Sunday, 18 December 2011

The last dance.

When I first moved to Auckland I initially had real trouble finding work, and as a result quickly became desperately broke. To cut a long story short, I ended up DJing at primary and intermediate school discos. I’ve been doing it ever since about May last year, and hopefully I’ve done my last one for quite a while.

Here are a few images and a video that should give an idea of what it was like.

A note from my boss, which he'd left for me in one of his CD wallets.

My view at the beginning of a disco.

DJing for a junior school. It's true that the music taste gets worse as they get older. I can actually get away with playing 60's rock n roll with young ones.

Even Santa likes to dance.

Mid disco at an intermediate school. Notice how light it is outside.

Oh lordy this is the weirdest job I've ever done.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Simon Comber Tour

Admittedly a little late, but here are a few snaps from a wee mini-tour I went on drumming for Simon Comber last month. He'd just released his (really rather good) EP. You can check it out here.

Tabac, Auckland.

My view at The Bay Bar in Acacia Bay, Taupo. Bryan from Bitter FM put this one for us. He's a really top dude, and his station is fantastic.

Space Monster, Wanganui. This has to be one of the coolest DIY venues I've ever been to.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Clever boys

T54 have to be one of my favourite NZ bands. They've just gone and released a video for their scorcher of a song "Julie K." They're on tour next week, and I'm definitely going to their Auckland show. While you're at it, buy their EP Drone Attacks - it was recorded by Dale Cotton, and it seriously rules.

Boom tang.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Beast is unleashed

I'm not sure totally when Proton Beast released the little mini EP, it might have been yesterday when Westley put the songs on bandcamp, or today, when I linked to it on Facebook. Either way, Proton Beast's debut digital mini-EP has been "released".

Readers, you probably don't even know what I'm babbling about, let me backtrack a little.

At the start of last year I'd just moved to a new city, was broke, and wasn't involved in any music. I posted an ad on gumtree mentioning I was a drummer keen to work on interesting musical projects, but was disappointed with the feedback I was getting. It seemed the only people making music in Auckland in early 2010 were pairs of bedroom guitarists wanting to get their "punk/funk/radiohead/red hot chilli peppers" project out gigging.

So I deleted the old ad and put uploaded a new one, basically telling those people to not bother contacting me, and quoted a bunch of wanky bands I was into. Only one person ever replied, Westley Holdsworth. He emailed me, mentioning that he too was a fan of Sunn O))) and Liars, and that we should meet up for a beer.

9 months, several gallons of homebrew, and a handful of trips to Spicy House later, David Good was recording our fancy new two-piece band at the University of Auckland studio. Not a bad facility overall: Nice room, reasonable mic selection, oddball digital desk, kinda crap monitors. Most importantly, free! Dave was pretty awesome for a dude new to recording, and was patient with our fluffing around.

Later I mixed the tracks at The Lab, with Tom Healy helping out. It was mixed entirely with hardware - no plugins were used at all. Tom was super helpful, both with showing me how to fly the Neve, giving great feedback, and bringing some pretty crazy ideas to the table.

So anyway, there you go, that's the guts of the band/mini-EP.

Brain dump over.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Week darn’ sarf with Tono and the Finance Company

A couple of weeks ago Tono and I flew down to Dunedin to get some pre-production done on his upcoming album and to play the Feastock after party. We had initially blocked this time off for recording the album, but unfortunately a number of factors got in the way over summertime, leaving the band in no shape to do the songs justice.

This turned out to be a blessing in disguise however. Tono, Bugs, Paul, myself, and sometimes Logan (aka The Edge) busted our guts through six tracks, to great success. I have to admit that while practicing in Bug’s freezing cold North East Valley garage made me feel somewhat sentimental of my old Dunedin days, it was in fact was pretty darn gruelling. We were playing for about 6-8 hours a day, racking our brains to get decent rhythm section arrangements for more than half an album. We got there in the end (I think!), so hopefully we should be sweet to record in July with Tex Houston.

The garage

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending my first Feastock. For those not in the know, Feastock is an annual day-concert run out of the back of a flat in Pine Hill. Responsible for this revelation in DIY partying are Steve Marshall, Callum Hampton and his brother Logan. This is the third year Feastock has run, and the boys have got it running like clockwork. They resold all 500 tickets for the event, installed a massive stage, port-a-loos, and even had free buses to the after party down at refuel later on.

Look how many people!

The gig truly was a celebration of what it means to be young, into music, and living in Dunedin. I happily joined the gumboot-clad party-goers, spending the whole day listening to a pretty eclectic mix of bands, sipping from Darren’s rigger of Emersons, and catching up with old friends. Seriously, the only parties I could compare it to in terms of awesomeness and DIY-ness would be the ones run by Blink (of Camp A Low Hum fame).

Thundercub rule

Later in the evening I played with Tono and the Finance Company at the Feastock after party at Refuel. It was great to play a show with the Dunedin Finance Company – it’s a messier, louder, rowdier beast than the Auckland line-up, and I think we played the best we had in ages. Blasting a pumping live show was really good for the band’s confidence, and it was great to go out of Dunedin on such a high note.

Soulseller (rule)

All in all, a solid trip to Dunedin. Thanks to everyone who made my time so awesome. Peace!

Friday, 29 April 2011

The big H.C hits WT

A wee while back I played with the Hannah Curwood band down in Wellington, along with Bond Street Bridge and Little Bark. I had mixed feelings about how the show was going to go, what with Tom Healy recently leaving the band, and not knowing anything at all about where we were playing, Meow.

Let's be honest here, Tom made a huge racket in the band. The guy's got more pedals in his rig than most bands use collectively. He'd been a part of the band since it's inception (I'm pretty sure), and it when I found out he was going, I had trouble imagining how the band would sound. Thankfully Sam Prebble and Rebecca Travaglia are monster musicians, and managed to somewhat make up for the loss of Tom.

Sophie Burberry playing at Meow, Wellington
Little Bark played support. Image courtesy Michael Edge-Perkins.

As to the venue, I actually had a really good experience at Meow. It's a cute cafe down a back alley off Victoria Street, with great bar staff, a reasonable sound system, and generally welcoming vibe. I'd liken the place to Wine Cellar in Auckland, but with a less dingy, dark feel. There were a few discrepancies regarding things like sound techs and promotion, which initially had us a bit concerned, but at the end of the day things got worked out with a minimum of tension.

Hannah Curwood band playing at Meow Wellington
Me, H.C, and Sam Prebble. Image courtesy Michael Edge-Perkins.

Damian, the dude that runs the place is perhaps a little bit wet behind the ears with promoting and running gigs, but he is enthusiastic, has his heart in the right place, and appears to be able to run the cafe/bar side of the business pretty well.

So yeah, despite the lack of Tom the band played really well, and thanks to that, plus some pretty epic partying I left Wellington feeling pretty sweet. If you wanna play a mellow show in Wellington, give Meow a spin.

Hannah Curwood Band at Meow, Wellington
Rebecca Travaglia. Image courtesy Michael Edge-Perkins.