Tuesday, 20 April 2010

One of the privileges of being on the dDub emailing list.

So today I got sent an hilarious email from Derek Browne, lead singer in dDub, and one of the the head honcho's of the New Zealand "Barbecue Reggae" movement.

Derek Browne, lead singer from dDub

Usually the sorts of emails I get from these kind of people are the, "Come-watch-my-shitty-faux-reggae-band-play-at-a-pretentious-venue-where-you-don't-actually-live-for-a-ridiculous price" kind. To these I hit the "mark as spam button", and carry on with whatever I'm doing. However this email caught my eye - It seems this guy has joined some kind of weird cult, and is spreading the "word" through the dDub email list. It's all a bit strange and inappropriate really.

Anyway here's the email for your enjoyment. I'm going to hell right?

From: Derek Browne

Subject: HI guys - info on a course

Date: 20 April 2010 9:18:18 PM NZST

To: Derek Browne


Hi there guys

Derek here, from dDub.
I just wanted to check in, and let you know about an awesome course that I have done and am now helping facilitate.
It's called Avatar.

Alongside pushing dDub, playing in the band etc, I've been learning some fantastic 'tools' through this course. The tools teach you how to operate in life with more clarity, fine tune how you want to experience life and how to live your life deliberately. It's a very cool way to learn about how you truly do create your own reality - in a grounded way. You learn how you are placing limits on yourself. You then learn how to get rid of these limitations and really get on with creating the life that you prefer.

Avatar is a simple way to explore your own 'blueprint' or set of beliefs. You see how you're operating your life through these beliefs, and really understand why 'things' happen to you.
And you learn how to stop and change unhelpful patterns and things that just 'keep happening' - for good!.
That was the clincher for me with trying this course out - the fact that any positive change you make stays that way.

So - I now help take other people through the course.
I thought I'd email, let you know - see if anyone is interested in checking it out. It's a nine day course, which you can do as a whole, or divide into 3 sections. There are free intro's running in Auckland, where you get to have an experience of the tools and a glimpse into your own blueprint of beliefs. The courses run internationally, but there are two a year in Auckland - one coming up in two weeks! - on May 1st. So - I am spreading the word out there!

I know not everyone is into this kind of thing - but if you are, and enjoy a challenge, you can check it out online at.

http://www.avatarpacific.com/engels/whatmain.html
http://www.avatarpacific.com/engels/resultsmain.html

Email me back if you want to know more.
Cheers
Derek :-)


Friday, 2 April 2010

The Verlaines, Auckland & Hamilton

I had the honour of doing sound for The Verlaines a few weeks ago in Auckland and Hamilton.

On the Friday night the gig was happening at the Montecristo Room, on Nelson Street, Auckland. From my perspective the venue was "average-to good". It's mid-sized venue (I guess you could cram about 400 people in there at a stretch), with a weird pole in the middle of the room (a la Arc Cafe), and the PA, while looking impressive, was pretty boxy overall.

The gig itself was actually pretty cool - Tono and the Finance Company were on point like usual, Simon Comber played beautifully, and the Verlaines were pretty bloody good considering the difficulty of their material. There's a pretty hilarious review of the show by Haley Beatson, and a review of her review by Graeme Downes which are both well worth reading.

Ow one last thing, Montecristo had probably the worst rider I've ever seen! 12 beer between 10 performers. Nice job losers!

The next day we played at Gravity bar in Hamilton. Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton, what a shithole! We had to spend $400 to hire half a PA, and there was a male strip show happening over the road that night. Fun times.

The Verlaines at Gravity

I also worked out that Gravity run by the same weirdos that run Altitude (guess which bar is upstairs). It's owned by this family, I can't remember any of their names apart from Leroy (the father). He's a fuckin' odd, grumpy prick, who I've had run-ins with before (in 2004 - fortunately he didn't recognize me!).

Anyway Leroy had his system all "custom wired" so that if it got too loud his bar staff could turn the system down from behind the bar, and all that kind of shit. Unfortunately it also meant that there a bunch of other problems symptomatic of their bad wiring, including -6dB on the left hand side of FOH. The room also chronically rattled at 40Hz which made my job even harder.

So yeah anyway the gig. It was attended by about 20 people, all of which seemed to be massive fans of the headliners. The Verlaines played really bloody well, it was a massive improvement from the night before, and I was loving it.

After the show (midnight) we noticed that Hamilton was changing as it got later. More and more trashy folk were crowding the streets, security had arrived at the bar, and the bartender (who is Leroy's daughter) had taken off her sweater, and was now wearing some horrible handkerchief+shoelaces bikini top number. The music which I'd put on after the gig (probably My Bloody Valentine) had been replaced by "Cotton Eyed Joe" by the Rednex. People started streaming in. We hasitly packed up and went back to the hotel.

Epic whisky drinking post-show.

Despite how weird and wrong the gig was, I should mention that the staff at Gravity were pretty nice to us (despite Leroy being a weirdo), and we were generously looked after, all considering.