w/ Coal, Smith The Alien and A Flight To Blackout [09/12/06]
The night started out slow with bugger all people to catch a stonking set from Coal – Fleur’s absent from the current lineup, but William from the Pickups has slotted into the group nicely as their new organist, throwing in some sweet melody pieces on top of the boys terrific walls of sonic thunder; Jared in particular was on form, riding his tom’s with big rumbling rhythms.
Smith the Alien has been impressing folk with their one-half trad / one half Slint-style rock; all three guys are great musicans and their songs are starting to settle into my brain; good stuff.
A Flight To Blackout made a tremendous return; they’ve been reorganizing themselves since Cam (now guitarist for Smith The Alien) had to give up drumming due to tendon problems. Thankfully their new drummer is spot-on; a telling sign that i still know their (as of yet unreleased) songs by heart. Having gareth on guitar has added a little volume too, very cool.
The Hit-Machine are settling in on their new line-up too; with Simon Nunn settled on guitar (though dealing with some dodgy electrics through out the start of their set), the other Simon (ex How To Kill) hitting things extra hard behind the kit and of course Steffan on bass. Played a great bunch of their signature songs, and there was much merryment dancing (and shouting!) along to the favs.
See more photos from this show at Flickr
Excellent instrumentalist trio from the garden city formed by Matt Craw (Guitar), James Musgrave (Bass), and Jared Kelly (Drums) in early 2005. Taking cues from a variety of informed directions, the group were prolific features of the local live scene, and attached themselves to both R18 and all-age crowds with varying success. Playing an involved instrumental sound heavy on dynamics, the group enlisted ex-Substandard bassist Gareth Heta as a 2nd guitarist for a short period before reverting back to their original configuration. However, this was soon broken when Kelly left to play with the Pickups full-time, so Cam Walker was recruited to carry on where Jared left off.
Throughout later 2005 and early 2006 the group had a strong association with fellow garden city instrumentalists Coal, with Walker sitting at the throne for both groups for a period – however this was halted by problems with the tendons in Walker’s wrist, which caused him a great deal of pain during a show with the touring groups Jakob and American outfit No Funeral.
After losing Walker, Craw and Musgrave added Thomas Lambert (synth/guitar – aka i.Ryoko) in order to create a fuller sound than the rock trio lineup. Through him they found a great replacement drummer in Adam Jack, who picked up the groove of the songs quickly and added his own heavy hitting style. At this time, Gareth Heta again showed an interest in being part of the band, so he was recruited on guitar (and bass when James swaps to guitar). These changes have lead to further creativity within the group, with new songs eventuating at the start of 2007 (including for the first time, a song with vocals provided by Musgrave).
More live shows followed, a highlight being a gig with The Enright House, Pandora’s Bucket, and Wellingtonians Donatello. Towards the end of 2007, A Flight To Blackout entered the RDU Roundup band competition without any expectations of success, and came away with 2nd place, pipped by the more RDU-friendly (but by no means lesser) Bang! Bang! Eche!
As seemed to be the rule by now, Jack left the group at the end of 2007 to travel to Canada, and Lambert left for Wellington. This allowed the remaining members to focus on the tracking of their debut release, which is currently being mixed and produced by Thomas for release on his and partner Matt Faisander’s Sonorous Circle label before the end of 2008.
In early 2008 Hayden Williams and Josh Black (both also of Neil Robinson) made fine replacements on drums and synth respectively, their first show with the band being the farewell/fundraiser of friends The O’Lovelys.
Coal are energy in another form.
Long-lasting groovy Christchurch noise-rock cum post-rock band based around the core guitar duo of Andrew Hensley and Jeremy Symonds.
Despite the best part of 2 decades as a live act, the group has yet to record, and have been through several ‘phases’ in their lifetime with an evolving sound and band line-up.
Circa 2016/2017 the group are now a tight 4-piece with a huge sound – bolstered by excellent bassist Gareth Heta’s shear volume and the confidence the group now posses. Hensley in particular has come on in spades, with a great snarl and caustic lyrics (ala Mark E Smith) added to his guitar attack. ‘Peter Mead’ is a live favorite.
Front-Woman for long-running Christchurch group The Dialtones. Fleur has also been a fixture in the Christchurch music scene since the 1990’s and has contributed guitar to Coal‘s live performances, plus several other local groups. De Lis (who’s real last name is Walden) is the daughter of 1950’s/60’s vocalist Paul Walden.
At the Media Club [16/02/07]
see more photos from this show at flickr