Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Night Before, The Night Before Christmas, Dunedin Style.

On the 23rd of December, I did sound for a pretty big gig at Sammy's, in Dunedin, organised by the guys from Retrophonic Funk Machine (RFM). It was the first musical thing I had done since being back from the UK, and I was reminded of a few classic "quirks" of trying to play live in New Zealand.

The first quirk with live gigs in New Zealand is that quite often they don't happen in venues where gigs are held all the time, meaning that often lots of sound and light equipment needs to be hired in at great expense (usually to the musicians wanting to play). Strangely enough, this is half-true with Sammy's. Sammy's has gigs all the time, however their equipment is worn out, and kind of incomplete. To get the gig to run smoothly, RFM had to hire in a whole other PA system and lighting rig. Usually this would be extremely expensive, but this amazing dude called Iain Sweetman agreed to hire his gear, and his awesome services for stuff all cash. Still kinda sucks we couldn't use the house gear, but hey!

The second quirk is related to the first. Soundchecks, or anything related to the preperation of a gig, often run well off schedule, and way over time. Iain and myself were meant to be loading in at 12 noon, for a 2pm soundcheck. This is what we found when we arrived at 12.

The true nightmare before the night before the night before Christmas

Yep that's right. Sammy's was full of bouncy castles, and there were a bunch of little kids screaming around. We found out that it was going to be like this till 5pm! Argh! So Iain and I loaded in what we could, and rushed the soundcheck and everything else once the kids, and the bouncy castles were removed later on.

Anyways onto the positives. I was well impressed by the majority of the bands, and the awesome sense of community amongst them. It was also really great for me to see how far the bands that I knew well had come in a year, and a great opportunity for me to hear some new ones as well.


RFM busted out some pretty great collaborations with the support bands, highlights for me being the ones with The Something Quartet (who I hadn't seen before, and are awesome!), and The Julian Temple Band. If Sammy's was a bit better prepared, it would have been one of the better gigs I'd ever worked! Choice!

The Something Quartet, featuring RFM, Tono, and a boys choir.

The Julian Temple Band