp No.162
Mt Catley 25 June 2016

Nine months since my last outing in the mountains and more than 12 months since my last Club tramp. My motivation in this area had been pretty low, for several reasons, but mainly due to my purchase last year of a fancy new turntable to go with my expensive new stereo and the subsequent spending of all my spare money on buying vinyl records and spending all my spare time listening to them.
Again Harley had emailed me several times trying to tempt me out on some trips and I finally succumbed to one of his invitations. The trip up Mt Catley in the St James Conservation area behind Hanmer Springs looked like just the ticket for a mid winters trip and easy enough to make it still doable if there happened to be any snow involved.
Just the two of us headed off from home around 7:30am on a frosty but clear Saturday morning for the 2 hour + drive to Fowlers Hut, on the Tophouse Rd, the start of our days adventure. The weather forecast was for fine but cool conditions with cloud developing later in the day and possible showers at night, we hoped to be well gone by then.
It was certainly cool and frosty at Fowlers Hut as we set off up the Fowlers Pass track at about 9:50am, under a clear blue sky. The track to Fowlers Pass is a well used track and we both had been on it before. We reached the pass in about an hour to be warmed by the lovely warm sunshine that had been denied us bu the hill side upon which the track sidled. I made the comment near the pass, that we would soon be in sunlight for the rest of the day walk. This, of course, was the wrong thing to say and no sooner had we started up the ridge to point 1435, than the sun disappeared behind some extensive high cloud and elected to stay there for the rest of the day. The access to point 1435 was relatively easy but the ascent onto Mount Picket was a bit more challenging in that the smooth looking shingle the had to negotiate looked quite soft and could make out ascent quite hard work for these unfit legs. The terrain turned out to be firmer than it looked and steady progress was made with thinks slowing down over the last 50 or so meters as the shingle did indeed get somewhat softer. We made Mount Picket around 12:30PM, took the usual photos and headed along the ridge towards mount Catley to find somewhere to hunker down out of the cold wind and have some lunch. 
After lunching behind some rocks, we looks suspiciously at the shingle for the last 90 odd meters up to mount Catley and as we started that last ascent it look likely that this was going to be a real slog through softer and softer shingle, but it sooned firmed up and we made the summit in quick time. The wind was bitter and so quick photos were taken before heading off the top quick smart to descend to the spur that would take us back to the car. The first 400m of descent was through similar semi soft scree through which we ascended and although the travel was fairly quick it was far too hard underneath to fully abandon ones self to a full flight scree run.
We finally arrived at the cat almost dead on 3PM, after 5 hours, 11.6KM and about 1000M of climbing. That was just enough for my legs.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tami Neilson - Crying in the Chapel - Transitional Cathedral - Christchurch 27 May 2016

Tami Neilson was back in Christchurch again after her recent gig at The Wunderbar back in February, this time for a gig as part of the local Jazz and Blues festival that was running for the week ending  on the 29th May. I was wondering what Tami was doing playing in a Jazz and Blues festival but didn't really care as I just wanted to take the opportunity to see her play again after the excellent gig in February.
 We arrived at the "Cardboard" Cathedral at around 7PM, after a lovely Korean meal in the central city. The place was still only partially full and we managed to get front row seats as nobody else seemed all that keen to be front row. The sound system wasn't all that large and I was wondering how it was all going to sound in this large room with a very high sloping ceiling and concrete floor. There were curtains at back behind the stage and along the walls so this should dampen some of the echo. By 7:30pm the place looked full and Tami and her band sauntered on stage and started the gig with a version of Howlin' Wolf's "Evil" at which point I realised that this was going to probably be some sort of Blues show to fit in with the jazz and blues festival. Tami confirmed this after the first song by giving us a little talk about what the gig was going to entail and talked about the history of contemporary music and how important the blues, and in the context of this show, Gospel music was to the evolution of modern popular music.
 We then proceeded to be presented with a fantastic show, with Tami and her band belting out fabulous versions of songs but the likes of Ray Charles, Mavis Staples, Blind Willie Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Otis Rush, just to name the ones I can remember off the top of my head right now. The sound did have a bit of an echo but was overall very good and even being in the front row quite near a speaker stand, it wasn't too loud. Her band was smoking and Tami really showed her awesome talent belting out the vocals of some legendary music, one highlight was an acapella version of a Ralph Stanley song with support from the whole band, very moving. I really felt the sense of the musical history being presented and the power of the music and had goose bumps at some of Tami's singing. What a talent. What a brilliant gig. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Black Sabbath - Forsyth Barr Stadium - Dunedin New Zealand 30 April 2016

So Far this year has been one of the best in a long time for live concerts, not just the frequency of the amount of gigs happening but also the quality.
 Black Sabbath did play in NZ a few years back but not in the South Island and I didn't know at that time that it was most of the original lineup that was actually playing or I might have been tempted to go up and see them.
 After the release of their album "13" in 2013, I was blown away by the quality and shear heaviness of that record and I have said before that Sabbath are almost, if not, my all time favourite rock band. So I was not gonna miss seeing this original lineup playing for what they have told us is the last ever Black Sabbath tour.
 Of course I was disappointed that Bill Ward did not play on "13" and also that he was not on this tour, the lowdown that I have read on the internet is that Bill was not at all happy with the deal he was offered in contract to participate in the tour and although he was apparently very keen to be involved he refused to sign the contract. It appears their is a bit of bad blood between Bill and Ozzy , especially after Ozzy apparently made some statements to the effect that Bill was not physically up to the tour. I was watching some footage of Bill in his prime in the first original Sabbath line up from the 70's and he was such a fantastic drummer, very fast and hit those drums very hard, and after watching him then and seeing them live now with the much younger drummer that are using at present, I really wondered if someone of his age(67) and  the fact he has had some health issues of late, was capable of playing like that, especially on a full tour.
 Anyhow, I met up with a friend late afternoon in Dunedin and had dinner after which 3 of us were dropped off at the relatively new Forsyth Barr Stadium, a covered ground used for the local Rugby Team and international Rugby tests. It is a great venue and has the perfect place for a large stage setup at the northern end. The first thing we noticed as we entered the stadium about 40 minutes before the support band was due on was that it was all set up to only use half of the stadium and although it looked like most of the seating was full, it wasn't a tight crush on the floor where we were, I read that the attendance was about 10000.
 The support band, Rival Sons, Hit the stage in due time as the venue was still filling and impressed most with their Bluesy Hard Rock-a-la The Cult being one reference that came to mind. They did well and the crowd responded well to their assault, although I found the songs all sounded a bit the same if you didn't already know their music as I didn't.
 After a not too long break between sets and the stage was reset, the roar of the crowd signalled that something was happening on stage as the huge video screen at the back of the stage showed us an introduction that I am going to let my video below describe, before the bell chimed with the intro to "Black Sabbath", the opening song from their first album of the same name from 1970, as if no one knows.
 This was fucking amazing, it was loud, as it should be, it was pretty clear, Ozzy was coming through pretty clear, most of the time, the thunderous drums were awesome and Tony's Soloing sounded clear and fantastic.  They thundered through a barrage of their 70's classics in all their glory with Ozzy constantly encouraging the crowd to go "Fucking Wild". Classic after classic of bone crushingly heavy music sent the crowd into ecstasy, this scribe included, it was just awesome. They played"War Pigs" much to my relief and i managed to get it on video before my memory got too full on my cell phone. "Rat Salad" gave the drummer, Tommy Clufetos, a chance for his moment in the spotlight with something like a 10 minute drum solo while the rest of the band had a nice rest off stage. Tommy was fucking phenomenal and I was very impressed with what he did. If I tried to do something like that i would need about 30 minutes to get my breath back, but ha had to go on and play another four songs. As I said all the set was from their 70's peak but one song I couldn't quite place and it turns out it was on the Technical Ecstasy album, so I had heard it before, it was definitely lighter in feel but Tony did what stood out for me as the best solo of the set. After the gig we were buzzing, certainly one of the best gigs ever for me. It was just brilliant.

Black Sabbath Set list:
Black Sabbath
Fairies Wear Boots
After Forever
Into The Void
War Pigs
Behind The Wall Of Sleep
Hand Of Doom
Rat Salad (drum solo)
Iron Man
Dirty Women
Children Of The Grave


Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Stranglers - Christchurch Horncastle Arena - 15 April 2016

Well it has been an interesting time at present, with our obscure little city getting a plethora of old punk bands touring these shores. Many bands from my formative years of music collecting, whom I never thought I would get to see live here, with The Exploited, The Buzzcocks and now The Stranglers, all within the last 5 months.
 The Horncastle arena is the premier indoor venue in Christchurch with a capacity of 9000 punters and I was surprised that the Stranglers were playing at such a big venue and I figured they would struggle to even half fill a venue of this size in Christchurch, and so it was that even with the stage moved forward a lot closer than I have seen it before it was far from full with probably about 2000 of us keen to see these legends on stage.
 Unusually for me I actually got to attend this gig with some other friends this time, with about 8 of us converging from different parts of the city and surrounding environs to finally all merge in the foyer thanks to the convenience of modern communication devices.
 The support act was Ed Kuepper, originally of  The Saints and Laughing Clowns, both of which I have had albums way back in my murky past. He was solo sitting alone near the front of the stage playing guitar with a drum machine backing him quietly in the background. His half hour set was kinda dirgy and to be honest I didn't think the music worked in a big venue like this, the sound wasn't all that clean, kinda mirky and difficult to make out his riffing. In saying that the arena has an awesome PA system, with the twin sets of speakers suspended from the ceiling and coming down in a semi curve can put out some pretty impressive sound as I have experienced in the past.
 The Stranglers hit the stage just on 9:30 as was predicted by the promoters and proceeded to play a totally wonderful set for about 1 and 3/4 hours with two encores, and they were as impressed with the crowd as we were impressed with them. For a band with a recording career of 40 years, I was a bit worried that they would be playing a big cross section of their music from all periods, a lot of it with which I was not familiar, after the initial period of 1977 to about 1985, but apart from a couple of quieter songs that were unfamiliar in the middle of the set which the rest of the audience didn't seem to know that well either, they mostly stuck to their early punk stuff and had us popping and grooving to their great sounds. They played most of my favourite tracks and some that I had forgotten about and even their great song Golden Brown which is not very punky at all but nevertheless is a brilliant song, although the lovely neoclassical guitar solo was a bit subdued soundwise, one of my friends suggesting there was a slight technical issue. The PA in this venue can put out some pretty wicked bass sounds and The Stranglers exploited this to great effect with the concussion from the speakers almost knocking us flat at one point when the Bass guitarist played some slightly experimental licks at the end of one song. The dirty bass sound of the Early material came across pretty well even though it was still pretty distorted as is usual at these rock gigs. Overall we all were really impressed and pretty knocked out by the evenings entertainment and I am so glad I went.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Buzzcocks - The Foundry - Christchurch - 18 March 2016

One of the first of the original punk bands I got into in the very early 80's after gaining a copy of their "Another Music in a Different kitchen" album from my cousin who preferred the Jam to the Buzzcocks. Of course by this time the band had already split, so I never got to see them live in their original incarnation. I had missed them last time they played here so I thought I had better make the effort to catch these legends this time round. Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley are the two ageing originals in the band supported by Chris Remington - Bass (2008–Present) and Danny Farrant - Drums (2006–Present).
The Foundry bar is a fairly new facility built, I believe, since the Earthquakes of 2010/2011, as the new Canterbury University Student bar. And a very nice venue it is too with an apparent capacity of about 1200 people. There were door sales available so I guess it wasn't a sell out but the place was fairly full but not sardine like.
 The doors opened at 8pm with an hour for people to lubricate themselves before the support band hit the stage around 9pm. This lot were a 3 piece garage/punk pop band who reminded me a little of D4, another garage rock band from Auckland NZ. The Transistors put on a great hi-nrg 30 minute set of masterful melodic tunes and had many in the audience bopping along. I was most impressed, infact they are one of the better support bands I have seen. I was also impressed with the sound quality of their set and the volume level was pretty good.
 The inevitable wait we then endured as the roadies prepared the stage for The Buzzcocks set and more lubricating took place after which the band hit the stage just after 10pm. The first very obvious thing was the considerable increase in volume of the music as the band did a quick tune up before launching into the awesome "Fast Cars".As can bee seen from the video below my phone had real trouble recording the sound with the volume levels as they were and the actual sound wasn't all that far from what you hear on the first clip. So after 40 years punk music still can't figure out how to turn down the volume enough so that we can actually hear something more than a wall of sound. I didn't catch a word they said all night and it is only because I know many of the songs so well that I was able to actually catch some of the melody and lyrics. My ears are still ringing 24 hours later.
 All that being said(again) They played with fantastic energy for a couple of sexagenarians and it was a really good show, playing so many of the fantastic songs I love so much from their first period and a few newer ones I didn't know at all probably from their later albums, had the mosh pit jumping and my body bopping along and singing along. They played just under an hour but did come back for 3 more songs as an encore. The second video I took of the band was from further back from just in front of the mixing desk and captured the sound a lot better than the first vid, although even back there the sound was pretty distorted in real time.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Billy TK Snr - Churchills Bar Christchurch - 12 March 2016

   The Maori Jimi Hendrix was a label allocated to Billy Te Kahika after his stint in the legendary New Zealand Psych/Hard Rock band Human Instinct back in the late 60s and early 70s. The band put out three albums, with Billy in the line up, of lofi psych rock with some fantastically punishing guitar from the Man himself before he left the band to explore and develop his guitar playing under his own terms with his own band, Billy TK's Powerhouse. Since then he has been involved in several low key projects and recorded and played with both local and international musicians, including Carlos Santana in 1996 and is a dedicated peace activist.
   I was blown away by his work with The Human Instinct when I first discovered it in the early 1990s, but knew little about his activities since that time. When I saw that he was going to be playing here this month for a nominal cover charge of ten bucks at a small Christchurch venue, I just had to go and check it out.
   A friend was going to accompany me on this gig but something cropped up for him at the last moment and so I went solo again. I dropped the Mrs off at another event that she was attending and got to the venue just a few minutes after the scheduled 9pm start. Of course Billy hadn't hit the stage yet and was infact sitting having a quite drink with his bass player on the opposite side of the room from where I parked my butt after procuring myself a refreshing ginger beer. The place was dam near empty with only about 20 people in the bar and 8 of them were Billy and his band. the bar staff, the two ladies taking the money at the door and the bouncer.
I had checked out a couple of Billy's videos on YouTube earlier in the day to get an idea of what I might be seeing this night and there was a video with a full band and singer and another with just Billy and another musician sitting on chairs playing. The gig was advertised as Billy TK and Band, so I thought it might be a full band, but it was actually Billy and a Bass player, who also did some keyboards and sound effects and that also supplied the drumbeats. They were accompanied by a woman on a conga drum.
   They ambled onto the stage at around 9:30pm in what looked to be a bit of an amature night set up, especially with the misinscule audience there. They started their set with one of Billy's recent original compositions "Mama Funk" and the sound was pretty good although not real loud, which was good considering how empty the place was. Once Billy started into his guitar I knew this was gonna be a bloody good show, ok he isn't much of a singer and the band set up was a bit like some cheesy amature covers band at a local working mens club, but boy this man can still play some beautiful guitar. The set was pretty heavily laden with Jimi Hendrix covers with some Santana and Gary Moore thrown in for good measure but he did his own slant on those songs and made it real interesting and different even though is style pays homage to both of the first two guitarists mentioned. He played two sets of about 45 minutes with the second set having the added bonus of a 4.4M earthquake rock the place at 11pm, although nobody seemed to notice and the band never misses a beat. It was a gentle rocking quake and  the Mrs confirmed it via text just so I knew it wasn't my imagination. Billy oozed out his fabulous guitar sounds for another 30 minutes before calling it a night and just proved again what an ignorant musical culture we have in Christchurch that only a dozen paying punters bothered to show up and see this legend play.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Clash of the Titans: Mi-Sex, Dragon, The Angels, Bedford Big Top, Christchurch,26th February 2016.

I'd seen this advertised and had discussed it with a mate one night before we went to the Star Wars Movie. I was right into Mi-Sex when I first started collecting Records back in 1980 when I was 13 and indeed their "Space Race" Album was the very first record I ever owned. I never saw them live. Dragon didn't really interest me but I remember several Angels songs that were popular with the Lads in our initial party days. Anyhow I decided I probably wasn't going to go to this concert until I ran into some old friends at the aforementioned mate's 50th Birthday recently and they said they were going and I thought it would be cool to catch up with them again at this concert. The Mrs. was keen as she wasn't at the party and wanted to also see our friends again. The aforementioned Mate also decided he was going to go at the last minute.
 Got to the concert just a few minutes before the first band started, found out our friends were still making their way to the venue so headed into the Marquee to have a listen. First up was Mi-Sex and it was straight into all their hits and it sounded pretty cool to hear all these great songs blasting loud from the sound system
The original singer of Mi-sex died quite some time ago but the younger guy who was doing the singing did a pretty good job of it. I really enjoyed their set.It was also interesting to note that they played a couple of new songs and said they were working on a new album but it didn't really impress me that much although it is pretty hard to judge an unknown song at these type of gigs.Our friends found us near the end of the Mi-Sex set and we headed back out the back of the marquee to talk and catch up. We hung out outside the back of the marquee for the Dragon set, although the Mrs. did head up the front on her own to check them out as they were her favourite band of the night. Of course Dragon had a couple of real big hits here back in the late 70's early 80s and the whole crowd was singing along with those songs but I was unfamiliar with most of their other music.
The Mrs. and I headed up near the front for the Angels set and ended up about 5 rows of people back from the stage, The rest of our friends were content to stay out back as it was bloody hot in the marquee on a very very warm night. We only stayed up front for the first two songs because it was way to fucking loud. Even for me. My ears were starting to ring even on top of the already mild tinnitus I already have and as I had no ear plugs, I decided to get back out to the back with my mates. It was just too loud. I could actually feel the pressure in my ears. I think it was to do with the shape of the Marquee, which is long and not all that wide and to get the sound projected down to the back of the venue they really crank it but I found it too distorted. Even my phone struggled with the volume up front while making a small video. The Angels rocked out and we sang along with most of the songs we knew but overall they didn't really knock my sox off and three of us agreed that Mi-Sex were the best band of the night.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tami Neilson and Her Hot Rockin' Band of Rhythm! - Wunderbar, Lyttelton, New Zealand, 20th February 2016

I got an introduction to Tami Neilson via a mate with her Dynamite album which I had a few listens too and although impressed, didn't feel the need to go out and buy the record itself. Soon after I caught a new song on the TV from her new album, "Don't be Afraid" and was blown away by the vocal Tour de Force on that song. I missed her previous live show here from her church tour late last year so was real keen to head along to see her preforming songs from this new album( which is a real killer).
With all the exposure Tami has been getting lately, I was surprised she was playing at such a small venue, but it actually wasn't quite as full as it could have been and it is nice to see the gig up close and intimate.
 The Mrs. and myself headed over to Lyttelton with a couple of friends and had a lovely Indian curry just across the road from the venue before some drinks at the Wunderbar's Bar, overlooking the Harbour and all the lights. The doors to the concert room were opened just past 9pm and the support act was soon on the stage doing their thing. A three piece of stand up acoustic bass, electric guitar and a female vocalist who also played fiddle, they were a bit different and hard to describe but really underwhelmed me and the singer was a bit shy and didn't really know how to use her mic properly. The sound mixing/quality wasn't all that impressive either and so I was a bit worried about what Tami was going to sound like also in this small venue. The support act(and I'm damned if I can remember their long winded name), played about 30 minutes.
 After the obligatory break between acts, Tami appears on stage and they took me a bit by surprise by opening the show with the "Don't Be Afraid" song(see vid below), which I feel is her strongest number. Still, it was very impressive and the sound was excellent. They followed that up with the next two tracks from the latest album, "Holy Moses" and "Lonely" and I thought she was gonna do the whole album in sequence, but then we skipped to a song from the other side of the record before going back to some material from her "Dynamite" album. Tami does a real mix if styles, with some slow mournful country ballads, to swamp blues and rockabilly and others harder to pin down. it was a great show, she has such a powerful voice and might be one of the best singers I have see live, just so impressed. Great show, great venue, great night.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fat Freddys Drop - Live at Waipara Hills Winery - 2nd January 2016

Hadn't seen The Drop.. for quite a while and I had not long ago picked up their latest album. It was Mrs. Roddus who really wanted to see this gig so who am I to disobey a direct order.
Waipara Hills do a couple of summer gigs each year in the paddock behind the winery and this was the first time we had been there.
Unfortunately the weather forecast wasn't the best with showers forecast for the evening, so we threw in the raincoats and headed off on the hours drive to the venue.
We arrived earlyish and got a park near the front of the parking area, ready for a quick getaway at the end. Entered the venue and found a pozzie to set up the deck chairs and wait fir he first act. It was during this wait that the rain arrived but it wasn't heavy and didn't last for too long and the rest of the night was mostly devoid of the wet stuff.
I don't usually get into the support acts too much but the group who played this night(whose name we can't remember) did a really good job and actually had quite a number of people up dancing. The highlight of their set was a great Afrobeat like number with Fat Freddys Saxophonist lending support. 

Fat Freddy hit the stage without too long a wait after the first act and very soon had pretty much the whole crowd on their feet, with their groovy Dub/Reggae/Electronica supported by a brass section. They played quite a lot of material from their new album and their groove was so infectious that it was impossible to resist shaking the booty to the groove. The gig was due to finish at 10pm and at 9:45pm, while The Drop was playing a medley of earlier songs, we made a quick exit to beat the traffic jam and was driving out the gate just as the hordes burst out heading for their cars. A good night.