The Auckland-based psych-pop group Opossom were originally the creation of ex-Mint Chicks front-man Kody Neilson (vocals, keyboards, drums), though some Opossom recordings we’re also performed by Kody and Bic – Neilson alonside girlfriend girlfriend Bic Runga (drums, vocals, guitar, keyboards). This duo were eventually joined by Neilson’s former Mint Chicks band-mate Mike Logie (bass) to create a touring 3-piece group.
The group experienced significant positive press on the release of their debut album ‘Electric Hawaii’, and the single ‘Blue Meanies’, in late 2011 / early 2012.
There was a great buzz around this show, well before either group had taken to the stage. Rumours of an early sell-out end up filling Darkroom’s limited capacity several hours before the show had the begun. With a bustling trade the venue was humming, the room warm with eager music fans packed wall to wall, downing craft beers and sheltering for a chilly night in Christchurch.
It was left to T54 to get things started, and the slick local 3-piece we’re just the ticket, drowning the audience in volume with thick, rolling bass, rollicking, snappy drumming and the soaring guitar-work of frontman Joe Sampson. I caught bassist Sam Hood next store at Galaxy records before the show and he was picking up a copy of the new box-set of rarities from German group Can – the flowing, organic vibe of the 1970’s Krautrock mainstays gives a pretty good indication of where some of T54’s many influences lay.
Speaking of Influences, it’s pretty tangible the impact the likes of the Zombies and other 60s/70s Psych-rock groups have had on Opossom’s Kody Neilson. The former Mint Chicks frontman now envelops his songs in a sunny West Coast of the USA haze that sounds particularly wonderful when you have the likes of Bic Runga and Mike Logie as your support band. Runga surprised me with her immense talent as a drummer, pulling of slinky rolls and driving the groups opening 3 songs. F in Math / Die! Die! Die! and former Mint Chicks bassist Mike Logie has altered his own sound to fit the retro sound of Opossom, gorgeous plucked bass rhythms that had the room jumping. With Kody and and Bic sharing vocal and instrument duties the group flew through an infectious array of songs which I wish didn’t end – thankfully their debut album is a ripper!
Exciting post-punk type group (ala the Mint Chicks) that formed out of the indie-rock leaning Nova Echo with former guitarist Nick Johnson taking over the reigns as vocalist from the departing Jason Schoushkoff.
An exciting frontman known for his dramatic stunts like climbing walls and leaping from stages, Johnson leads a tight punky, but indie-influenced troop with a Smiths swagger (the group cover This Charming Man at pace) with the lineup of Phil (Bass), Michael (Guitar) And Brent (Drums). The group eventually changed their name to Cut Off Your Hands to avoid legal issues with an American group, and found even more success.