February 12th, 2011 at Flock House, Bulls
Day 2 was EPIC.
Had the occasional brief encounters with the early bands – Melbourne duo Freddy Fudd-Pucker, Tantrums 2nd set, Karl Stevens other new band Heart Attack Alley, Dear Time’s Waste from Auckland, Great Earthquake once more and Orchestra of Spheres; but didn’t really settle in until Grayson Gilmour hit the main stage. Seems like he was playing a variety of new songs, based around his piano and emotive vocals – cool stuff; though the sun was definitely taking its toll on those of us braving the main stage.
Thankfully the FANTASTIC Old Loaves from Wellington were then playing in the Barn. Hot damn these guys are great. I described them at the time as kinda like The Gordons, but I guess maybe more straight forward and with a pretty brutal edge. Really really dug these guys, and they got a great crowd response from the fellow Christchurch lads in the crowd. Next up Wet Wings had a go at the full line-up, with Matt Scobie joining Darian, Lucy and Jon in the Pool. There was even time for a little dancing this time around.
Saw a little of The Mothers of Darkness – a pretty straight forward band; but headed off pretty early, I think this time around catching a renegade room double of No Aloha and new outfit Etiquette. Although No Aloha will be familiar to Christchurch and Wellington audience (and features basically The Insurgents performing new songs). Etiquette are a brand new band with a few familiar faces; and I must admit I took a shine to this new band immediately. Mark Turners a pretty great front-man, and with catchy call-and-response vocals I was an instant fan.
Teen Hygiene seem to have a gimmick – their drummer likes playing ‘high’; though not in the typical sense; he’d stacked up a giant drum riser in the barn, and later better that by playing on the roof of the bike sheds (in scorching sunlight). Seem like a pretty straight ahead rock band out of Wellington.
I missed Alphabethead, though I believe I did later see him (along with James Dansey of The Sneaks) clean up in the 3-on-3 b-ball competition. Next band I didn’t catch were Lowtide – an Aussie shoegazey outfit notable for their use of twin bassists. Good stuff; with cool twin vocals too.
After a painfully sunny day though, the beast was to come once the sun came down…
Bachelorette got a great crowd as she played a set with Hamilton robot band The Trons. Things took a while to get going but it was a choice set; including a fantastic cover of the Tall Dwarfs ‘Nothings Gonna Happen‘.
Glass Vaults were totally chill in the pool, but I missed Rat vs. Possum on the main stage. Unfortunately I’ve lost track of a bit of what went down, some Renegade shows went down (including my fellow camper Jos playing a chip-tune set, and the always entertaining Cosbys – both in the Renegade room) and there was much revelling…
Things really kicked in to gear next, The Coolies absolutely ripping shit to shreds in the barn. Main their new material rules, totally free form, creative and brutal – I LOVE the new generation Coolies, can’t believe I haven’t got the new LP yet…
Parking Lot Experiments played to a big crowd in the pool, completely overwhelming and yes fun once more – these guys really were one of the highlights of Campus for me, and I even managed to catch one of their shows when I got back home to Christchurch.
In previous years and in previous A low Hum tours I’ve been front row centre for My Disco. However I’m one of those lame ‘I like your early stuff better’ kind fans as I reckon their earlier LP ‘Cancer’ is their best – it’s so minimal and sharp, I just go nuts when they play that stuff… So yeah their new material doesn’t really sit so well with me. The guys are still amazingly talented, but they’ve lost a bit of that minimal, incredibly tight sound…
Luke Rowell is an A Low Hum legend; and he showed it with a stonking, chock-a-block Disasteradio! set in the pool, surrounded by laser lights and stage-invading fans. Oh man, total love-fest of cheezy awesome synthy sounds. Great fun.
Again I missed a couple official outfits – Dunedin kids TFF and The Wilberforces, Plus F in Covers (Mike Logie aka F in Math playing cover songs), Blinks DJ Set and All Black Wolf at the party stage, but The Sneaks MORE than brought the party. Those guys are seriously my favourite party band of all time – I was jumping around like mental in the stage area of the Renegade room as Dansey was climbing all over the crowd and letting himself go. There are few bands with so many great songs (‘Kuzai Heart You Girl’, ‘North Shore Pussy‘, ‘No Sex‘, ‘Thowback‘ etc etc) that bring such joy and fun to their shows… Thats what camp is ALL about!