Spring Break, Bang! Bang! Eche! and Tommy Ill

Spring Break
Spring Break

Phenomenal show at Dux Live. Check out all of my photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fraew/sets/72157629697885704/

Bang! Bang! Eche!
Bang! Bang! Eche!
Tommy Ill
Tommy Ill

Camp A Low Hum 2012 – Part Three

Kirin J Callinan
Kirin J Callinan

I awoke to a wonderful, sunny day in Wainui. Finally the heat that had made the 2009 festival such a delight had returned, although I was still not going anywhere near the lagoon! I had a really relaxed morning, taking in repeat performances from the terrific Guerre, Wintercoats and a little bit of Brian Borcherdt.

I somehow managed to miss Watercolours (the current pseudonym of Chelsea Jade – one of the wonderful voices behind Auckland trio indie-folk trio Teacups) and took lunch during the mid-day slots before catching Perth 3-piece Usurper of Modern Medicine inside the noisy room. Describing themselves as post-rock is a bit of a stretch, but I did enjoy their big bass-grooves, before heading to the forest where solo drumming-based act Sexy Merlin had a few technical difficulties to start his set.

The impressive Bare Grillz played their repeat show out in the harsh sun of the lawn stage, but it was Christchurch’s Sleepy Age I couldn’t miss in the afternoon slots. A fairly packed room saw the indie-pop 4-piece play a solid selection of songs, including the disco-tinged single Décor (which they’ve made a terrific video for) and a couple of songs showing off front-man Josh Burgess’s falsetto skills.

Prince Rama
Prince Rama

I spent a lot of the afternoon chilling at the camp site with my friends, hearing the tongue-in-cheek hair-metal sounds of Razorwyre echoing around the camp. Wellington’s quirky Orchestra of Spheres impressed with hand-made instruments and out-there costumes, and guitar whizz Kirin J Callinan received a rousing reception to a large crowd at the Lagoon.

As the evening approached I was in the renegade room checking out some quality indie-rock. Firstly Auckland’s Grass Cannons played to a packed crowed; bassist Paul Brown somehow kept playing despite suffering a broken arm earlier in the festival.

Christchurch’s punky Trio Ipswich had to call upon Rueban Winter to fill in on drums for the absent Jamie Larson; which gave the group a sloppy but intense feel. As night fell US duo Prince Rama graced the big stage, playing a very theatrical percussion based set – high on atmosphere.

Crowd for Dan Deacon
Crowd for Dan Deacon

Sydney duo Baaddwere super-fun down at the lagoon, heating up the crowd with dancey songs and a whole lot of cheeky screaming; proclaiming ‘You don’t need musical talent to form a band. Just wear a leotard, jump around and scream a lot’.The Dan Deacon Ensemble were probably the head-line act of the festival, and it was an incredible site watching their crowd ripple back in forth following Dan’s dance move instructions and pulsating sound. An over-excited crowd flowed forward too fast for their own feet, causing havoc at the front of the stage.

BMX Rapists
BMX Rapists

The night was a bit of a blur from this point on – US dance act Publicist brought the trance vibes back to the forest, $noregazZm played an exciting repeat show in the noisy room, as did All Seeing Hand at the new ‘screen’ stage (which consisted of a projection screen backed against the hillside covered in native forest) and I ended the festival with the incredible (and incredibly vulgar) BMX Rapists, and popular hip-hop act Tommy Ill – both lighting up the noisy room with enthusiastic performances late into the night.

Absolutely brilliant festival, I can’t wait for next year.

[Published in the Christchurch Press 2/3/2012]

Campus A Low Hum 2011: Day 1, Part 2

The Gym at Campus
The Gym at Campus

Ok so I kinda flaked a bit on the first day night… I did however manage to catch High Places, who had some odd sound issues and a bit of a disjointed feel. Nice stuff but not quite the same as their Christchurch show with Dan Deacon a while back.

High Places at Campus
High Places at Campus

I briefly saw the rather preppy Melbournaties Butcher Blades breaking out some dance beats in the pool, but missed Sydney’s Royal Headache in the barn catching some AMAZING Karaoke near the bike sheds. Shit got serious when a karaokist fell head first out of the van, monitor beneath them! Ah well!

Karaoke at Campus
Karaoke at Campus

There was no way I was gonna miss Toro Y Moi on the main stage. Chaz was really getting in to the swing of things around camp; lining up for morning cafe bites, attending the DIY synth workshop and generally chilling out – pretty appropriate considering how chill his music is. Great support band too; playing a really relaxed but funky set – a great way to end an evening.

Toro Y Moi at Campus
Toro Y Moi at Campus

Yeah I’m a piker, I didn’t catch any of the late night acts (Captain Ahab, Trjaeu and Delaney Davidson) or the Wellington Hip-Hop party  (Tommy Ill, Totems, Crackhouse 5) in the gym, but the next day would proof to be a real beaut.

LIVE: 47 Diamantes with Tommy Ill and Shorty K

47 Diamantis, originally uploaded by fraew.

Unfortunately I missed the main Christchurch connection in this Goodbye Blue Monday show, with Tommy Ill trading rhymes in a new duo with Shorty K a little after I arrived; as I’d missed local opener (and Bang! Bang! Eche! frontman) Zack Doney fronting his new project Teen Fortress. Much more upbeat than the last time I saw Tommy rhyme, Shorty K (aka Kelvin Neal of the Crackhouse 5) adds a bit of sing-along to proceedings, helping to get the party started for me.

The hilarious 47 Diamantes feature an ex-garden city-ite anyways in front-woman and exhibitionist Gemma Syme (Dianna Rozz / ex-Holiday with Friends) and brought the night to a great close. After ripping through some electro + screaming classics (with Shorty K manning the keyboards and playing some sweet catchy beats and riffs), Gemma started stripping layers and inviting the crowd forward. Check out the full photo set by clicking the link above.