Monday, July 28, 2008

wellington part 2

read fast for correct effect..

...Recovering from the instore gig and the first couple of days in Newtown I assimilated. I like to visit a place not as a tourist but as a latent local. Newtown charmed me with it's easy going nature - easy going with an edge, of course - eateries and affordable veges/fruit everywhere,,i must admit it..Wellington is the food capital of New Zealand.

The big gig was friday night at Happy. And what a gig it was...a high spirited & enthusiastic crowd, most of them dancing,,my god..actual dancing..a thing seemingly exclusive to music..

the big upset was of course Panda Battle Battle Panda's absence : Lucy had to receive emergency treatment for a freak head injury earlier in the day,,it was too late notice to whip up another act. That was a real dissapointment for both the audience and Beth who had been looking forward to the gig with relish for some time. Rock and/or Roll moves in mysterious ways. I'm a big fan of the Duckling Monster and an integral element was missing from the night : shes the coolest singer in town. Yeah I said it.

Newtown played first - a duo act with a onstage demeanour so relaxed and insouciant our collective ego-masks were immolated (oh dear - more references to 'ego' and 'masks'). There's was the interactivity of a vital,anarchic,witty and very-much-in-love couple,,through their act we were invited to their flat/life/stage, the music an expression of the Wellington everyday, a flurry of riotous sloganeering, cats meows, punk-as-gossip, mohawk's and a cup of tea..the riot grrrl movement very much alive and well in the capital..

The Stumps played 2nd,,,initially it was to be us (The Aesthetics) but Grace won the day and we were relegated to the prime spot..Either way,,,the Stumps performance was ideal for the headline act, and even more so - they were mind-blowing...a whirlwind. Loosely their sound is Heavy psyche - with that crazed amphetaminized guitar sheen,,with that unpredictable improv shock, like Eye they were vortex music but with a chunky post-rock approach. 'Twas evokation music. 'Don't mess with shit you don't understand man..' ..Visuals played a very strong part : behind them was the film 'God Damn Religion' by Sun City Girls' Sir Richard Bishop : a flick-thru/slide-gallery/fast-paced compendium of static full colour images gleaned from the dusty annals of ancient religion, both east and west - hells, devils, demons, hindu hells, tibetan hells, torment, christ's torment: a real bias t'wards the dark side methinks. All up a mad soiree.. I am now a Stumps fan.

------------------'twas so,,encouraging to have an audience swell before us that night,,,chants of 'bogan' and howls and yips in the mist...we did what we could and hells-teeth it was good. The gig was filmed by ex Christchurch lone-eccentric swordsman Lynton Denovan
(CM Ensemble, Tony Valens & The Incisions, Righteous Sinner Singers, Sirlordme).
That was our new bassist Alex McKinnons last gig with the band now goes on to record the album 'ugly ambition' without him and in live situations will more than likely remain a trio.

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