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Live Music Reviews and Photos

Seth Frightening, Glass Vaults, Disasteradio!

Seth Frightening at Darkroom
Seth Frightening at Darkroom

After last nights late night at the Brewery it was nice to get to a venue like Darkroom to catch Seth Frightening and Glass Vaults in a more welcoming environment. The Archive (Darkroom’s parent building which also houses Galaxy Records and the new RDU permanent studio) is quickly becoming one of my favorite places, with great shows, warm hosts, fantastic drinks, home-made snacks and brilliant events.

Glass Vaults at Darkroom
Glass Vaults at Darkroom

Seth Frightening carried on from last night, reveling the crowd in their fuzzy, involving and enveloping sound. Glass Vaults were again top-notch, drawing the crowd forward with their hypnotic sound, driven by that killer percussion (though I did have to rescue the floor tom from collapsing mid-set).

Disasteradio! at Darkroom
Disasteradio! at Darkroom

Returning to Christchurch for the first time in a long while and after a European tour and Internet semi-stardom (have you seen all those remakes of his ‘gravy rainbow’ video?), Disasteradio! was a bit ill, but soldiered one like a trooper, with his usual self-depreciating humor and fantastic stage performance. The vocally driven numbers like the classic ‘hotline‘ and the brilliant ‘no pulse‘ were particular crowd favorites, with Zak (of Bang Bang Eche / Teen Fortress) filling in on vocals for Christina. Great fun, as is the new album ‘Charisma’, available as a pay-what-you-want purchase – even the vinyl LP!

Zak (Teen Fortress) performing backups vocals for D-Rad
Zak (Teen Fortress) performing backups vocals for D-Rad

Check out the rest of the photos here.

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Live Music Reviews and Photos

Valdera, Glass Vaults and Seth Frightening

Valdera at the Brewery
Valdera at the Brewery

Thursday night at the Brewery. Local lad James Musgrave opened up playing a solo set under his Valdera moniker (which is sometimes a duo). Laid-back layered guitar and vocals, including a take on Antony Johnson’s take on Beyonce (which led to a bit of a side-of-stage sing-a-long).

Glass Vaults are something else. There the guys who can hear everything. Who layer up guitar, bass, keys and other noises into a Maelstrom of sugar-syrupy sweet sound that just sounds perfect. Cracking songs, some excellent one-drum percussion and great vocal harmonies. Probably the best band in Wellington these days.

Seth Frightening at the Brewery
Seth Frightening at the Brewery

Seth Frightening also layered things up, with looped vocals, beat-up guitars and even the odd screamy moment to wake up the less attentive punters. Glad I hung around for the whole show.

Click here for the rest of my photos from the night.

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Live Music Reviews and Photos

French for Rabbits, Hannah Harding

Hannah Harding at Darkroom
Hannah Harding at Darkroom

I didn’t manage to catch Dakroom’s 2nd show (the fantastic Bachelorette), however saturday nights show with Hannah Harding and duo French for Rabbits was a mellow cracker.

 

Hannah was vamping it up with low-key but sultry Jazz-flavored acoustic numbers, bringing an electric guitarist for the first few songs and toying with the crowd.

 

 

 

 

French for Rabbits at Darkroom
French for Rabbits at Darkroom

I hadn’t seen French for Rabbits play live before, but I’m a fan of Brook Singer’s material and I dig the French for Rabbits recordings. Needless to say they were slick as a live act, Brook really letting her voice shine.

 

 

Click here for more photos.

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Live Music Reviews and Photos

Borderline Ballroom: C Spencer Yeh, David Khan, Rainbow Beast

C Spencer Yeh at Darkroom
C Spencer Yeh at Darkroom

Launching the debut of new Christchurch music venue (and top-notch bar, stocking only local beers, wines, liquors and home-made food) Darkroom was a great dose of acerbic synthesized noise – from the controls of Rainbow Beast. The place was packed, and not with the usual Borderline Ballroom audience, a few of whom didn’t really seem to get what was going on.

Dave Khan played a more tranquil set, utilizing his sampling keyboard to flesh out layers of sound. Dave’s set was a very calming, melodic performance; a shame a few patrons didn’t seem to appreciate it…

C Spencer Yeh took two different approaches – firstly a frantic performance on violin, producing often atonal, but frantic sounds. He then followed this with one of the more unusual human beatbox performances i’ve seen; with 2 microphones in hand he bounced sounds around this lovely, but crowded space.

More photos can be found here.

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w artists

Wilberforces

Biography

Not to be confused with Wilberforce, this group made a big splash with their debut single ‘Tidal Waves’ (get it?). Featuring Thom Burton, previously of Yokel Ono.

Members

  • Thom Burton (Guitar, 200?)

Discography

  • Tidal Waves [2008 Etch Recordings ETCH004]
  • Haunted [2009 Etch Recordings ETCH005]

Links

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Live Music Reviews and Photos

Grand Spectacular: Sandfly Bay, Doctors, Ipswich

Titled Grand Spectacular, Thom’s leaving party at Kreation was certainly an endeavor – 25 bands in one venue over the course of a day. I managed to catch a couple sessions, with my new local fav’s Ipswich playing a chaotic and short set, an appearance from a preppy wannabe gangster-rapper, a new-look instrumental Sandfly Bay (veeeerry slick) and I finally managed to catch Doctors live too, after being a fan of their recorded work for some time.

Doctors at Kreation
Doctors at Kreation

I got a whole heap of photos, so I put a larger-than-normal photoset up here.

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Live Music Reviews and Photos

A Handful of Dust

For their first Christchurch performance together in a very long time, A Handful of Dust (otherwise known as long-time influential New Zealand fringe musicians Alastair Galbraith and Bruce Russell) played the excellently TelstraClear Club, a ‘Yurt’ structure put together for Christchurch Arts Month. Click here for the photoset.

Bruce Russell
Bruce Russell

The show featured Alastair Galbraith explaining the bizarre history of the Glass Harmonium and with both Alastair and Bruce performing solo sets before they came together for an ear-bending finale.

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Live Music Reviews and Photos

Kenya Fundraiser

Another slow-to-add photoset, this time from a fundraising event at the Brewery. Caught a few sets in this VERY late night show, with acts going all night… Picture is Will Roud, who opened the show with a (mostly) set, followed by Mikey Summerfield and up-and-coming shoe-gazey act Miniatures.

Will Roud at the Brewery
Will Roud at the Brewery
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Live Music Reviews and Photos

Borderline Ballroom: September 2011

Photos from Borderline Ballroom’s September 2011 show at Kreation. Sorry I’ve been a bit slow adding these ones! Artists who performed were Mela, Punjab (pictured below) and Fur Chick. You can view the whole set here

Punjab at Borderline Ballroom
Punjab at Borderline Ballroom