Sherpa w/ Bang! Bang! Eche!, Dance Asthmatics and Zen Mantra

Tam November of Zen Mantra
Tam November of Zen Mantra
Smashing line-up friday at Dux Live, with a great mix of young, up-and-coming groups from Christchurch, with poppy Auckland group Sherpa headlining.

Youngest of all would be opening trio Zen Mantra. Fronted by the barely 17 year old Sam Perry, Zen Mantra take on a psychedelic approach to clean and concise indie-pop. With swirling guitar, bass and rolling drums their songs are warm, fuzzy and comforting and are simply drenched in melody. A young group absolutely absolutely overflowing with potential.

Dance Asthmatics make for quite a contrast. Brian Feary (drums), Joe Sampson (guitar) and Ben Odering (bass) create a tight, flowing and often groove filled backing with more than a little krautrock style rhythm – but frontman Stephen Nouwens can steer the group in any number of directions. He can take a plaintive but acerbic and poetic approach to singing (like a young Mark E Smith of the Fall), and then the next minute rip into an aggressive rant, gasping for breath between each delivered sentence. Always exciting and always a lot of fun.

T'Nealle Worsely  of Bang! Bang! Eche!
T’Nealle Worsely of Bang! Bang! Eche!
Despite lacking practice since previous shows, Bang! Bang! Eche! lived up to their reputation as one of Christchurch’s finest and slickest live acts – with the best reception of all the groups on the night. Particularly on form was bassist T’Nealle Worsely, though the group lock together like a syncopated, pulsing singularity.

Out-of-towners Sherpa have been making quite a reputation for themselves up in Auckland – their album Lesser Flamingo and stunning new video Turtles are unabashed slices of pure New Zealand power-pop. Gleeful and with great dollops of catchy guitar and keyboards. Frontman Earl Ho is a colourful character – leading the group through a sharp set of songs at blistering pace. A lovely way to end the evening.

See more photos here.

[Published in the Christchurch Press 27/07/2012]

Muzai Records

Auckland-based independent label formed by Martin Phillips and Benjii Jackson in 2009, with Michael McClelland (writer for thecorner.co.nz) and Maeve Munro, completing the team. With a focus on youthful groups and a D.I.Y. ethic, their albums are distributed NZ-wide by RhythmMethod, and the label favours on-line releases through the likes of SoundCloud / BandCamp etc.

The label made a splash in their early days by releasing a series of compilations that featuring primarily ‘All-Ages’ groups, i.e. those under NZ’s legal drinking age – the most visible being Bandicoot and Kitsunegari. More recently, Benji Jackson had a public fall-out with previous label group Sherpa, with the group pulling out before the release of their debut album.

Other groups associated with the label include: Nice Birds, The Bemsha Swing, Cat Venom, God Bows To Math, Ipswich, Psych Tigers, Pairs, Sunken Seas, Wilberforces, Idiot Prayer, Operation Rolling Thunder, Onanon, Mountaineater, Hussies, Cool Cult, Full Moon Fiasco, Roy Irwin, Diana Rozz, Fatangryman, BMX Rapists and Postures.

Compilation Discography
Picks In Bold

  • Fuck These Bands [2009]
  • Fuck These Bands Too [August 2009]
  • Fuck These Bands III [2011]

Contact Details

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