Hey it’s almost time for the very last Camp A Low Hum, but if yer missing out on going this year you’d be pleased to know both Christchurch and NZ in general get a whole bunch of cool bands on the bill playing side-shows up and down the country.
Kicking off in the next couple of weeks there’s Anthonie Tonnin (aka Tono of The Finanace Company fame) with the super sweet Shenandoah Davis (from the States) playing shows at the Hilltop Tavern tonight (Thursday, Jan 30th), the Wunderbar tomorrow (Friday, January 31st) and the darkroom on Wednesday (Feb 5th), whew!
For the electronically-inclined, Ninjatune whizz Daedelus is playing Dux Live on Wednesday (Feb 5th) too – so how’s that!
Last but not least, punky dudes Bare Grillz – a fantastic trio of upstanding gents from the sprawling urban metropolis of Newcastle, Australia are back after lighting up Camp a couple years back. I LOVE these guys, and can’t wait for their Wednesday (Feb 12th) show at Darkroom with similarly fantastic Auckland indie-rock duo Carb on Carb, and local math-rock-y good tunes lads Coate, and hardcore-y cool rock tracks with shouting kids Winter.
Carb on Carb are the Auckland-based Indie-pop duo of Nicole Gaffney (Guitar and Vocals) and James Stuteley (Drums) – an outgrowth of former group Mammal Airlines (which also featured Giles Thompson). Friday’s show at the Darkroom featured the group supported by top-notch local emo group Coate and Dunedin trio Males.
Coate have settled in to regular performances at the Darkroom, their intricate songs catching many a keen ear. With front-man Will Roud delivering melodic, driving vocals and exchanging guitar lines with 2nd guitarist Taylor Welsh, the 4-piece are one of the most technically accomplished groups in New Zealand.
2nd group Males are new to Christchurch, the poppy trio wearing their hearts on their sleeves as they flew through a selection of indie-rock numbers. Bassist Sam Valentine caught some flack for his haircut, one particular punter pointing out the young guy’s resemblance to Blur bassist Alex James. Their songs push the low-frequencies to the front, and the trio displayed an infectious enthusiasm throughout their set.
Both Carb on Carb members have been heavily involved in the Auckland all-age music scene – Gaffney’s previously played guitar, synth and sang with popular Auckland teen group Moron Says What?!, whilst Stuteley is partly responsible for Papaiti Records, an independent record label that compiled and released the excellent ‘Pressure to be’ album (distributed in the United States by Calvin Johnson’s legendary K Records). I was impressed by the groups catchy, shuffling songs, noisy guitar and Gaffney’s subdued vocals – they’re well worth tracking down on BandCamp.
Sorry this has been a long time coming. Epic 5 band night on a Thursday night at darkroom. Coate have to be one of my favorite local groups these days, and Winter were a lot of fun too. Opening act Steven was an uncompromising, impassioned guy, Teke and Craig were as slick as ever and debutant Half Mountain show a lot of promise.
I took my new camera and old half-broken wide-angle lens out west to a pretty typical Riccarton flat to catch a fantastic house-party show from touring San Francisco hardcore group Loma Prieta!
Local lads Coate opened the show with the most mellow, intricate set of the night. You should check out their bandcamp as they’re really one of the best bands to come out of Christchurch in a long while, with a dynamic and varied sound and memorable songs (plus a top-notch bunch of chaps).
Auckland group Parents have a more brutal slap-to-the-face approach, with their rhythm section particularly muscular. These guys organised the show and should get big props. Old school hardcore played loud, fast and powerful.
Loma Prieta had a mix of melody and brutality, sending the crowd into a flailing mass around the room. Things got very hectic during their set, I had to protect my gear from flying crowd members and thrashing musicians.
Cracking fundraising event for Fionn and Netta’s trip to Kenya last night. They put together 10 of the best young acts in Christchurch to raise a little dosh to help with the construction of an orphanage.
With Sleepy Age, Transistors and Bang! Bang! Eche! all playing a whole swag of new material it seemed like a real milestone event, putting the last year behind us.
Great to see the younger kids getting into the show too, I’m just sad I missed the opening few acts – I still haven’t managed to catch the much-vaunted Psych Tigers, instead arriving at the beginning of St Eden’s mellow electronic set, followed by similarly laid back sets from the thoroughly slick Coate, and a lovely droney set from Valdera.
From there things picked up a notch with Transistors kicking ass and taking names, Planet of the Tapes just going out of this world (and encouraging the crowd on stage to surf along), Sleepy Age bringing the Disco vibes and falsetta vocals, and Bang! Bang! Eche! playing their hand as the manic closers.
Click here for the rest of my photos from this excellent event.
Sleepy Age played a fundraising show at that ole’ suburban All-Age’s nite-spot Zebedees. Along with Sleepy Age (who are about to head off on a European tour) there was young crew Villian (who were very Interpol, and not too bad) plus post-math-rock guys Coate; who sounded great! Photos from the show