UTRs 2022 Favourite Music Moments

UTR Team and Contributors
/ Friday 23rd December, 2022 10:54AM

  
  

Give yourself a well-deserved round of applause, because we’ve nearly made it to the end of 2022. Before we bounce away from the UTR office for a summer beach break, it’s time to celebrate a crazy past twelve months with our annual Favourite Music Moments round up feature. We’ve invited contributors to the site this year to share five of their personal favourite and most notable memories, plus some suitably spicy takes thrown in the mix [note: all opinions expressed below are the writers’ own].

A massive heartfelt thank you to all the artists, gig-goers, event organisers, readers, contributors and everyone who supported UTR in one way or another in 2022. Tuck into our mega-stacked End Of Year Playlist HERE and catch you back right here in 2023!

ANNABEL KEAN

SPORTS TEAM / UTR ASSISTANT EDITOR ’22

Dimmer at The Hollywood

Tbh when the I Believe You Are A Star tour was announced it felt like a special treat just for me. As is demonstrated by this groundbreaking short film my Dad made circa 1999, Dimmer heavily features in both the soundtracks for Molli Goes Missing and my childhood, meaning I was thrilled to attend the postponed show in late September. Knowing I would likely be crying throughout, I went alone and sat in the very back row with a couple of empty seats either side of me, allowing me to spam my family with dark, blurry photos and videos without bothering anyone in phone screen light distance. A special mention here goes to Louisa Nicklin on guitar. My hero.

Student Radio Network Awards

Christmas? Shmishmas! New Years? Who cares! The only annual celebration I look forward to is the Student Radio Network Awards, and 2022’s event was a real doozy. Watching the live broadcast from the comfort of a Wine Cellar front row seat and well quenched by a special Oatly boozy milk drink, I was blown away by a stunning spectrum of entertainment courtesy of bFM, Radio Control, Radio Active, RDU and Radio One. From the surreal visual delights of the Night Lunch Liams, to an adorable ‘Colourbox’ dance / cosplay by Amamelia and Madison Van Staden, there was not a dull moment in sight. I even had the unique joy of sitting next to the Hans Pucket Callums when they were announced as Favourite Group. I can’t wait to celebrate with another creative boozy milk drink in 2023!

Matariki

As is sometimes the way with a showbiz lifestyle, there’ll be times when a showbiz friend calls upon you for showbiz help. While it might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, I had marvellous and sodden time back in June moonlighting as a rooftop crowd filler for TVNZ’s Matariki concert Purapura Whetū — Stars of Matariki. Despite the rain and the lacklustre catering (I ate approx 10 tiny bags of chips), this little drowned rat had a blast watching live performances from Hollie Smith, Drax Project and Rob Ruha, as the audience hype team did their best to keep us hyped for two hours in the rain.

Venus Is Home – Erny Belle

Not much beats the smugness of receiving your pre-ordered vinyl of a long awaited release! Since obsessing over Erny Belle’s first singles and getting my clammy little mitts on the Venus Is Home LP, it has been thoroughly thrashed as an any-occasion spin. The debut collection has proved equally rewarding as a solo deep repeat listen, or popped on as a charming folk backdrop to your fancy dinner party. There’s truly nothing quite like hearing the lyrics of ‘Nuclear Bombs’ floating across the room — “I’m gonna go and smoke some P and put my baby in a washing machine” – while serving your guests cacio e pepe and a green garden salad. Better living everyone.

‘Love Is More’ – Princess Chelsea

I don’t know if it’s a particularly classy move to include a video I directed as part of my highlights, but how could I not mention driving around Chelsea Nikkel atop a giant sheep in the back of a ute? In some sort of Little Bo Peep meets Game Of Thrones fever dream, Sports Team came to the sane conclusion that Princess Chelsea had to be riding an enormous sheep in the video for her delightful song ‘Love Is More’, so we hot glued foam and sheep skin mattress covers onto a large wooden box, biffed it into the bed of truck, and topped it with a striking ewe’s head — made by Callum Devlin. Thank you Chelsea for trusting my vision.

CALLUM DEVLIN

SPORTS TEAM / HANS PUCKET

SKILAA ‘I Never Knew’ Single Release Show

Sometimes, spoilers are good. For instance, I might have liked to know that Mr David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future (2022) was about people horny for surgery. I soon found out, and made a swift escape from the Civic Theatre about 15 minutes in, feeling embarrassed, shaken and mad. Lucky for me, I had also booked a ticket to SKILAA’s single release at the Wine Cellar that had just kicked off (also lucky, because when I arrived they were turning people away at the door!). SKILAA brought me back to life in truly celebratory fashion, performing the best set I’ve seen them play to a crowd FULLY on board… I do not know how they do the things they do, creating the deepest grooves that Should Not Work, and yet somehow. Add this band to your must-see live in 2023 list! Spoiler alert, they rule. Gig of the year, no competition.

Bananamelia! – Amamelia

I knew from the first single that this was going to be my album of the year. I’ve never heard anything like Bananamelia! And I never will again. I’m done with music. Just play this cicada soaked bubble-breakbeat joy bomb over and over until I blow up. Some of the most densely layered, personal and iconically catchy electronic music I’ve ever heard. I am addicted to Bananamelia! It works for any occasion. I am so proud to have helped make a video for this record, and I will treasure the limited edition vinyl as a family heirloom.

Going bungy jumping with The Beths

2022 will be remembered as the year that Annabel and I got 8 days to move out of a flat, but that’s a much longer story than this one. On day 5 of 8 (a Sunday), we got a call from our friends The Beths who needed some “advice” about filming themselves going bungy jumping for a music video. This was their backup plan, as plan A had been interrupted by Covid (classic). Within the space of a 30 minute phone call, we had convinced ourselves we needed to film it. In exchange The Beths would help us move flats. And that’s exactly what happened. Monday we (read: they) went bungy jumping in the morning, filmed the rest of the video in the afternoon, Tuesday we packed up our flat, and by midday Wednesday we were in a new home. The Beths can add exceptional movers to their list of accolades, which makes sense when you think about it. 50% of touring as an indie band is packing and unpacking vans.

Cake of the year (tie): No Drama artwork by Buffy and Russell Devlin, and Big Red Car by Annabel Kean

Releasing an album feels really weird. You make this big important thing, and then release it into the world for people to enjoy mostly in private and with not much feedback. Which is great, and a massive relief, but can feel oddly anticlimactic at the same time. Last time my band Hans Pucket put out an album we sort of just hit upload and, boom there it was… released. This, in hindsight, was a mistake. This time, with the support of our label Carpark Records and a full team behind it, there was a huge energy and excitement and a true celebration! But nothing made me feel more proud of our work than the cakes. Organised separately, but with a shared sentiment, we had cakes given to us at both our album launch parties, which we cut up and shared to the audience after the show. It’s a small thing, but I had a non-awkward excuse to meet everyone and say thanks for coming and give them cake. So thank you mum and dad, and Annabel for that.

‘Drop Shadow’ – Eyeliner, animated by Simon Ward

Simon Ward knows how to make a music video. In ‘Drop Shadow’, he strikes this sweet formula that he has perfected, where it seems as though the video itself is making the music. Not in a didactic, illustrative way… but in a balanced, collaborative and inspiring sense that heightens the experience of listening to the song. Take that formula, and include imagery so iconic you can feel it buried in your memory somewhere (smiling pipe face I’m looking at you!), and you’ve got yourself the video of the year. Criminally under-viewed, let’s make June 7th Drop Shadow by Eyeliner Day.

CHRIS CUDBY

UTR EDITOR

Outlier Festival

My personal favourite local live event of the year, Outlier Festival was a three day "multi-modal project platforming new electronic music from Aotearoa’s experimental and exploratory practitioners" in spaces throughout central Tāmaki Makaurau. Highlights for me included P.H.F and Big Flip The Massive’s hyperactive live performances, Current Bias’ body-moving compositions and huge mysterious monitor on stage, E/N/T + M4URI M4STA’s transcendent scent / sound experience, Mr Sic’s brain-mashing techno-noise, and Flo Wilson’s moving and masterful vocal / dance performance. Mad props to artistic directors Tash van Schaardenburg and Grace Verweij for curating such an inspiring weekend with the Audio Foundation — open your ears to the accompanying compilation HERE.

Chernobyl original soundtrack performance – Hildur Guðnadóttir

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to book a flight (now borders are open again) and check out this year’s edition of Dark Mofo in Tasmania. Amongst the festival’s many highlights (including live sets by Cate Le Bon, Kim Gordon and claire rousay) Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Chernobyl original soundtrack event left a lasting impression. Standing in the centre of a massive warehouse in mid-winter Hobart’s shipbuilding district (attendees needed to arrive via ferry), Guðnadóttir with Chris Watson and others performed their spine-chilling hour long sound work, surrounded by speakers and buzzing sequenced strobe lighting installed across the entire ceiling. An all-engulfing, discombobulating experience.

DARTZ – Crate Day ’22

It’s been a smashing year for Pōneke’s DARTZ, whose debut album The Band from Wellington, New Zealand (Flying Nun) reached the number one spot on the official top 20 NZ albums chart. Amongst the team’s many achievements in 2022 — including their deliciously catchy cover of ‘Dominion Road‘ by The Mutton Birds and DARTZATHON livestream — probably the most iconic was DARTZ’s Crate Day National Tour of New Zealand, when they hit the headlines playing four cities in less than 24 hours in grand celebration of our boozy Crate Day tradition.

‘Streetlights’ – Mokotron

Mokotron’s ‘Streetlights’ is an electro-funk love letter to Karangahape Road’s late night party district, and is to these ears Aotearoa’s hottest dance track of 2022, featured on Pōneke imprint Strange Behaviour’s Uneasy Clubbing compilation. It’s been a breakout year for Mokotron, who took away SRN Award for Te Tohu Hopunga Puoro Mariu (Favourite EP / Mixtape) for March’s TAWHITO EP — "DARK PROBLEMATIC TRAUMA-DRIVEN MĀORI ELECTRO BASS STRAIGHT OUTTA TĀMAKI MAKAURAU".

Big Earth Energy – Cool Maritime

Santa Cruz-raised electronic explorer Cool Maritime’s new (age) album Big Earth Energy has been on high rotate on my home office stereo in ’22. Vast and evocative in scope, the record soundtracks an imaginary ecologically-themed video game: "The player assumes the perspective of a treefrog sixty five million years ago, hopping epochs with each new level, forming a comprehensive picture of the massive changes the planet has gone through over the eons. The ultimate goal of the game is not to amass resources, defeat enemies, or gain power, but to fully witness the unfolding of one of the biggest systems of energy imaginable or as the album’s creator puts it "to explore the incomprehensibly vast energetic expression and mystery that is Earth"".

DANZ
CARTOONIST / CHART-TOPPING MUSICIAN

Dumb For My Age – Dateline

Look, being in a band in Aotearoa is hard when this country pops out such great music monthly and you are left green with envy and respect. Dateline and the album Dumb For My Age encapsulates that feeling. Maybe it’s because Katie Everingham and her band of local legends make it all look so easy, this album is filled with indie pop hits from start to finish. I was not at all surprised to find the title track and ‘Love Hertz’ in my Spotify wrapped this year.

Hang Low – Elliot Dawson

The DARTZ boys were driving through the Desert Road when we listened to this for the first time, and what a fitting landscape for this album to score. On Hang Low, Elliot has perfectly blended stressful but groovy compositions with some of the most clever, snarky, and downright hilarious lyrics I’ve heard this past year. If this has somehow flown under your radar (heh) then chuck it on during Christmas lunch with some rich uncles in the room.

Last Place Bar, Kirikiriroa / Hamilton

If I’m being honest, the biggest highlight in music locally for me has been the opening of Last Place bar in Kirikiriroa / Hamilton. John Moughan has curated a space that is incredibly supportive of artists, has hired the friendliest staff imaginable, and the best chef in the country (shout out Connor Moore). Hamilton rarely seems to be talked about when it comes to local music, but Kirikiriroa love their music (the three times DARTZ has played it’s been packed), and I’m grateful that John and the team are proving that with Last Place.

Rich men acting like villains form an ’80s movie and trying to shut down the music

First was property mogul and drummer for band-who-buys-likes-and-views Paul Reid who left negative reviews on the Whammy Bar Facebook, a venue for which he is the landlord of, simply because they cared about patron safety. Then late last week, Scrooge enthusiast Sid McAuley made the news for threatening local venues around the inner-city apartment HE MOVED INTO RECENTLY because of live music with lawyers and calling the venues “hick bars”.

Save Our Venues

But every story has a hero, and in the case of battling the music Scrooges, this year our heroes are Taylor MacGregor and the Save Our Venues team has been absolutely crucial this year. It seems a lot of councils across the country are content in letting our amazing local live music scene die a slow death, from the mighty Crown in Ōtepoti / Dunedin, the St Asaph St venues in Ōtautahi / Christchurch, and Wine Cellar all having their own moments of potentially facing closure. The Save Our Venues team have an uphill battle on their hands, but watching them and the local music-loving community rally round them gives me faith.

HENESSEY GRIFFITHS

UTR CONTRIBUTOR / PUBLIC HENEMY NUMBER ONE

Power Nap live on NYE

What better way to kick in the new year than seeing the Pizza Man himself, Power Nap performing live in an apartment on Cuba St. It was my first time seeing Chris actually play live, and I must admit that my memory of that evening is a little bit hazy. But you best believe we were boogieing the night away in and out of the pit to ‘Club Dinos‘!


Solar Eclipse – Clear Path Ensemble

I stumbled across Clear Path Ensemble’s latest album Solar Eclipse on accident through the powers of Bandcamp’s New Zealand tag, and I was hooked on first listen. All of the tracks from start to finish blend together so well to the point where you get lost in it. It’s become my soundtrack for doing anything and everything, and started my latest obsession with nu-jazz. It’s just so good.

Hans Pucket live at Great Sounds Great festival

I hadn’t seen Hans Pucket play in a hot minute, and they played towards the end of the night at Eyegum’s Great Sounds Great gig. My friend Holly is moving overseas soon (rude), and one of our favourite songs is ‘Fuck My Life’. They played it last and we lost our minds, jumping and screaming all the words. It was some of the most fun I’ve had a gig all year, and now a core memory in our friendship that I’ll always cherish.

Renaissance – Beyoncé

There’s not much to say about this album other than I absolutely adore it. It makes me feel like I’m in the club during summer, getting respectfully wasted on G&T’s and living my best life. If you ever need to be reminded that you are That Bitch, then listen to Renaissance.

Break! EP – Fazerdaze

I’ve always loved Fazerdaze from my early days on Radio One, so I was so stoked to find out that they were releasing a new EP this year. The lyricism reflecting the struggles and eventual catharsis from overcoming burnout mixed with the fuzzy guitars all work so well together, and serves as a nice reminder that it’s okay to let down your guard to embrace what’s really important to you.

INDIRA NEVILLE

MOTHER / POLICY ANALYST / MAKES STUFF / OCCASIONAL UTR CONTRIBUTOR

The evening I went to Hello Noisy and then saw Somme

This was one of the first evenings post-2021 lockdown that I went out and didn’t feel anxious and managed to stay up late. It felt so great! The Hello Noisy show was the culmination of the 2022 Māpura Studios / Audio Foundation collaboration. Musicians from Māpura Studios played alongside established sound artists resulting in an intense and glorious experience which led me through at least three different kinds of consciousness.

Then I went to the 2021 demos tape release of drony, doom – always reliable – metal band Somme. They sounded so big and the sound was enveloping; tight and deep yet also somehow sparkly and humble.

Seeing Shepherd’s Reign at The Others Way festival

Wow. Just wow.

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Top five of 14

This live show featured the top five queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, series 14 (Angeria, Bosco, Daya Betty, Lady Camden and Willow Pill ). The show was extreme glamour with weird dance remixes of classic hits, amazing dancing and top quality lip-syncing; a proper show. The best bit though was when my 12 year-old superfan child went up on stage and — to the cheers of 1000 audience members — completely slayed the RuPaul trivia quiz. They won signed photos of the queens, all now framed and proudly displayed in their bedroom.

When Ruby Tui led Eden Park in a singalong after the Black Ferns won the World Cup

Whatever your opinion of rugby, what the Black Ferns did was incredible and Ruby Tui leading a 42,579-strong Eden Park crowd in ‘Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi‘ was the perfect, joyous end to their World Cup Campaign. And Tūtira Mai was the perfect waiata. It speaks of unity and everyone who went to school in Aotearoa knows it. It’s special.

Top Gear LP – Stef Animal

I actually only just got a physical copy of this. I found it in the JB HiFi at LynnMall, next to the Bruce Springsteens. It was a glorious niche underground / middle NZ culture clash moment. It’s just a great album; fun and cracking tunes made by someone with rules and unlikely technology.

LUKAS MAYO

PICKLE DARLING / BEDROOM POP

Forever Music – Katie Dey

I feel like I recommend this album on Twitter every week, but it’s my favourite album of the year. Please listen to it! Here is the closing track:

Touring with Lucy Dacus and watching the shows from side of stage <3

At the last show in Wellington, we got to watch the show from the stage and it was one of the loveliest musical experiences of my life! Her band and crew were incredibly nice to us too!

Tiny Ruins & David Mitchell’s show If I Were A Story And You Were a Song

I am a fan of both Tiny Ruins and the author David Mitchell, and as part of Christchurch’s WORD Festival they did a show where Hollie reimagined some of David’s stories as songs, and David reimagined some of Hollie’s songs as short stories. I am not sure we will ever hear some of these songs ever again which is what made the experience so special! Every time I tell people about the show they think I mean the comedian/Peep Show actor David Mitchell, who I would also like to see collaborate with Tiny Ruins.

My co-worker putting on the new Nickelback album at work

Imagine going into a record store and hearing Nickelback. Also, that album has easily the worst album cover of the year.

Me finishing my third album

Can’t say anything about it but the title has 10 letters and people should try guess what it is.

RACHEL ASHBY

HOST OF THE 95BFM BREAKFAST SHOW


Student Radio Network Awards in person

Back for its second year, and the first time in-person for Auckland and Palmy, the Student Radio Network Awards were a suitably wholesome, chaotic and joyful “For the Community, By The Community” celebration of music. The 95bFM contingent packed into the mighty Wine Cellar (love u Rohan) to watch the Dunedin-hosted action on a projector and give out some Auckland awards. Big highlights included Amamelia’s live recreation of Simon Ward’s excellent music video for ‘Colourbox’, the "Hands Pocket" Night Lunch gag that lives rent free in my brain, and the after party at Whammy featuring the likes of Te Kaahu, Baby Zionov and Imugi.

Bananamelia! – Amamelia

Created in chronological track order and designed to flow seamlessly from start to finish (and then back again), Bananamelia! is a galaxy-brain masterpiece. A waking dreamscape populated with cicadas, perfectly placed breaks and balearic synth pads: the album manages to be both elegantly ethereal and winkingly goofy at the same time. Vocals from Madison Van Staden (Moody V) will break your heart and leave you with a nostalgic sense of déjà vu, while field recordings subtly situate this record in humid Auckland City. Give me half a glass of Christmas Bubbles and I will talk in hyperbole about this record for hours — it’s pure magic.

95bFM Halloween Party at Whammy Bar

2022 was the year of being reminded how great it is to get a bit silly with your mates in a sweaty room, listening to some excellent live music. The 95bFM Halloween party at Whammy Bar was a great excuse to shake off some cobwebs (no pun intended), although I’m still nursing a hot glue gun scar from constructing a giant piece of toast out of felt and bamboo. Many excellent costumes abounded, but Grecco Romank surely cemented themselves as The Spookiest Band In Auckland with their performance art piece involving two cops beating up a Teletubby — truly harrowing stuff.

Girls Rock! Aotearoa / To The Front

If you’re ever feeling a bit jaded or burnt out on the state of the music industry, I highly suggest getting involved with Girls Rock! Aotearoa. There’s nothing like watching a bunch of enthusiastic and awesome kids come out of their shells and write some killer tunes to make you believe in the power of music again. With successful To The Front school holiday camps happening again in Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke this year — it was also so exciting to see the introduction of a brand new programme in Te Papaioea. If you have some spare coin to throw about, consider hitting up the Givealittle page!

Cate Le Bon

Pompeii by Cate le Bon has to be up there for my fave international releases of the year, so it was fitting that she was my first return to international gigging. Resplendent in magisterial robes she tore up the stage at the Hollywood Avondale with her indie all-star band and custom fluro-orange gat. Brb, off to grow back my mullet.

SAMANTHA CHEONG

UTR ASSISTANT / GUITARIST

Dragon New Warm Mountain, I Believe In You – Big Thief

This album was a bit of a slow burn pull for me (though is usually the longest lasting), but ‘Simulation Swarm’ certainly stuck in my head for months. Live, Big Thief brought most of the album into a different plane of existence for me just two weeks ago. I witnessed magic within the mosh swarm myself, plus the endless talent of Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek. Lenker was scrawny only in spoken demeanour, before she’d transform immensely into a raging folkster of rock who could shred for five solid minutes. Meek was someone I had no idea ever what chords he was playing, though it worked like a charm. Big Thief stole our breath despite the crowd — as my partner would say — being “fucking dead” in the nasty-dance department.

Taite Music Prize 2022 Ceremony

Although there were less performances this year (as I’ve been told), it being my first Taites negated any disappointment. The best parts about the awards for me was seeing Reb Fountain live and finally being able to put countless faces to artists that I’ve been listening to and writing about or helping to promote. Our country’s artists really are just a bunch of people who love music and work tirelessly at it.

Thabani Gapara at Ponsonby Social Club

I’ve been really getting more into jazz this year — in my playing and in my listening. Thabani’s sax is a definite extension of his voice in his ode to his homeland. His craft sweats into his sax, just as his band sweats out their passion. I just had to go to two of Thabani’s shows — and also get enamoured by his fellow guitarist Nathan James’s own show at PSC. PSC really showcases the best musicians in Auckland, every single week and churns out the best mix of classic genres.

Wallows at Auckland Town Hall

I never thought I’d get to see one of my favourite alt-rock trios here in Aotearoa, and they did not disappoint. It’s always crazy finally seeing songs you’ve sang and played in your room come to life — or the people in your bedroom poster too. One of my favourite little moments was watching Braeden Lemasters scale the outer steps of the stage in his classic serenade of ‘1980s Horror Film II’, but it was really all about the rock energy that reverberated around the place that made me feel alive.

Georgia Lines at Auckland Museum

This grand space — of placed cushions and couches on pristine marble afoot a sculpture above the museum lobby — entranced me just as much as Lines’ tender charm and magnetic voice did. Apart from the sick costume changes (I want a lime green suit now), her anecdotes of stalking her now-husband post-breakup and the support of the APO solidified my admiration of well-written pop. Anyway, the museum really needs to put on more shows there, if not for us, maybe the dinosaurs.

SAM DENNE

LOCAL EVIL-DOER / HAPLESS HACK


Outlier Festival

The fervent energy and passion Tash van Schaardenburg and Grace Verweij invested into Outlier makes most ‘labours of love’ look like a council road worker’s smoko. They wrangled an outstanding lineup of experimental electronic musicians from around the motu to perform across four shows (one of which was in a gorgeous church, stained glass and all). Far from just a weekend full of bleeps, bloops & breaks — Outlier brought ‘The Community’ together in a way that felt like receiving a warm hug from your nana. A rare Sunday sighting of i.e. crazy at Artspace wrapped up one of my most treasured experiences as an audience member ever.

Bananamelia! – Amamelia

Sample me like one of your French girls… I’ve been driving around listening to this album, grinning ear to ear til my face hurts. Amelia “Dusty Old Bones, Full Of Green Dust” Berry has injected every song with her down-home brand of romantic wistfulness, coloured by her extensive sample library of exhumed vintage synthesizers. And naturally it’s chocka with breakbeats. Every time the cicadas start at the beginning of ‘Colourbox’, I feel them rattling in my heart.

LEAO live at Achos

David Feauai-Afaese is the walking definition of a humble skuxxx. Whilst their compositions which blend traditional Samoan songs and post-punk are worthy of a dissertation (I’m serious), it’s their presence on stage which has inspired me most this year. They radiate love and kindness which fills any room they perform within in a manner that touches something deep inside of me that might just be a soul.

Cryer – Grey Lynn Church gig

Gorgeous, gorgeous church full of gorgeous, gorgeous people. Watching Charlie play their haunting set of funereal dirges whilst the sun dipped through the stained glass broke me. If you haven’t seen Cryer, change that in 2023. Their music is best accompanied by a certain activity which I’ll leave you to guess at. Hint: it’s in the name.

tHe cOMmUnItY

I’m going to be a big old sap and just say that this year I’ve felt so privileged to share the company of the people that make Tāmaki Makaurau’s music scene feel like home. It’s quite frankly been a shit year, but I’ve been immeasurably lucky to have spent it amongst such an inspiring, loving and superfluously talented collection of people. Thanks for tolerating me — I love you all. Keep creating, keep supporting each other, hardcore will never die and so on.

STEVE MATHIESON
LUNAVELA

Danger Mouse & Black Thought – Cheat Codes

Absolutely flawless production from the king and next level zero fucks rapping.

Danger Mouse · Danger Mouse & Black Thought – Strangers (feat. A$AP Rocky and Run The Jewels)

Racing + Lunavela at Auckland’s The Powerstation

We were really grateful to play with Racing at The Powerstation and stoked on their new album. It was really cool to reconnect with old friends from back in the day.

This is a bit of a throwback… but I was telling a friend the other day, how my all time favourite New Zealand musical moment, more than any song was Home Brew taking a goat to the Music Awards. A+.

Imposter Syndrome & Mostly Instrumentals – Lunavela

Lunavela album three will be out next year, then I’m moving back to London.

‘Sometimes’ – Princess Chelsea, Mattyeux

All the right feels.

TAYLOR MACGREGOR

SAVE OUR VENUES / FREAK THE SHEEP HOST

Half Hexagon

Promoters, journalists and publicists of Aotearoa rejoice. The coveted "SUPERGROUP" moniker was set to be unleashed yet again. Yolanda Fagan, Julien Dyne and James Milne possessed by the spirit of Giorgio Moroder. We all knew it would be good but that first Half Hexagon show at Wine Cellar was special along with everything they’ve done since. Let it be known that this tweet was approx. 60 secs into their first song and you heard it here first.

Dimmer at Hollywood Avondale

After delays on delays we finally got to see Shayne P. Carter and his all star band play as Dimmer in its full incredible form at The Hollywood Avondale. It knocked my little socks off and to make it an extra special occasion, I seduced the elusive Rohan Evans away from his Wine Cellar habitat to join me on a date. I got to chat to Shayne for UTR before the show and was pleased to confirm with the man himself that he very much is a Rock Star.

Dochdwy Road – Grown Downz

Grown Downz are an unbelievable band live and what a bloody joy to cop their first album on vinyl this year. Ripping punk two piece family band that goes so goddamn hard and honestly Joel and Ellie are just the best. Tauranga’s finest and the best Welsh musical export since Tom Jones.

Best new friend – Jones Chin of Dunedin’s Crown Hotel

This year I joined the team at Save Our Venues and in my travels working with our grassroots venue community I finally got to spend some time with the living legend that is Jones Chin of Dunedin’s Crown Hotel. Jones has the most incredible first hand stories of the history of music in Dunedin and the best post-gig snack game in the country. A New Zealand icon. And a special shout out to Save Dunedin Live Music for everyone they are doing to protect the future of The Crown.

‘Lost Memories’ – Vanessa Worm

I’m a sucker for production values and the music video for Vanessa Worm’s ‘Lost Memories’ gave me my cinematic music video fix for the year. Proper banger too.

Give yourself a well-deserved round of applause, because we’ve nearly made it to the end of 2022. Before we bounce away from the UTR office for a summer beach break, it’s time to celebrate a crazy past twelve months with our annual Favourite Music Moments round up feature. We’ve invited contributors to the site this year to share five of their personal favourite and most notable memories, plus some suitably spicy takes thrown in the mix [note: all opinions expressed below are the writers’ own].

A massive heartfelt thank you to all the artists, gig-goers, event organisers, readers, contributors and everyone who supported UTR in one way or another in 2022. Tuck into our mega-stacked End Of Year Playlist HERE and catch you back right here in 2023!

ANNABEL KEAN

SPORTS TEAM / UTR ASSISTANT EDITOR ’22

Dimmer at The Hollywood

Tbh when the I Believe You Are A Star tour was announced it felt like a special treat just for me. As is demonstrated by this groundbreaking short film my Dad made circa 1999, Dimmer heavily features in both the soundtracks for Molli Goes Missing and my childhood, meaning I was thrilled to attend the postponed show in late September. Knowing I would likely be crying throughout, I went alone and sat in the very back row with a couple of empty seats either side of me, allowing me to spam my family with dark, blurry photos and videos without bothering anyone in phone screen light distance. A special mention here goes to Louisa Nicklin on guitar. My hero.

Student Radio Network Awards

Christmas? Shmishmas! New Years? Who cares! The only annual celebration I look forward to is the Student Radio Network Awards, and 2022’s event was a real doozy. Watching the live broadcast from the comfort of a Wine Cellar front row seat and well quenched by a special Oatly boozy milk drink, I was blown away by a stunning spectrum of entertainment courtesy of bFM, Radio Control, Radio Active, RDU and Radio One. From the surreal visual delights of the Night Lunch Liams, to an adorable ‘Colourbox’ dance / cosplay by Amamelia and Madison Van Staden, there was not a dull moment in sight. I even had the unique joy of sitting next to the Hans Pucket Callums when they were announced as Favourite Group. I can’t wait to celebrate with another creative boozy milk drink in 2023!

Matariki

As is sometimes the way with a showbiz lifestyle, there’ll be times when a showbiz friend calls upon you for showbiz help. While it might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, I had marvellous and sodden time back in June moonlighting as a rooftop crowd filler for TVNZ’s Matariki concert Purapura Whetū — Stars of Matariki. Despite the rain and the lacklustre catering (I ate approx 10 tiny bags of chips), this little drowned rat had a blast watching live performances from Hollie Smith, Drax Project and Rob Ruha, as the audience hype team did their best to keep us hyped for two hours in the rain.

Venus Is Home – Erny Belle

Not much beats the smugness of receiving your pre-ordered vinyl of a long awaited release! Since obsessing over Erny Belle’s first singles and getting my clammy little mitts on the Venus Is Home LP, it has been thoroughly thrashed as an any-occasion spin. The debut collection has proved equally rewarding as a solo deep repeat listen, or popped on as a charming folk backdrop to your fancy dinner party. There’s truly nothing quite like hearing the lyrics of ‘Nuclear Bombs’ floating across the room — “I’m gonna go and smoke some P and put my baby in a washing machine” – while serving your guests cacio e pepe and a green garden salad. Better living everyone.

‘Love Is More’ – Princess Chelsea

I don’t know if it’s a particularly classy move to include a video I directed as part of my highlights, but how could I not mention driving around Chelsea Nikkel atop a giant sheep in the back of a ute? In some sort of Little Bo Peep meets Game Of Thrones fever dream, Sports Team came to the sane conclusion that Princess Chelsea had to be riding an enormous sheep in the video for her delightful song ‘Love Is More’, so we hot glued foam and sheep skin mattress covers onto a large wooden box, biffed it into the bed of truck, and topped it with a striking ewe’s head — made by Callum Devlin. Thank you Chelsea for trusting my vision.

CALLUM DEVLIN

SPORTS TEAM / HANS PUCKET

SKILAA ‘I Never Knew’ Single Release Show

Sometimes, spoilers are good. For instance, I might have liked to know that Mr David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future (2022) was about people horny for surgery. I soon found out, and made a swift escape from the Civic Theatre about 15 minutes in, feeling embarrassed, shaken and mad. Lucky for me, I had also booked a ticket to SKILAA’s single release at the Wine Cellar that had just kicked off (also lucky, because when I arrived they were turning people away at the door!). SKILAA brought me back to life in truly celebratory fashion, performing the best set I’ve seen them play to a crowd FULLY on board… I do not know how they do the things they do, creating the deepest grooves that Should Not Work, and yet somehow. Add this band to your must-see live in 2023 list! Spoiler alert, they rule. Gig of the year, no competition.

Bananamelia! – Amamelia

I knew from the first single that this was going to be my album of the year. I’ve never heard anything like Bananamelia! And I never will again. I’m done with music. Just play this cicada soaked bubble-breakbeat joy bomb over and over until I blow up. Some of the most densely layered, personal and iconically catchy electronic music I’ve ever heard. I am addicted to Bananamelia! It works for any occasion. I am so proud to have helped make a video for this record, and I will treasure the limited edition vinyl as a family heirloom.

Going bungy jumping with The Beths

2022 will be remembered as the year that Annabel and I got 8 days to move out of a flat, but that’s a much longer story than this one. On day 5 of 8 (a Sunday), we got a call from our friends The Beths who needed some “advice” about filming themselves going bungy jumping for a music video. This was their backup plan, as plan A had been interrupted by Covid (classic). Within the space of a 30 minute phone call, we had convinced ourselves we needed to film it. In exchange The Beths would help us move flats. And that’s exactly what happened. Monday we (read: they) went bungy jumping in the morning, filmed the rest of the video in the afternoon, Tuesday we packed up our flat, and by midday Wednesday we were in a new home. The Beths can add exceptional movers to their list of accolades, which makes sense when you think about it. 50% of touring as an indie band is packing and unpacking vans.

Cake of the year (tie): No Drama artwork by Buffy and Russell Devlin, and Big Red Car by Annabel Kean

Releasing an album feels really weird. You make this big important thing, and then release it into the world for people to enjoy mostly in private and with not much feedback. Which is great, and a massive relief, but can feel oddly anticlimactic at the same time. Last time my band Hans Pucket put out an album we sort of just hit upload and, boom there it was… released. This, in hindsight, was a mistake. This time, with the support of our label Carpark Records and a full team behind it, there was a huge energy and excitement and a true celebration! But nothing made me feel more proud of our work than the cakes. Organised separately, but with a shared sentiment, we had cakes given to us at both our album launch parties, which we cut up and shared to the audience after the show. It’s a small thing, but I had a non-awkward excuse to meet everyone and say thanks for coming and give them cake. So thank you mum and dad, and Annabel for that.

‘Drop Shadow’ – Eyeliner, animated by Simon Ward

Simon Ward knows how to make a music video. In ‘Drop Shadow’, he strikes this sweet formula that he has perfected, where it seems as though the video itself is making the music. Not in a didactic, illustrative way… but in a balanced, collaborative and inspiring sense that heightens the experience of listening to the song. Take that formula, and include imagery so iconic you can feel it buried in your memory somewhere (smiling pipe face I’m looking at you!), and you’ve got yourself the video of the year. Criminally under-viewed, let’s make June 7th Drop Shadow by Eyeliner Day.

CHRIS CUDBY

UTR EDITOR

Outlier Festival

My personal favourite local live event of the year, Outlier Festival was a three day "multi-modal project platforming new electronic music from Aotearoa’s experimental and exploratory practitioners" in spaces throughout central Tāmaki Makaurau. Highlights for me included P.H.F and Big Flip The Massive’s hyperactive live performances, Current Bias’ body-moving compositions and huge mysterious monitor on stage, E/N/T + M4URI M4STA’s transcendent scent / sound experience, Mr Sic’s brain-mashing techno-noise, and Flo Wilson’s moving and masterful vocal / dance performance. Mad props to artistic directors Tash van Schaardenburg and Grace Verweij for curating such an inspiring weekend with the Audio Foundation — open your ears to the accompanying compilation HERE.

Chernobyl original soundtrack performance – Hildur Guðnadóttir

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to book a flight (now borders are open again) and check out this year’s edition of Dark Mofo in Tasmania. Amongst the festival’s many highlights (including live sets by Cate Le Bon, Kim Gordon and claire rousay) Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Chernobyl original soundtrack event left a lasting impression. Standing in the centre of a massive warehouse in mid-winter Hobart’s shipbuilding district (attendees needed to arrive via ferry), Guðnadóttir with Chris Watson and others performed their spine-chilling hour long sound work, surrounded by speakers and buzzing sequenced strobe lighting installed across the entire ceiling. An all-engulfing, discombobulating experience.

DARTZ – Crate Day ’22

It’s been a smashing year for Pōneke’s DARTZ, whose debut album The Band from Wellington, New Zealand (Flying Nun) reached number one on the official top 20 NZ albums chart. Amongst the team’s many achievements in 2022 — including their deliciously catchy cover of ‘Dominion Road‘ by The Mutton Birds and DARTZATHON livestream — probably the most iconic was DARTZ’s Crate Day National Tour of New Zealand, when they hit the headlines playing four cities in less than 24 hours in grand celebration of our boozy Crate Day tradition.

‘Streetlights’ – Mokotron

Mokotron’s ‘Streetlights’ is an electro-funk love letter to Karangahape Road’s late night party district, and is to these ears Aotearoa’s hottest dance track of 2022, featured on Pōneke imprint Strange Behaviour’s Uneasy Clubbing compilation. It’s been a breakout year for Mokotron, who took away SRN Award for Te Tohu Hopunga Puoro Mariu (Favourite EP / Mixtape) for March’s TAWHITO EP — "DARK PROBLEMATIC TRAUMA-DRIVEN MĀORI ELECTRO BASS STRAIGHT OUTTA TĀMAKI MAKAURAU".

Big Earth Energy – Cool Maritime

Santa Cruz-raised electronic explorer Cool Maritime’s new (age) album Big Earth Energy has been on high rotate on my home office stereo in ’22. Vast and evocative in scope, the record soundtracks an imaginary ecologically-themed video game: "The player assumes the perspective of a treefrog sixty five million years ago, hopping epochs with each new level, forming a comprehensive picture of the massive changes the planet has gone through over the eons. The ultimate goal of the game is not to amass resources, defeat enemies, or gain power, but to fully witness the unfolding of one of the biggest systems of energy imaginable or as the album’s creator puts it "to explore the incomprehensibly vast energetic expression and mystery that is Earth"".

DANZ
CARTOONIST / CHART-TOPPING MUSICIAN

Dumb For My Age – Dateline

Look, being in a band in Aotearoa is hard when this country pops out such great music monthly and you are left green with envy and respect. Dateline and the album Dumb For My Age encapsulates that feeling. Maybe it’s because Katie Everingham and her band of local legends make it all look so easy, this album is filled with indie pop hits from start to finish. I was not at all surprised to find the title track and ‘Love Hertz’ in my Spotify wrapped this year.

Hang Low – Elliot Dawson

The DARTZ boys were driving through the Desert Road when we listened to this for the first time, and what a fitting landscape for this album to score. On Hang Low, Elliot has perfectly blended stressful but groovy compositions with some of the most clever, snarky, and downright hilarious lyrics I’ve heard this past year. If this has somehow flown under your radar (heh) then chuck it on during Christmas lunch with some rich uncles in the room.

Last Place Bar, Kirikiriroa / Hamilton

If I’m being honest, the biggest highlight in music locally for me has been the opening of Last Place bar in Kirikiriroa / Hamilton. John Moughan has curated a space that is incredibly supportive of artists, has hired the friendliest staff imaginable, and the best chef in the country (shout out Connor Moore). Hamilton rarely seems to be talked about when it comes to local music, but Kirikiriroa love their music (the three times DARTZ has played it’s been packed), and I’m grateful that John and the team are proving that with Last Place.

Rich men acting like villains form an ’80s movie and trying to shut down the music

First was property mogul and drummer for band-who-buys-likes-and-views Paul Reid who left negative reviews on the Whammy Bar Facebook, a venue for which he is the landlord of, simply because they cared about patron safety. Then late last week, Scrooge enthusiast Sid McAuley made the news for threatening local venues around the inner-city apartment HE MOVED INTO RECENTLY because of live music with lawyers and calling the venues “hick bars”.

Save Our Venues

But every story has a hero, and in the case of battling the music Scrooges, this year our heroes are Taylor MacGregor and the Save Our Venues team has been absolutely crucial this year. It seems a lot of councils across the country are content in letting our amazing local live music scene die a slow death, from the mighty Crown in Ōtepoti / Dunedin, the St Asaph St venues in Ōtautahi / Christchurch, and Wine Cellar all having their own moments of potentially facing closure. The Save Our Venues team have an uphill battle on their hands, but watching them and the local music-loving community rally round them gives me faith.

HENESSEY GRIFFITHS

UTR CONTRIBUTOR / PUBLIC HENEMY NUMBER ONE

Power Nap live on NYE

What better way to kick in the new year than seeing the Pizza Man himself, Power Nap performing live in an apartment on Cuba St. It was my first time seeing Chris actually play live, and I must admit that my memory of that evening is a little bit hazy. But you best believe we were boogieing the night away in and out of the pit to ‘Club Dinos‘!


Solar Eclipse – Clear Path Ensemble

I stumbled across Clear Path Ensemble’s latest album Solar Eclipse on accident through the powers of Bandcamp’s New Zealand tag, and I was hooked on first listen. All of the tracks from start to finish blend together so well to the point where you get lost in it. It’s become my soundtrack for doing anything and everything, and started my latest obsession with nu-jazz. It’s just so good.

Hans Pucket live at Great Sounds Great festival

I hadn’t seen Hans Pucket play in a hot minute, and they played towards the end of the night at Eyegum’s Great Sounds Great gig. My friend Holly is moving overseas soon (rude), and one of our favourite songs is ‘Fuck My Life’. They played it last and we lost our minds, jumping and screaming all the words. It was some of the most fun I’ve had a gig all year, and now a core memory in our friendship that I’ll always cherish.

Renaissance – Beyoncé

There’s not much to say about this album other than I absolutely adore it. It makes me feel like I’m in the club during summer, getting respectfully wasted on G&T’s and living my best life. If you ever need to be reminded that you are That Bitch, then listen to Renaissance.

Break! EP – Fazerdaze

I’ve always loved Fazerdaze from my early days on Radio One, so I was so stoked to find out that they were releasing a new EP this year. The lyricism reflecting the struggles and eventual catharsis from overcoming burnout mixed with the fuzzy guitars all work so well together, and serves as a nice reminder that it’s okay to let down your guard to embrace what’s really important to you.

INDIRA NEVILLE

MOTHER / POLICY ANALYST / MAKES STUFF / OCCASIONAL UTR CONTRIBUTOR

The evening I went to Hello Noisy and then saw Somme

This was one of the first evenings post-2021 lockdown that I went out and didn’t feel anxious and managed to stay up late. It felt so great! The Hello Noisy show was the culmination of the 2022 Māpura Studios / Audio Foundation collaboration. Musicians from Māpura Studios played alongside established sound artists resulting in an intense and glorious experience which led me through at least three different kinds of consciousness.

Then I went to the 2021 demos tape release of drony, doom – always reliable – metal band Somme. They sounded so big and the sound was enveloping; tight and deep yet also somehow sparkly and humble.

Seeing Shepherd’s Reign at The Others Way festival

Wow. Just wow.

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Top five of 14

This live show featured the top five queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, series 14 (Angeria, Bosco, Daya Betty, Lady Camden and Willow Pill ). The show was extreme glamour with weird dance remixes of classic hits, amazing dancing and top quality lip-syncing; a proper show. The best bit though was when my 12 year-old superfan child went up on stage and — to the cheers of 1000 audience members — completely slayed the RuPaul trivia quiz. They won signed photos of the queens, all now framed and proudly displayed in their bedroom.

When Ruby Tui led Eden Park in a singalong after the Black Ferns won the World Cup

Whatever your opinion of rugby, what the Black Ferns did was incredible and Ruby Tui leading a 42,579-strong Eden Park crowd in ‘Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi‘ was the perfect, joyous end to their World Cup Campaign. And Tūtira Mai was the perfect waiata. It speaks of unity and everyone who went to school in Aotearoa knows it. It’s special.

Top Gear LP – Stef Animal

I actually only just got a physical copy of this. I found it in the JB HiFi at LynnMall, next to the Bruce Springsteens. It was a glorious niche underground / middle NZ culture clash moment. It’s just a great album; fun and cracking tunes made by someone with rules and unlikely technology.

LUKAS MAYO

PICKLE DARLING / BEDROOM POP

Forever Music – Katie Dey

I feel like I recommend this album on Twitter every week, but it’s my favourite album of the year. Please listen to it! Here is the closing track:

Touring with Lucy Dacus and watching the shows from side of stage <3

At the last show in Wellington, we got to watch the show from the stage and it was one of the loveliest musical experiences of my life! Her band and crew were incredibly nice to us too!

Tiny Ruins & David Mitchell’s show If I Were A Story And You Were a Song

I am a fan of both Tiny Ruins and the author David Mitchell, and as part of Christchurch’s WORD Festival they did a show where Hollie reimagined some of David’s stories as songs, and David reimagined some of Hollie’s songs as short stories. I am not sure we will ever hear some of these songs ever again which is what made the experience so special! Every time I tell people about the show they think I mean the comedian/Peep Show actor David Mitchell, who I would also like to see collaborate with Tiny Ruins.

My co-worker putting on the new Nickelback album at work

Imagine going into a record store and hearing Nickelback. Also, that album has easily the worst album cover of the year.

Me finishing my third album

Can’t say anything about it but the title has 10 letters and people should try guess what it is.

RACHEL ASHBY

HOST OF THE 95BFM BREAKFAST SHOW


Student Radio Network Awards in person

Back for its second year, and the first time in-person for Auckland and Palmy, the Student Radio Network Awards were a suitably wholesome, chaotic and joyful “For the Community, By The Community” celebration of music. The 95bFM contingent packed into the mighty Wine Cellar (love u Rohan) to watch the Dunedin-hosted action on a projector and give out some Auckland awards. Big highlights included Amamelia’s live recreation of Simon Ward’s excellent music video for ‘Colourbox’, the "Hands Pocket" Night Lunch gag that lives rent free in my brain, and the after party at Whammy featuring the likes of Te Kaahu, Baby Zionov and Imugi.

Bananamelia! – Amamelia

Created in chronological track order and designed to flow seamlessly from start to finish (and then back again), Bananamelia! is a galaxy-brain masterpiece. A waking dreamscape populated with cicadas, perfectly placed breaks and balearic synth pads: the album manages to be both elegantly ethereal and winkingly goofy at the same time. Vocals from Madison Van Staden (Moody V) will break your heart and leave you with a nostalgic sense of déjà vu, while field recordings subtly situate this record in humid Auckland City. Give me half a glass of Christmas Bubbles and I will talk in hyperbole about this record for hours — it’s pure magic.

95bFM Halloween Party at Whammy Bar

2022 was the year of being reminded how great it is to get a bit silly with your mates in a sweaty room, listening to some excellent live music. The 95bFM Halloween party at Whammy Bar was a great excuse to shake off some cobwebs (no pun intended), although I’m still nursing a hot glue gun scar from constructing a giant piece of toast out of felt and bamboo. Many excellent costumes abounded, but Grecco Romank surely cemented themselves as The Spookiest Band In Auckland with their performance art piece involving two cops beating up a Teletubby — truly harrowing stuff.

Girls Rock! Aotearoa / To The Front

If you’re ever feeling a bit jaded or burnt out on the state of the music industry, I highly suggest getting involved with Girls Rock! Aotearoa. There’s nothing like watching a bunch of enthusiastic and awesome kids come out of their shells and write some killer tunes to make you believe in the power of music again. With successful To The Front school holiday camps happening again in Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke this year — it was also so exciting to see the introduction of a brand new programme in Te Papaioea. If you have some spare coin to throw about, consider hitting up the Givealittle page!

Cate Le Bon

Pompeii by Cate le Bon has to be up there for my fave international releases of the year, so it was fitting that she was my first return to international gigging. Resplendent in magisterial robes she tore up the stage at the Hollywood Avondale with her indie all-star band and custom fluro-orange gat. Brb, off to grow back my mullet.

SAMANTHA CHEONG

UTR ASSISTANT / GUITARIST

Dragon New Warm Mountain, I Believe In You – Big Thief

This album was a bit of a slow burn pull for me (though is usually the longest lasting), but ‘Simulation Swarm’ certainly stuck in my head for months. Live, Big Thief brought most of the album into a different plane of existence for me just two weeks ago. I witnessed magic within the mosh swarm myself, plus the endless talent of Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek. Lenker was scrawny only in spoken demeanour, before she’d transform immensely into a raging folkster of rock who could shred for five solid minutes. Meek was someone I had no idea ever what chords he was playing, though it worked like a charm. Big Thief stole our breath despite the crowd — as my partner would say — being “fucking dead” in the nasty-dance department.

Taite Music Prize 2022 Ceremony

Although there were less performances this year (as I’ve been told), it being my first Taites negated any disappointment. The best parts about the awards for me was seeing Reb Fountain live and finally being able to put countless faces to artists that I’ve been listening to and writing about or helping to promote. Our country’s artists really are just a bunch of people who love music and work tirelessly at it.

Thabani Gapara at Ponsonby Social Club

I’ve been really getting more into jazz this year — in my playing and in my listening. Thabani’s sax is a definite extension of his voice in his ode to his homeland. His craft sweats into his sax, just as his band sweats out their passion. I just had to go to two of Thabani’s shows — and also get enamoured by his fellow guitarist Nathan James’s own show at PSC. PSC really showcases the best musicians in Auckland, every single week and churns out the best mix of classic genres.

Wallows at Auckland Town Hall

I never thought I’d get to see one of my favourite alt-rock trios here in Aotearoa, and they did not disappoint. It’s always crazy finally seeing songs you’ve sang and played in your room come to life — or the people in your bedroom poster too. One of my favourite little moments was watching Braeden Lemasters scale the outer steps of the stage in his classic serenade of ‘1980s Horror Film II’, but it was really all about the rock energy that reverberated around the place that made me feel alive.

Georgia Lines at Auckland Museum

This grand space — of placed cushions and couches on pristine marble afoot a sculpture above the museum lobby — entranced me just as much as Lines’ tender charm and magnetic voice did. Apart from the sick costume changes (I want a lime green suit now), her anecdotes of stalking her now-husband post-breakup and the support of the APO solidified my admiration of well-written pop. Anyway, the museum really needs to put on more shows there, if not for us, maybe the dinosaurs.

SAM DENNE

LOCAL EVIL-DOER / HAPLESS HACK


Outlier Festival

The fervent energy and passion Tash van Schaardenburg and Grace Verweij invested into Outlier makes most ‘labours of love’ look like a council road worker’s smoko. They wrangled an outstanding lineup of experimental electronic musicians from around the motu to perform across four shows (one of which was in a gorgeous church, stained glass and all). Far from just a weekend full of bleeps, bloops & breaks — Outlier brought ‘The Community’ together in a way that felt like receiving a warm hug from your nana. A rare Sunday sighting of i.e. crazy at Artspace wrapped up one of my most treasured experiences as an audience member ever.

Bananamelia! – Amamelia

Sample me like one of your French girls… I’ve been driving around listening to this album, grinning ear to ear til my face hurts. Amelia “Dusty Old Bones, Full Of Green Dust” Berry has injected every song with her down-home brand of romantic wistfulness, coloured by her extensive sample library of exhumed vintage synthesizers. And naturally it’s chocka with breakbeats. Every time the cicadas start at the beginning of ‘Colourbox’, I feel them rattling in my heart.

LEAO live at Achos

David Feauai-Afaese is the walking definition of a humble skuxxx. Whilst their compositions which blend traditional Samoan songs and post-punk are worthy of a dissertation (I’m serious), it’s their presence on stage which has inspired me most this year. They radiate love and kindness which fills any room they perform within in a manner that touches something deep inside of me that might just be a soul.

Cryer – Grey Lynn Church gig

Gorgeous, gorgeous church full of gorgeous, gorgeous people. Watching Charlie play their haunting set of funereal dirges whilst the sun dipped through the stained glass broke me. If you haven’t seen Cryer, change that in 2023. Their music is best accompanied by a certain activity which I’ll leave you to guess at. Hint: it’s in the name.

tHe cOMmUnItY

I’m going to be a big old sap and just say that this year I’ve felt so privileged to share the company of the people that make Tāmaki Makaurau’s music scene feel like home. It’s quite frankly been a shit year, but I’ve been immeasurably lucky to have spent it amongst such an inspiring, loving and superfluously talented collection of people. Thanks for tolerating me — I love you all. Keep creating, keep supporting each other, hardcore will never die and so on.

STEVE MATHIESON
LUNAVELA

Danger Mouse & Black Thought – Cheat Codes

Absolutely flawless production from the king and next level zero fucks rapping.

Danger Mouse · Danger Mouse & Black Thought – Strangers (feat. A$AP Rocky and Run The Jewels)

Racing + Lunavela at Auckland’s The Powerstation

We were really grateful to play with Racing at The Powerstation and stoked on their new album. It was really cool to reconnect with old friends from back in the day.

This is a bit of a throwback… but I was telling a friend the other day, how my all time favourite New Zealand musical moment, more than any song was Home Brew taking a goat to the Music Awards. A+.

Imposter Syndrome & Mostly Instrumentals – Lunavela

Lunavela album three will be out next year, then I’m moving back to London.

‘Sometimes’ – Princess Chelsea, Mattyeux

All the right feels.

TAYLOR MACGREGOR

SAVE OUR VENUES / FREAK THE SHEEP HOST

Half Hexagon

Promoters, journalists and publicists of Aotearoa rejoice. The coveted "SUPERGROUP" moniker was set to be unleashed yet again. Yolanda Fagan, Julien Dyne and James Milne possessed by the spirit of Giorgio Moroder. We all knew it would be good but that first Half Hexagon show at Wine Cellar was special along with everything they’ve done since. Let it be known that this tweet was approx. 60 secs into their first song and you heard it here first.

Dimmer at Hollywood Avondale

After delays on delays we finally got to see Shayne P. Carter and his all star band play as Dimmer in its full incredible form at The Hollywood Avondale. It knocked my little socks off and to make it an extra special occasion, I seduced the elusive Rohan Evans away from his Wine Cellar habitat to join me on a date. I got to chat to Shayne for UTR before the show and was pleased to confirm with the man himself that he very much is a Rock Star.

Dochdwy Road – Grown Downz

Grown Downz are an unbelievable band live and what a bloody joy to cop their first album on vinyl this year. Ripping punk two piece family band that goes so goddamn hard and honestly Joel and Ellie are just the best. Tauranga’s finest and the best Welsh musical export since Tom Jones.

Best new friend – Jones Chin of Dunedin’s Crown Hotel

This year I joined the team at Save Our Venues and in my travels working with our grassroots venue community I finally got to spend some time with the living legend that is Jones Chin of Dunedin’s Crown Hotel. Jones has the most incredible first hand stories of the history of music in Dunedin and the best post-gig snack game in the country. A New Zealand icon. And a special shout out to Save Dunedin Live Music for everyone they are doing to protect the future of The Crown.

‘Lost Memories’ – Vanessa Worm

I’m a sucker for production values and the music video for Vanessa Worm’s ‘Lost Memories’ gave me my cinematic music video fix for the year. Proper banger too.

GREAT SOUNDS GREAT Festival 2022 Timetable Announced

C.C. / Thursday 1st December, 2022 10:23AM

  
  

Pōneke’s Eyegum Music Collective have lovingly curated an absolutely smashing lineup of artists from across Aotearoa to perform at this summer’s GREAT SOUNDS GREAT festival. Taking over San Fran, Meow, Valhalla, Rogue & Vagabond, and Bedlam & Squalor, the official timetable has been unveiled this morning for the multi-venue mega-fest. Now you can start mapping out your own musical journey throughout the capital’s bustling Cuba Street precinct on 10th December…


UnderTheRadar proudly presents…

GREAT SOUNDS GREAT – One-Day Multi-Venue Festival

Saturday 10 December – San Fran, Meow, Valhalla, Rogue & Vagabond, and Bedlam & Squalor, Wellington

Featuring… Ben Woods, CRUSH, Earth Tongue, Ebb, Freyja, Glass Vaults, Hans Pucket, Hemi Hemingway, Ian Jorg, Imugi 이무기, Linen, Ludus, Memory Foam, Mo Etc., Na Noise, Nadia Reid, NahBo, Office Dog, Soft Plastics, Tahini Bikini

Tickets on sale HERE via UTR

Linksfacebook.com/eyegumevents
instagram.com/eyegum/
eyegum.co.nz/

Hans Pucket Share New Album No Drama

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Samuel Austin
/ Friday 4th November, 2022 9:51AM

  
  

Here’s a brain-teaser for your next Christmas cracker: "which kiwi four-piece includes twin brothers and two members named Callum, plus a drummer named Jono?" The answer is of course Hans Pucket, aka Oliver and Callum Devlin (Sports Team, Dateline), Jono Nott (Onono, Broods), and Callum Passells, whose new album No Drama is out at last today, produced by Jonathan Pearce of The Beths and released via influential US imprint Carpark Records. Hans Pucket find universality in moments of vulnerability, then clamp those scary / weird feelings onto a ridiculously catchy pileup of zippy hooks, lush melodic arrangements and infectious grooves that sneakily creep under your skin — until the words "No Drama" endlessly echo in your mind as you lonesomely roam through an empty downtown shopping mall, while still trying to shake off Sunday’s hangover.

Hans Pucket’s ever-expanding fanbase will soon be singing loudly "You Must Chill" as the band are jetting off for rapidly selling out North American shows in support of The Beths — whose singer Elizabeth Stokes contributes backing vocals on the new album — but before they head away, the Trash Recital stars are playing two special release parties in Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke [full disclosure: I’m performing at Sunday’s show]. It’s well and truly Hans Pucket Day in the UTR office, enjoy the abundance of insta-classics to be found on their second studio long player and go catch them this weekend…

“People say ‘no drama’ all the time when they really mean at least, ‘some drama,’… It works because No Drama is actually a super dramatic record.” — Callum Devlin


Hans Pucket ‘No Drama’ Album Release Party Weekend

Saturday 5th November – Vogelmorn Hall, Wellington w/ Vera Ellen, shannengeorgiapetersen (all ages)
Sunday 6th November – The Tuning Fork, Auckland w/ SKILAA, Power Nap (all ages)*

Wellington tickets available HERE via UTR

*Auckland tickets available via moshtix

‘No Drama’ is out today via Carpark Records — order the vinyl LP edition of No Drama HERE, plus exclusive Flying Out colourway HERE.

 

Linksfacebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/
found.ee/hp_nodrama

Full Lineup Announced For GREAT SOUNDS GREAT Festival 2022

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 1st November, 2022 10:27AM

  
  

Aotearoa’s festival season is on! Taking over five venues in Pōneke’s Cuba Street precinct on 10th December, the Eyegum Music Collective team have lifted the veil on the full lineup for this summer’s GREAT SOUNDS GREAT festival. Joining the already mega-stacked bill are psych-rock power duo Earth Tongue, electronic groovers Glass Vaults, dream-pop all-stars CRUSH (members of Glass Vaults and Womb), Kane Strang‘s new project Office Dog, Tāmaki Makaurau sci-fi punks Memory Foam, Synthstrom Deluge-wielding A Low Hum founder Ian Jorg and songwriter Freyja. Scope out the full official lineup below and secure your spot for this all-killer, multi-stage party while you can…


UnderTheRadar proudly presents…

GREAT SOUNDS GREAT – One-Day Multi-Venue Festival

Saturday 10 December – San Fran, Meow, Valhalla, Rogue & Vagabond, and Bedlam & Squalor, Wellington

Featuring… Ben Woods, CRUSH, Earth Tongue, Ebb, Freyja, Glass Vaults, Hans Pucket, Hemi Hemingway, Ian Jorg, Imugi 이무기, Linen, Ludus, Memory Foam, Mo Etc., Na Noise, Nadia Reid, NahBo, Office Dog, Soft Plastics, Tahini Bikini

Tickets on sale HERE via UTR

Take in the audio-visual spectacular this is Earth Tongue’s ‘Miraculous Death’…

Here’s Memory Foam’s action-packed ‘Choo Choo Train’…

Experience CRUSH’s beaut video for ‘Abstract Oils’…

Press release:

On Saturday 10 December, Pōneke’s Cuba Street precinct will be hosting the first edition of GREAT SOUNDS GREAT, a brand new one-day multi-venue music festival organised and run by the local Eyegum Music Collective. Spanning across five neighbouring venues, the jam-packed indie music festival will feature 20 of Aotearoa’s best acts, most of which have already been announced.

Ticket holders will receive a wristband that will give them access to each of the participating venues throughout the event. Information on how to pick up wristbands will be emailed to ticket holders closer to the time.

Linksfacebook.com/eyegumevents
instagram.com/eyegum/
eyegum.co.nz/

Watch Hans Puckets Video For New Single Bankrupt

Chris Cudby
/ Thursday 13th October, 2022 2:32PM

  
  

Launching their impatiently awaited second album No Drama on 4th November via US imprint Carpark Records, Aotearoa’s Hans Pucket have unfurled new single and video ‘Bankrupt‘, plus news they’ll be supporting superstar buds The Beths on their forthcoming US tour. Not to my knowledge a reference to the local imprint of the same name, ‘Bankrupt’ busts out zip-zappin’ power-pop hooks aplenty, as singer / guitarist Oliver Devlin sounds like he’s caught in the middle of an identity crisis — relatably declaring "I don’t know if I’ll always feel like I’m waiting for my comeback."

Getting into the spirit of the season, Hans Pucket’s Callum Devlin (Sports Team, Dateline) directed a Halloween-y video for ‘Bankrupt’, in which both Devlin brothers with bandmates Jono Nott and Callum Passells have an electrifying encounter with what appears to be a haunted guitar amplifier. Hit play on the clip made with support from NZ On Air, scope out the huge list of US dates the Trash Recital guests will be playing HERE (fun fact: Jonathan Pearce of The Beths produced, mixed and engineered No Drama), don’t miss Hans Pucket’s record release shows in Pōneke and Tāmaki Makaurau this  November, and go catch the busy team’s Midnight Karaoke Challenge set at The Others Way festival on 22nd October…

"Bankrupt might be my favourite song from the album, so naturally I put myself in charge of directing this video… This concept (some form of “band in a room” video) has been banging around my brain for over a year. I’d been holding on to a lot of misplaced fear and dread around this album release, which I think led to this very dark tone. Annabel shot the hell out of it, and our skeleton “Prince Phillip” really stole the show. It was a truly cathartic experience, getting to electrocute the band for this video. Any fear is now gone, I am ready for the album to come out now." — Callum Devlin

UnderTheRadar, Flying Out and 95bFM present…

The Others Way Festival

Saturday 22nd October (during Labour Weekend) – Tāmaki Makaurau’s Karangahape Road
Tickets on sale HERE via UTR


Hans Pucket ‘No Drama’ Album Release Party Weekend

Saturday 5th November – Vogelmorn Hall, Wellington (all ages)
Sunday 6th November – The Tuning Fork, Auckland (all ages)*

Wellington tickets available HERE via UTR

*Auckland tickets available via moshtix

‘No Drama’ releases on Friday 4th November via Carpark Records — preorder the vinyl LP edition of No Drama HERE, plus exclusive Flying Out colourway HERE.

 

Linksfacebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/
found.ee/hp_nodramafacebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/
found.ee/hp_nodrama

Listen To Hans Puckets Road Trip Playlist Hans at 10 and 2

Hans Pucket / C.C. / Photo credit: Ezra Simons
/ Thursday 30th June, 2022 11:44AM

  
  

Kicking off their Confidently Test Out New Material tour this weekend in Tāmaki Makaurau and Leigh, we invited Hans Pucket to compile their ultimate road trip playlist, as a new-fangled kind of UTR "playlist residency" — tunes to help keep them in the zone as they drive from town to town in beautiful Aotearoa. Enjoy Oli Devlin, Callum Devlin, Callum Passells and Jono Nott‘s selections titled Hans at 10 and 2, read their words, and don’t miss Hans Pucket’s winter tour, joined by pals BUB, Soft Plastics, Mystery Waitress, Neive Strang, BONITA!, T. G. Shand, and Ōtautahi legends Minisnap

"As a band, Hans Pucket are strong advocates for the art of a good playlist, having published what some have recognised as the definitive Christmas playlist (Parumpumpumpucket) late last December. We’re thrilled to share our equally definitive road trip playlist “Hans at 10 and 2” at a time where we’re about to drive around the country for the first time as a four-piece. The theme of this tour is confidence, and if this playlist is anything to go by, we’re in for a groovy, tasteful and expertly curated time. Each of us has added five songs, true Hans Pucket fans will be able to tell who chose what (yes, Oli chose Steppenwolf)."


Undertheradar and Sports Team proudly present…

Hans Pucket – Confidently Test Out New Material National Tour 2022

Friday 1st July – Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ BUB

Saturday 2nd July – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh w/ BONITA!

Friday 8th July – Dive, Dunedin w/ Neive Strang

Saturday 9th July – The Loons, Christchurch w/ Minisnap, T. G. Shand

Thursday 21st July – San Fran, Wellington w/ Mystery Waitress

Friday 22nd July – The Stomach, Palmerston North w/ Soft Plastics (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Linksopen.spotify.com/playlist/3hA8wXUWRN41bfPlbX0eg5?si=7448fdc821fa4885
facebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Listen To Hans Puckets Road Trip Playlist Hans at 10 and 12

Hans Pucket / C.C. / Photo credit: Ezra Simons
/ Thursday 30th June, 2022 11:44AM

  
  

Kicking off their Confidently Test Out New Material tour this weekend in Tāmaki Makaurau and Leigh, we invited Hans Pucket to compile their ultimate road trip playlist, as a new-fangled kind of UTR "playlist residency" — tunes to help keep them in the zone as they drive from town to town in beautiful Aotearoa. Enjoy Oli Devlin, Callum Devlin, Callum Passells and Jono Nott‘s selections titled Hans at 10 and 12, read their words, and don’t miss Hans Pucket’s winter tour, joined by pals BUB, Soft Plastics, Mystery Waitress, Neive Strang, BONITA!, T. G. Shand, and Ōtautahi legends Minisnap

"As a band, Hans Pucket are strong advocates for the art of a good playlist, having published what some have recognised as the definitive Christmas playlist (Parumpumpumpucket) late last December. We’re thrilled to share our equally definitive road trip playlist “Hans at 10 and 2” at a time where we’re about to drive around the country for the first time as a four-piece. The theme of this tour is confidence, and if this playlist is anything to go by, we’re in for a groovy, tasteful and expertly curated time. Each of us has added five songs, true Hans Pucket fans will be able to tell who chose what (yes, Oli chose Steppenwolf)."


Undertheradar and Sports Team proudly present…

Hans Pucket – Confidently Test Out New Material National Tour 2022

Friday 1st July – Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ BUB

Saturday 2nd July – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh w/ BONITA!

Friday 8th July – Dive, Dunedin w/ Neive Strang

Saturday 9th July – The Loons, Christchurch w/ Minisnap, T. G. Shand

Thursday 21st July – San Fran, Wellington w/ Mystery Waitress

Friday 22nd July – The Stomach, Palmerston North w/ Soft Plastics (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Linksopen.spotify.com/playlist/3hA8wXUWRN41bfPlbX0eg5?si=7448fdc821fa4885
facebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Supports Announced For Hans Puckets Winter Tour Soft Plastics BUB Minisnap More

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Samuel Austin
/ Tuesday 7th June, 2022 10:58AM

  
  

Pop quiz: which contemporary Aotearoa band is based in both Pōneke and Tāmaki Makaurau, has two Callums (no relation), identical twin brothers, hella catchy tunes and a drummer named Jono (also of ONONO and Broods)? The answer is of course Hans Pucket, the team of Oli and Callum Devlin (Sports Team), Callum Passells and Jono Nott, who’ve just announced regional special guests for their keenly-awaited Confidently Test Out New Material nationwide tour. Promising to debut "oodles of new music" in a venue near you this July, they’ll be joined on their winter adventure by musical pals BUB, Soft Plastics, Mystery Waitress, Neive Strang, BONITA!, T. G. Shand and Ōtautahi legends Minisnap — cast your eyes downwards for the full details…


Undertheradar and Sports Team proudly present…

Hans Pucket – Confidently Test Out New Material National Tour 2022

Friday 1st July – Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ BUB

Saturday 2nd July – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh w/ BONITA!

Friday 8th July – Dive, Dunedin w/ Neive Strang

Saturday 9th July – The Loons, Christchurch w/ Minisnap, T. G. Shand

Thursday 21st July – San Fran, Wellington w/ Mystery Waitress

Friday 22nd July – The Stomach, Palmerston North w/ Soft Plastics (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Watch the action-packed classic 2019 vid for Hans Pucket’s ‘Comfort’…

Linksfacebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Hans Pucket Announce New Dates For Confidently Test Out New Material Tour

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Samuel Austin
/ Thursday 26th May, 2022 12:00PM

  
  

Based in both Pōneke and Tāmaki Makaurau, Hans Pucket have cut the ribbon on a new set of dates for their much-delayed Confidently Test Out New Material tour, now happening throughout Aotearoa this coming July. Twin brothers Oli and Callum Devlin (Sports Team, Dateline), sax / keys-playing second Callum in the band Callum Passells, and globe-trotting drummer Jono Nott (ONONO, Broods) promise to knock fans’ socks off with both time-tested faves and brand new future classics, never before heard in a live venue setting until these very gigs. There’ll also be swish fresh merch to cop — grip the updated details below, with support acts to be announced soon…


Undertheradar and Sports Team proudly present…

Hans Pucket – Confidently Test Out New Material National Tour 2022

Friday 1st July – Whammy Bar, Auckland

Saturday 2nd July – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh

Friday 8th July – Dive, Dunedin

Saturday 9th July – The Loons, Christchurch

Thursday 21st July – San Fran, Wellington
Friday 22nd July – The Stomach, Palmerston North (all ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Experience Hans Pucket’s full 2020 streaming performance for Goin’ Live with Chabs & Milky…

Press release:

Pōneke / Tāmaki Makaurau pop-rock quartet Hans Pucket announce their ‘Confidently Test Out New Material’ tour for the fourth fifth time.

With oodles of new music up their sleeves and a sold-out summer run of ‘I Don’t Know What To Get You For Christmas (Do I Really Love You?)’ 7" lathe cuts behind them, the unstoppable team of Oli, Callum, Callum and Jono hit the road this July to warm up the country from the ears down.

Hans Pucket’s six-stop tour kicks off Friday July 1st at Auckland’s Whammy Bar, with the foursome taking a brief detour North to Leigh before zipping down to Ōtepoti and Ōtautahi, then back up again for Wellington and Te Papa-i-Oea shows.

Linksfacebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Watch Hans Puckets Video For I Dont Know What To Get You For Christmas

Christmas Cudby / Photo credit: Samuel Austin
/ Tuesday 21st December, 2021 10:27AM

  
  

The cherry on top of Hans Pucket‘s recent festive double single drop, an uplifting video for of ‘I Don’t Know What To Get You For Christmas (Do I Really Love You​?​)‘ directed by Samuel Austin and produced by Sports Team has been unleashed just before Santa clambers down our collective chimneys. Hans Pucket frontman Oliver Devlin strolls the unmistakably winding pathways of Pōneke’s central suburbs whilst singing his heartfelt carol, experiences an unseasonable sprinkling of snowflakes at the beach, then cheerfully sets sail towards an uncertain future in the cannily constructed two-shot clip.

A 7" lathe cut disc also featuring boozy B-side ‘Drink With My Friends’ is available for preorder direct from the source HERE, as the initial pressing has already sold out. Enjoy the new video below and count the days until Hans Pucket tour Aotearoa with special guests in April 2022…

“We tried to film this all in one shot, so in a way this is Hans Pucket’s 1917." — Oliver Devlin

"Hans Pucket are such a pleasure to work with — between Oli, Callum and the rest of the band I’m always amazed at their willingness to go with any of my silly ideas — especially when those ideas involve potentially making a snowy mess in a public place without permission. And especially when those ideas demand performances you’d expect from actors! They always give me their best and I try to give my best back to them :)" — Samuel Austin


Undertheradar and Sports Team proudly present…

Hans Pucket – Confidently Test Out New Material National Tour 2022

Thursday 14th April – San Fran, Wellington w/ Mystery Waitress

Friday 22nd April – Whammy, Auckland w/ Bub

Saturday 23rd April – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh w/ Bonita

Friday 29th April – Dive, Dunedin w/ Koizilla

Saturday 30th April – Loons, Christchurch w/ Minisnap, T.G. Shand

Tickets available HERE via UTR

‘I Don’t Know What To Get You For Christmas (Do I Really Love You​?​) / Drink With My Friends’ is out now via major streaming services.

Linksfacebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Hans Pucket Unveil Xmas Single Drink With My Friends Announce Tour Supports

Chris ‘Krampus’ Cudby
/ Friday 17th December, 2021 10:54AM

  
  

What does Christmas mean for you? For some it can be a lonesome time of solitary evenings watching late night TV screenings of Bad Santa and / or unavoidable family feuds, for others a pious religious occasion, but for Hans Pucket it’s an opportunity to get frisky and enjoy a well-deserved ‘Drink With My Friends‘ after a crazy year. Calling both Tāmaki Makaurau and Pōneke their homes, twin brothers Oli and Callum Devlin (Sports Team, Dateline), Jono Nott (ONONO) and Callum Passells follow one of the most earnest local Xmas tunes in recent memory with a party poppin’ ode to letting your hair down and reflecting on what the future might bring — keeping it upbeat with zig-zagging bass, punch-spiking guitar and boozy hangover-predicting keys.

The new song and last week’s ‘I Don’t Know What To Get You For Christmas (Do I Really Love You​?​)‘ have been squeezed onto strictly limited edition 7" lathe cut disc (including a risograph printed cover with a handwritten lyric sheet on the inside) that’ll be an ideal stocking stuffer for a loved one. Touring all about Aotearoa in April with a sack full of new tunes on their Confidently Test Out New Material tour, Hans Pucket have announced supports for their five date sonic adventure. Listen to both festive numbers and grip the updated details below…


Undertheradar and Sports Team proudly present…

Hans Pucket – Confidently Test Out New Material National Tour 2022

Thursday 14th April – San Fran, Wellington w/ Mystery Waitress

Friday 22nd April – Whammy, Auckland w/ Bub

Saturday 23rd April – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh w/ Bonita

Friday 29th April – Dive, Dunedin w/ Koizilla

Saturday 30th April – Loons, Christchurch w/ Minisnap, T.G. Shand

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Linkshanspucket.bandcamp.com/album/i-dont-know-what-to-get-you-for-christmas-do-i-really-love-you-drink-with-my-friends
facebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Hans Pucket Share Xmas Single I Dont Know What To Get You For Christmas

Chris ‘Kringle’ Cudby
/ Friday 10th December, 2021 8:59AM

  
  

Because you’ve all been on your best behaviour this year (or even if you haven’t), Aotearoa fab foursome Hans Pucket are back giving the gift of catchy tunes this festival season. Touring nationwide in April, the team of twin brothers Oli and Callum Devlin (Sports Team, Dateline), Jono Nott (aka ONONO) and Callum Passells unwrap the first of two Christmasy goodies for 2021 with ‘I Don’t Know What To Get You For Christmas (Do I Really Love You​?​)‘ — the band’s first official new song since their self-released debut album Eczema dropped like an atom bomb back in 2018. A tender reflection on our capitalist stocking-stuffing tradition served up with a big dollop of relationship anxiety, the ballad sports some particularly rousing sax and heart-melting harmonies, whilst pondering that most perplexing of puzzles orbiting the summer holiday period [if anyone reading is wondering: I could use some new socks].

Lucky Pōneke punters can head along to San Fran tonight to catch a necessarily stripped back version of Hans Pucket, featuring frontman Oli Devlin as part of the all-star Eyegum Presents: End Of Year? Fuck Yeah! event (Tāmaki’s borders don’t reopen until 15th December). Available for pre-order on limited 7" lathe cut disc (including a risograph printed cover with a handwritten lyric sheet on the inside) and backed with soon to be released B-side ‘Drink With My Friends‘, Oli Devlin opened up about how the new single was written and recorded despite ongoing lockdown challenges in NZ…

“I made a lockdown challenge to myself last year to try and write some honest Christmas songs that weren’t crap. These are the first two from that batch. It was thrilling hearing everyone’s additions come in – each of us writing and recording our parts from our homes. Also celebrating our first release with Callum Passells who makes some stunning sax, synth and clarinet contributions!” 


Undertheradar and Sports Team proudly present…

Hans Pucket – Confidently Test Out New Material National Tour 2022

Thursday 14th April – San Fran, Wellington

Friday 22nd April – Whammy, Auckland

Saturday 23rd April – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh

Friday 29th April – Dive, Dunedin

Saturday 30th April – Loons, Christchurch

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Linkshanspucket.bandcamp.com/album/i-dont-know-what-to-get-you-for-christmas-do-i-really-love-you-drink-with-my-friends
facebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Hans Pucket Announce New Dates For Nationwide Tour

Chris Cudby
/ Thursday 2nd December, 2021 12:44PM

  
  

As Christmas draws near in Aotearoa, the question on the lips of many local gig-goers has been: "When are Hans Pucket going to announce new dates for their Confidently Test Out New Material national tour?" That joyous moment has arrived, as twin brothers Oli and Callum Devlin (Sports Team, Dateline), Jono Nott (aka ONONO) and sax / keyboard guru Callum Passells have revealed they’ll now be touring in April 2022, when hopefully all of this year’s hodgepodge of weirdness will seem like some kind of bizarre folk tale. We’re still to get word of support artists, plus the band have hinted at forthcoming special festive bonus treat for fans. Rest assured we’ll keep you in the loop, don’t miss Hans Pucket at the dates below, including a brand new headline gig at Ōtepoti’s Dive and shift in location in Tāmaki Makaurau to the larger capacity Whammy Bar — all tickets remain valid and UTR ticket holders have been emailed direct with details (check your promotions and spam folders)

"We’re so lucky to get to do this, can’t wait to get out and see some friends and have a boogie!" – Oliver Devlin


Undertheradar and Sports Team proudly present…

Hans Pucket – Confidently Test Out New Material National Tour 2022

Thursday 14th April – San Fran, Wellington

Friday 22nd April – Whammy, Auckland

Saturday 23rd April – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh

Friday 29th April – Dive, Dunedin

Saturday 30th April – Loons, Christchurch

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Watch Oli and Callum Devlin face off in the ultimate twin versus twin challenge for their video ‘Comfort’…

Linksfacebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Soft Plastics Share Live At RNZ EP

Annabel Kean / Photo Credit: Trent Williams / Monday 16th August, 2021 1:26PM

  
  

Te Whanganui-a-Tara ‘softies’ crew aka Sophie Scott-Maunder, Jonathan Shirley and Laura Robinson‘s Soft Plastics stopped by the RNZ studios in May to perform a couple of songs for Music 101, and they turned out so bloody well the trio have shared the recordings on Soft Plastics Live At RNZ. The double track EP is free to download and features heartbreaking unreleased track ‘Saturn Return’ and a version of fan favourite ‘My World/Your Girl’ with the addition of Robinson’s booming, moody percussion. Mixed and engineered by Andre Upston, this exciting live release from Soft Plastics arrives ahead of their appearance at The Others Way 2021 next month, for which they’ll be joined by bonus bandmate Oliver Devlin of Hans Pucket fame. Be sure to include these dreamy garage-poppers on your Others Way route, they sound incredible live…

Linkssoftplasticsband.bandcamp.com/
facebook.com/softplasticsband
rnz.co.nz/music

Hans Pucket Announce Nationwide Tour of Aotearoa

Chris Cudby
/ Friday 13th August, 2021 8:30AM

  
  

Hans Pucket have morphed into a bit of a "supergroup" since launching their immensely popular debut album Eczema back in 2018. Drummer Jono Nott released the fab first long player from his electronic pop project ONONO just last month, bassist Callum Devlin (also of Dateline) thrilled the world with his Loud Cooking web show exploits and as one half of video production whiz kids Sports Team, and the band welcomed on board sax / keyboard guru Callum Passells. It’s been a while between tours however, and singer / guitarist Oli Devlin (twin brother of Callum Devlin) and the gang are righting that wrong with today’s announcement of a Hans Pucket four date tour of Aotearoa, hitting a venue near you this October.

Fans who’ve been hanging out for new Hans Pucket songs will be richly rewarded with the knowledge this will be their ‘Confidently Test Out New Material’ tour. They promise: "There will be music from their upcoming album; there will be cool new merch; there will be a moment in the set where Jono plays a guitar solo and everyone claps; Oli will forget some lyrics and try to ask Callum Devlin what they are mid-song."

"We’re so lucky to get to do this, can’t wait to get out and see some friends and have a boogie!" — Oli Devlin

"It’s exciting. I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since we last ‘hit the road’. We’ve really levelled up as a band since Callum [Passells] joined, so I can anticipate some minds being blown, to be quite honest." — Callum Devlin


UnderTheRadar are thrilled to present…

Thursday 7th October – San Fran, Wellington

Friday 8th October – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh

Saturday 9th October – Whammy Backroom, Auckland

Friday 15th October – Loons, Christchurch

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Watch Oli and Callum Devlin face off in the ultimate twin versus twin challenge for their video ‘Comfort’…

Press release:

The shows promise all the wonders of Hans Pucket’s four-piece lineup. Callum Passells will bring his saxophone and keyboard wizardry to the group. There will be music from their upcoming album; there will be cool new merch; there will be a moment in the set where Jono plays a guitar solo and everyone claps; Oli will forget some lyrics and try to ask Callum Devlin what they are mid-song. They aren’t pushing the boat out too far for this one, they’re just getting back out there and playing their thrilling live set, to a good, keen crowd.

Linksfacebook.com/hanspucket/
hanspucket.bandcamp.com/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Listen To ONONOs Self Titled Debut Album

Annabel Kean / Friday 2nd July, 2021 9:46AM

  
  

After years of ONONO EPs, Hans Pucket tours and taking on Coachella with cousins BROODS, Pōneke artist Jonathan Nott is taking his solo project to the next level with his self-titled debut album. ONONO has taken listeners down a psych-pop offshoot, with singles ‘LUV ME 2’, ‘Fontelina’, ‘The Island’ and ‘Charms’ signposting a totally new facet of Nott’s songwriting multiverse. Where 2018 EP STAND was almost extraterrestrial in it’s psychedelic licks and spectral reverberation, the new ONONO reveals a penchant for pop and RnB, with bolder vocal melodies piercing through slick, dance-ready instrumentation. Also notable is Nott’s expertly honed percussion finesse, which doesn’t let up once from track one, the ethereal ‘Vincent’s Castle’ to triumphant closer ‘Holy Chair’.

Nott takes the latest iteration of his band on tour this month, christening the album celebrations tonight at The Plant for a guaranteed packed to the rafters show in his hometown Blenheim. Tour dates run through the rest of the month with some sick support slots from the likes of Dateline, Amamelia, Jed Parsons and more…


UnderTheRadar proudly presents…

ONONO Album Release Tour

Friday 2nd July – The Plant, Blenheim w/ Team Scary

Saturday 3rd July – San Fran, Wellington w/ Androgynous Lemon, Waterfalls

Friday 9th July – Dive, Dunedin w/ Jed Parsons

Saturday 10th July – Loons, Christchurch w/ Jed Parsons

Friday 16th July – The Stomach, Palmerston North (all ages) w/ Crumbly Jack, Persimmon

Friday 23rd July – Paisley Stage, Napier w/ Dateline (solo), Tia Ward

Saturday 24th July – Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ Wells*, Amamelia

Tickets available via Banished Music

ONONO’s self-titled debut album is out now via Supergroup Recordings.

Linkso-n-o-n-o.bandcamp.com/
facebook.com/ononomusic
instagram.com/_.onono._/

Interview Goin Live With Chabs and Milky LIVE NZ Tour

Callum Devlin / A.K. / Wednesday 26th May, 2021 12:34PM

  
  

Calling all Chabsaholics and Milky Heads. Goin’ Live With Chabs And Milky LIVE! begins this Friday in Pōneke with the glorious line-up of Orchestra Of Spheres, The Phoenix Foundation and Estère. As a special treat for UTR readers, the two VHS-revivalists granted us an exclusive interview opportunity, undertaken by fellow Handycam enthusiast Callum Devlin of Hans Pucket, Dateline and video production company Sports Team. Devlin grilled James Dansey aka Chabs and James Milne aka Milky on their motives, inspirations and fears ahead of the Big Tour, which will be coming to a main centre near you this season. For fans of music, fun and Top Town, find yourself a ticket before it’s too late…

Goin’ Live With Chabs And Milky

Friday 28th May – San Fran, Wellington w/ Orchestra Of Spheres, The Phoenix Foundation, Estère

Saturday 29th May – Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ Princess Chelsea, Vincent HL, LEAO

Friday 4th June – Blue Smoke, Christchurch w/ The Bats, Ben Woods, Violet French And The Horrible

Saturday 5th June – Dive, Dunedin w/ Night Lunch, Wet Specimen, Juno Is 

Tickets on sale HERE via UTR / Streaming here

The interview begins on site and in-studio, with Callum Devlin recalling his own personal moment of VHS video glory on Goin’ Live With Chabs & Milky…

Callum Devlin: You guys had Hans Pucket on the show, a few months back now. I was very touched by the introduction you guys did. I thought it was very funny, but also it was a very generous thing to do. I’ve written you guys an introduction, in the style of your introductions…

James Dansey aka Chabs: Great!

James and James. Two names the sames. But two boys, nay, men! Two sides of the same… tape? But two art farmers of neighbouring fields. James né Chabs is our sound harvester. Do not adjust your… ears. James né Milky sows fertile film in his field. Action! Life! Cut! They are growing life. Going life? Going live.

[clapping] Chabs: That was wonderful!

James Milne aka Milky: Wow.


Where am I?

Chabs: Great question.

Milky: We’re in the Villa Dalmatia, which is the Dalmatian Cultural Centre.

Chabs: There’s a massive genealogical treasury downstairs of the Dalmatian history in Auckland, which is really long and they’re really good at recording it. If you ever want to have a look… they’re more than happy to show you around.

Milky: And the floor below us, there’s a big ballroom and a bar. They have big cultural get togethers and when the borders are open, there’ll be like a Croatian singer will come and play to the Dalmatian community here.

Chabs: We’re up above that. In the business part.

Milky: So they rent out some offices. I had a studio here and then it was a bit too expensive for me, then James, Chabs came and we shared this one little room. We had two desks and it was about 12 square metres? It was pretty small for the two of us.

Chabs: We were like back to back, with a piano in there at one point.

Milky: But then randomly one day the tenants of this space moved out, they just disappeared. The person who had the lease to this place said "the lease has come up". We just made the snap decision on the day and then the next day we’re moving all our stuff, just down the hall and then into this big space, which is six or seven times the size of what we did have. It’s a funny space that we’ve ended up with, but it’s really practical for what we do. We certainly couldn’t have filmed an amateur TV show in our one tiny room.

Was the space the encouragement for the show?

Chabs: It wasn’t the inspiration for me. I really have always liked the idea of shooting live. Not entirely streaming, but even before streaming was a thing, I liked the idea of filming things and recording them at the same time. As like, analytical things even, if you’re practising or whatnot. I like getting as many audio things and making them sound as good as possible. It’s always been a thing that I’ve liked and been interested in. But once we did move into the space we did start talking about it more.

Milky: I bought a VHS camera quite some time ago and I did use it to film some content, ages ago, probably when Absolute Truth came out. And I liked it. At some point I bought a few more.


How many are you at now?

Milky: Probably about 16 or 17. There’s no DV, they’re all VHS or Video 8, VHSC or whatever. At some point the idea really started to take hold.

Chabs: we’d talked about it a lot, and then Covid, lockdown really made us want to do something different and possible.

Milky: We were scheming… when we can do this, we should do this now. Because why not? Before even Covid happened, I think we’d got to the point of connecting VHS cameras with Chabs recording it and us doing it as a live stream…

Chabs: I myself, I didn’t feel particularly prescriptive about anything. I thought we’d just do it… We got Vincent to do it because he’s friends with us and went okay, and then I was just see how it goes. I’m quite happy with seeing how things go.

Milky: We were like, let’s just do it. Our motto is "always improving" [laughter]… The first week we hadn’t even done the intro. Vincent was like "Do I have to introduce myself?" So by the third episode we got a good intro happening.

Chabs: I love that. I love being able to see people improve in public. It’s absolutely not what you’re supposed to do, if you’ve got a thing. Anything. You’re supposed to look like you know what you’re doing [laughs]. I like not looking like I know what I’m doing.

Milky: So many of the best things in the world, are things where people aren’t ready. They haven’t got their product all ironed out and ready for market.

Chabs: Mmmm. Which we definitely don’t, still [laughter].

What are your memories of live music TV?

Milky: It wasn’t much of a thing. I was in Christchurch, we had CRY TV. I can’t remember any live music on CRY TV. It was a bit of a patchy period. It wasn’t like this was something we saw heaps in our teens. It was more YouTube…

Chabs: I was going to say as well… that video of The Axemen playing on Yahoo, which is one of my favourite videos, that was a live performance on an afternoon kids show.

Milky: It was TV3’s version of What Now, or something.

Chabs: At 3:45 in the afternoon, and The Axemen dressed as female movie ushers from the 1960s, with CDs around their necks. Miming a version of ‘Hey Alice’…

Milky: Singing it, because it’s feeding back. And they’re "this is certainly an interesting performance". Also, all that stuff that kept coming up, all the German shows from the late ’60s and early ’70s, like Top Pop.

Chabs: Like Zeppelin playing on Denmark TV.

Milky: Yeah and it’d be some crazy kind of thing with some kids sitting around… 19 year olds, "young people".

Chabs: One of the big live ones for me was always the Stax in Europe tour. They took Booker T and The M.G.’s as the band, and everyone came out. Like Sam & Dave would come out and play. But all that’s shot, awesome black & white, recorded great off the sound desk.

Milky: It’s got all these cool European kids clapping on the one. [Callum laughs hysterically] I definitely think that’s the glory days of YouTube. That was when I discovered my love for digging through archives and finding really cool, weird footage, that was more strangely framed than you might think about doing it now.

Glen O’Brien’s TV Party, have you ever seen that?

No.

Milky: That was an anarchic talk show from the punk era. Chris Stein from Blondie was a co-host on it. It’s this washed-out, black and white, tube cam in-studio thing, but Debbie Harry would be hanging out, playing crazy covers… It was like, we should try and do something like that, of that era. We’re also quite into the idea of in that same way, creating an artefact of a scene.

Doing VHS TV on YouTube… I think even the concept is, in the nicest way possible, a joke. Right?

Chabs: It’s aesthetically pleasing I think.

Milky: I can see that on one hand. It’s a definite aesthetic decision and it’s also, the medium makes you work differently. It creates a different thing to what people are creating on DSLRs. It’s not "it’s the same thing but degraded." I think it produces its own thing completely, because of the way we do it. Even the fact we live mix the visuals.

Chabs: The no edits after as well, it’s sort of warts and all. We do try to push that whole side of it, that it is live.

Milky: It adds that live "thing" to every aspect. It’s not just the live music, but the way we capture it is live as well.

Chabs: It’s funny with those cameras as well. People get really fascinated by them coming in. I feel like people seem to be really relaxed. Something about… doing a slightly weird thing puts people in a weird mood I think, in a nice way.

Milky: It effects people differently and I hope that it creates much more comfortable, immediate performances. Rather than "we’ve got to fucking nail this" — because it’s being captured on HD and it’s being recorded on this beautiful equipment, and it’s going to be on the internet, on the national broadcaster. I think it should allow the performers to do what they normally do a bit more and feel a bit more comfortable…

So how’s this going to go on the road?

Chabs: Great question.

Milky: It’s quite exciting, the idea of packing everything up and making sure you’ve got everything. And also optimising stuff, we’ve got to get our systems working better. We’re taking what’s hopefully a streamlined and more reliable version of what we’ve done in the studio, to capture these bands.


Have you got any concerns James (Dansey)?

Chabs: Nah I don’t actually. [laughs] I don’t, because the unknowns of what might happen are part of it, with the technology we’ve got. My concerns are that the cameras are going to break, that’s my only concern. With this old tech y’know? But I’m not really concerned, it just makes it a bit exciting.

Milky: Don’t worry about that, because we’ve got 13 others. Well we’ve got nine working ones, for six camera angles.


What’s your pitch? Why should people come along to this?

Chabs: They’re pretty sick shows. Vincent H.L, Princess Chelsea doesn’t play very often, LEAO, fantastic band. I think the Phoenix Foundation are doing Friend Ship in its entirety…


Oh wow!

Chabs: That’ll be fun. And Orchestra Of Spheres never play, what a cool band.

Milky: We’ve got 12 bands. If you were going to put on a day festival, you could imagine those bands somewhere and it would be a cool festival. But it just happens to be split up between the four cities. Each city has its own spirit, but hopefully each lineup reflects at least a side of independent music in each of those cities quite well. I’ve been probably agonising over it too much, just worried that people don’t quite get what this is on some level. Because it’s a live stream thing, but it’s actually just, it’s a show.

Chabs: It’s just a show.

Milky: It’s a gig. Hopefully you’ll feel like it being a weird, cool live TV broadcast. But essentially it’s just watching really awesome bands play live.

Tickets for Goin’ Live With Chabs And Milky: LIVE are available HERE from UTR.

Linksgoinlivewithchabsandmilky.tv/
facebook.com/goinlivewithchabsandmilky/
youtube.com/channel/UCoNCGblp61cn_4rzcuRO1GA

Interview John Psathas CubaSonic CubaDupa 2021

Chris Cudby
/ Tuesday 23rd March, 2021 10:38AM

  
  

Pōneke annual tradition CubaDupa returns this weekend with an absolutely jam-packed and family friendly programme of free musical events, cultural activities and tasty food to tuck into on Saturday and Sunday. There’s tonnes of options for music lovers — including performances by Troy Kingi, Hans Pucket (with full horn section), JessB, an all female fronted lineup on the ​Garage Project Wild Workshop Stage ​programmed by ​Gussie Larkin​ of ​Mermaidens, the debut of the the Ngā Toi o Te Aro stage showcasing Māori artists, te reo and tikanga Māori in Te Aro Park, stages presented by Valhalla and Eyegum, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We recommend you scope out the full schedule over on the CubaDupa site to help plan out your weekend.

In many ways summing up the impressively huge scale of CubaDupa 2021 will be the CubaSonic "ten minute mass musical interruption", spearheaded by John Psathas and happening twice — from 5:00pm on Saturday and 2:30pm on Sunday. A mammoth project in its own right, CubaSonic features over "300 musicians lining the street, twelve conductors above the crowd, [and] a custom-made overhead sound system," including a locally made device named the Chime Red, utilising a Tesla Coil to bring together music and lightning (scroll downwards for a video). Now calling Waitārere his home, we recently caught up with the internationally celebrated, award-winning Greek New Zealand composer who generously provided insights into what onlookers can look forward to when CubaSonic literally takes over Cuba Street this week…


CubaDupa

Saturday 27th March and Sunday 28th March 2021 – Cuba Street Precinct, Wellington (free)

20 stages and creative zones featuring 470 performances and 20 parades with over 1700 artists from all over Aotearoa

Head along to www.cubadupa.co.nz for the full programme and schedule

CubaSonic – Cuba Street, Wellington (free)
Saturday 27th March, 5:00pm to 5:10pm
Sunday 28th March, 2:30pm to 2:40pm

More info HERE

Chris Cudby: Hi John, can you please describe what will be taking place for the CubaSonic mass music sonic interruption?

John Psathas: Well I don’t want to give too much away, but…

I love CubaDupa. It’s a kaleidoscopic maze of sensory overload. What I love most about it is the palpable sense of Wellington’s vibrancy. That energy is always there, peripherally, but it only fully emerges at key moments (festivals, protests, graduation, etc). CubaDupa is one of Wellington’s primary lightning rods, generating and releasing a massive, positive energy charge into the city every year. One of my late-March rituals of recent years was descending through Brooklyn Park to the top of Cuba Street and being immersed in this spiralling-under-control carnival. My preferred approach is to have no idea what’s happening, or when, and roam the site all day and night, just letting it happen to me. But roaming the site, I realised the experience was a strongly localised one. “I’m here at….top of Cuba….Swan Lane Carpark….Leeds Street”, always aware that the tiny spot I was occupying was part of a much larger festival footprint.

So I had a grand idea. What was missing was a way of somehow experiencing, all at once, a much greater part of the overall CubaDupa site. What would it be like to be at the corner of Cuba and Abel Smith streets and be part of a dynamic, synchronized, experience that allows me to feel and hear what’s happening near the buckets in Cuba Mall? Or in the carpark by Floridita’s? Music could achieve that. We’d only need hundreds of musicians, a massive sound system spread across multiple city blocks, and be able to overcome a sequence of challenges we couldn’t yet imagine. That’s what a grand idea is; a form of crazy.

CubaSonic sounds like an absolutely vast undertaking. How long has this event been in the works for? What kind of logistics are involved in co-ordinating such a large scale, public event? Are you working with a technical team to make it happen?

Originally scheduled for 2019, CubaSonic was pulled as the entire CubaDupa Festival had to go indoors at the last minute. This was due to the terrorist threat-level escalation following the Christchurch Mosque shootings. We rescheduled for March 2020 but this time the entire Festival was postponed as the pandemic took hold. There are a few fingers crossed in 2021, I can tell you.

There’s a wonderful technical team, headed by Chris Winter, in control of the sound, and there’s the entire team at CubaDupa managing the actual performances.

Logistically there are two main undertakings; the first is coordinating the hundreds of live musicians, and the second is setting up and running the massive sound system spanning most of Cuba Street. Sound is very dynamic in CubaSonic; there’s incredible sound design by the brilliantly talented Nick Veale, racing through the sound system and, at the same time, and in sync, sound moves physically through the multitude of live performers. It’s pretty awesome.

 

Why did you choose to ‘go big’ with CubaSonic? Have you created works on such a scale previously?

I have created and collaborated on quite a few large-scale works. The Athens Olympics were the biggest in scale, but No Man’s Land came pretty close, with 150 musicians from 25 countries. I also have Voices at the End coming up at the Auckland Arts Festival [this took place last weekend]. This is for 6 grand pianos woven into a massive cinematic soundtrack; we’re installing an immense surround-sound system lining the inside of the Auckland Town Hall.

CubaSonic started off as a terrific thought experiment. But why do it? What’s the actual payoff? Well, thousands of people getting a much larger sense of the CubaDupa site together is actually a way of getting a stronger sense of ourselves—together, in this place at this time. It’s the massed ‘us’ in real time, aware of the ‘all of us’ lining those streets, spread out over three iconic blocks of this fantastic city. The payoff is connection, and a momentary antidote to division and isolation.

Festivals offer unique opportunities for such ambitious ideas. Outdoor festivals even more so. At their best they give us experiences we never forget, experiences that exceed our expectations both in the witnessing of art and in the moments of massed connection that sneak up and take us by surprise. CubaDupa is an incredible canvas to create with. CubaSonic 2021, in the heart of Cuba Street, will be vast, epic, and monumental.

There’ll also be a Chime Red lightning / music device involved — what role does that locally invented instrument play in Cubasonic?

This is a Tesla Coil that can be played like a musical instrument. Amazingly, I was able to go and play the Tesla part live (from a keyboard), and we recorded it to be fired around the sound-system during the performances.

CubaSonic sounds significant in the context of Aotearoa being one of the only places on the planet right now where large scale music events can take place, due to Covid-19. Are there any specific issues you’re addressing with the work, and / or any specific inspirations for CubaSonic?

You will have seen the international media’s acknowledgement of the recent Six60 performances. It seems there’s a strong global awareness right now of NZ’s ability to publicly gather for large-scale music and sporting events. It’s hard to find the right words to express just how lucky we are. I’d like to think this boosts our feeling of celebration and our cherishing of these events.

CubaSonic is described as a "ten minute mass musical interruption" — what is it interrupting? Why is CubaSonic happening twice?

What’s it interrupting? Come and see ;o)

As for why it’s happening twice, we wanted to make sure as many people as possible could have the experience. But here’s the thing; the nature of the CubaSonic experience means that if you stand in one spot for the first performance (say outside Duck Island Ice Cream), you’ll have a completely different experience if you’re outside Fidel’s for the second performance. This is what I love most about the project, everybody will have a vastly different experience of it depending on where they are at the time.

Jack Hooker and yourself spearheaded last year’s It’s Already Tomorrow collection, which featured Aotearoa artists (including Purple Pilgrims, Arjuna Oakes and Grayson Gilmour) creating works in collaboration with overseas artists. What sparked that project?

Covid specifically. That project was triggered by Jack and I talking about what we could do to help musicians keep creative momentum and collaborative energy alive during lockdown. It was really starting to take its toll on a lot of people we knew (which makes it really depressing to think now of what our musician friends in many other countries are going through, after a full year of off-and-on lockdown). I would love to do more projects like that. It’s incredibly rewarding bringing people together for such positive collaborations.

What other projects do you have in the works currently? How’s life in Waitārere?

Waitārere is awesome. I’ve attached a couple of photos. I left teaching over two years ago and have spent about 80% of my time since then in Waitārere composing. A great deal of that time I was completely alone, immersed in creative work for weeks and months at a time. It’s something I wish on all creatives; a really incredible journey of artistic growth. I’ve been very lucky with work; I have years of commissions ahead and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. At the moment I’m putting the finishing touches on a commission from Koln, Germany, for 4 percussion soloists, symphony orchestra, pre-recorded soundtrack and live electronics. Nearly all of my projects are overseas and the great thing is that I’m engaged entirely with optimists; people and organisations that believe we will get through what’s going on right now, and music will re-emerge, worldwide, stronger than ever.

Linkscubadupa.co.nz/
cubadupa.co.nz/artists-2021/cubasonic/
johnpsathas.com/

CubaDupa 2021 Nga Toi o Te Aro Stage Final Lineup Announced

Chris Cudby / Image: Amba Holly / Wednesday 10th March, 2021 12:38PM

  
  

Pōneke seems to have its outdoor festival game sewn up, as the newly announced full lineup for CubaDupa 2021 is a FOMO-inducing one indeed for those living outside of the capital. Featuring a massive schedule of 500 events with 1750 artists, the annual extravaganza unveils today their newest addition, the Ngā Toi o Te Aro stage curated by CubaDupa Ngā Toi Māori Director Noel Woods (Te Āti Awa / Ngāti Porou / Ngāruahine) — showcasing Māori artists, te reo and tikanga Māori in Te Aro Park. The stage will feature 32 acts over the two day community festival, with the majority of performances in te reo Māori.

The top tier lineup includes Pere Wihongi of Tui Best Māori Artist of the year award winners Maimoa, Waiata Māori Music award winners and finalists Amba Holly, Kristen te Rito, Majic, Maaka Fiso and NLC, while hip hop heads will be stoked with the sounds of DMC champion DJ Gooda and six-time New Zealand Beatbox Champion King Homeboy (world record holder for the longest individual beatboxing marathon). Kapa haka performances and wānanga will be held in the park throughout the weekend, including Wānanga Taonga Pūoro where attendees can learn to make their own kōauau and porotiti, and the Wānanga Rāranga where audiences can learn to weave a putiputi and make their own poi, led by weaving collective Te Rito Maioha.

Director Noel Woods stated: “Kia rongohia te reo, kia kōrerohia te reo, kia kitea te reo, kia Māori te reo. Let the Māori language and culture be heard, in conversation, and seen worldwide so that it becomes normalised. I am so excited with this great opportunity to showcase our language and culture at one of Aotearoa’s largest street festivals”

Along with the welcome addition of the Ngā Toi o Te Aro stage, the jam-packed programme for CubaDupa 2021 promises to showcase a vast variety of local sounds, featuring performances by Troy Kingi, JessB, Hans Pucket, composer ​John Psathas‘ Cubasonic "mass musical interruption" and absolutely tonnes more.


CubaDupa

Saturday 27th March and Sunday 28th March 2021 – Cuba Street Precinct, Wellington (free)

500+ performances and 20 parades with over 1750 artists

Head along to www.cubadupa.co.nz for the full programme and daily schedule

Check out Pere Wihongi’s 2019 hit ‘High On Ingoingo’…

Experience Amba Holly’s video for 2020 single ‘Tōku Reo’…

Press release:

CubaDupa, New Zealand’s most diverse and creative street festival, has released its final line up and daily schedule for the festival which will be held on the weekend of March 27-28, 2021

The final line-up brings the festival to a massive 19+ hours of curated entertainment across 46 stages and creative zones, delivering 500+ performances and 20 parades with over 1750 artists. A comprehensive daily schedule has been released on the CubaDupa website for audiences to begin planning now.

The newest addition to the beloved festival is Ngā Toi o Te Aro in Te Aro Park. The park will be transformed to showcase Māori artists, te reo and tikanga Māori. Ngā Toi o Te Aro stage, programmed by CubaDupa Ngā Toi Māori Director, Noel Woods (Te Āti Awa/Ngāti Porou/Ngāruahine), will showcase 32 acts and 18 hours of programming across the 2 days with the majority of performances in te reo Māori.

A whakatau will signal the start of CubaDupa, led by Te Āti Awa iwi members through taonga pūoro, taiaha, karanga, haka and karakia. Ngā Toi o Te Aro stage will be streamed worldwide on radio and social media platforms with a collaboration between Āti Awa Toa FM and Te Ūpoko o te Ika Radio.

Festival Director, Gerry Paul says “2021 has seen CubaDupa take an exciting step forward by creating a space at the festival dedicated to Kaupapa Māori. In consultation with Te Wharewaka o Pōneke Trust, the Creative Capital Arts Trust (producers of CubaDupa & NZ Fringe) have created a specific role and appointed Noel Woods as our Ngā Toi Māori Director, to develop a Kaupapa Māori programme and showcase Māori arts practitioners at the festival”.

Linkscubadupa.co.nz/
AmbaHolly

Heres 5 Hans Puckets Favourite NZ Film Soundtracks CubaDupa 2021

Chris Cudby / Hans Pucket
/ Tuesday 2nd March, 2021 9:12AM

  
  

Aotearoa is currently back at various levels of alert, but that doesn’t mean we can’t collectively cross our fingers (or alternative arcane ritual) and look forward to the bevy of awesome live events scheduled to happen soon. Barring any more Covid curveballs, Pōneke annual tradition CubaDupa 2021 will be happening on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th March — taking over the avenues and alleyways of Cuba Street Precinct with a vast variety of local sounds, cultural activities and tasty food options for windy city dwellers to tuck into.

Playing as part of CubaDupa this year are newly expanded four-piece Hans Pucket, who’ll be bringing the party with the special addition of full horn section. As beloved for their stylish, self-directed and frequently very funny music videos as for their eminently danceable "Pure Horny Power Pop" anthems, we invited twin brothers Oli and Callum Devlin to discuss their deep connection with Aotearoa’s cinematic history for their Here’s Five selections. Scroll on down to listen and learn all about Hans Pucket’s favourite NZ film soundtracks, and (touch wood) catch them bringing the magic as part of the festival’s star-studded music programme, including Troy Kingi, JessB, composer ​John PsathasCubasonic "mass musical interruption" plus lots more…


CubaDupa

Saturday 27th March and Sunday 28th March 2021 – Cuba Street Precinct, Wellington (free)

20 stages and creative zones featuring 470 performances and 20 parades with over 1700 artists from all over Aotearoa

Head along to www.cubadupa.co.nz for the full programme

1. Eagle vs Shark (2007) – ‘I Love You, Awesome’ by The Phoenix Foundation

Oli Devlin: This was my first time hearing pop wizards The Phoenix Foundation, take the humble acoustic guitar, an omnichord, a glockenspiel and — apparently — a salsa jar of water used as a shaker — and create unknown worlds of strange, sad beauty: the gorgeous instrumental tracks Hitchcock and Sea World taken from the album Pegasus.

But for whatever reason — I Love You, Awesome was the track that stuck in my brain. Maybe I was 14 and a romantic. Maybe it was The Phoenix Foundation’s nuclear precise pop arrangement. Maybe it was just 2007 when the ukulele was maybe the coolest it was ever gonna get — the time of Beirut’s Elephant Gun and the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, who I was also obsessed with.

Also featured on this soundtrack, and new to my wee ears, was two explosively endorphin-filled garage rock pop masterpieces from The Reduction Agents — James Milne of Lawrence Arabia.

As a hopelessly romantic 14 year old I connected deeply to this film about absolute weirdos finding love. And as much as the characters were frighteningly earnest or emotionally guarded, the music was well off the leash. The film conjured a country of creative weirdos and wild music that I definitely wanted to live in. It was a big deal.

2. Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001) – ‘The Prologue: One Ring to Rule Them All’ by Howard Shore

Oli: Fellowship Of The Ring came out in December 2001 — Callum and I went to see it for our 8th birthday party in February the next year when it was still packing out cinemas. We probably saw trailers for 2002 fare like Scooby Doo, Attack of the Clones or the Toby McGuire Spider-Man (incredible). Then the lights went down.

It is the overture that pulls you into another world. That main string melody — sick with loss, obsession, addiction, all the despair in the world, the thousands of years that pass in that scene…Then immediately going into the biggest and scariest battle ever — 8 year old Oli absolutely ate that shit right up.

It takes a little effort to watch the film now without all the associated politics creeping in. Some say this trilogy is Jackson’s most collaborative and inspiring work as a director and it still shows. Every artist collaborating on this film is firing on all cylinders — and in every single moment of its music — over 3 hours composed just for this film — Howard Shore rains absolute magic.

Big shoutouts to the Isengard Theme, the Khazad-dum Sequence and of course, The Fellowship Theme.

3. Daffodils (2019) – ‘Fall At Your Feet’ (Crowded House) by LIPS (Steph Brown and Fen Ikner)

Callum Devlin: This is a movie absolutely bursting with music, with a story built wall to wall with blockbuster NZ anthems. My main memory of seeing the film was being mortified at seeing my giant face as an extra in a particularly emotional moment, but the production and musical arrangement of these inimitable tracks by LIPS are undeniable, and a huge part of the success of this film. And some stellar vocal performances don’t hurt.

4. Shopping (2013) – ‘Solomon’s Story I’ by Grayson Gilmore

Callum: Shamefully, I had totally forgotten I’d seen this beautiful film until researching this list. Grayson Gilmore’s soothing ambient score has a kind of home demo feeling, in a “stay up until 2am recording guitar onto a tape recorder hoping my flatmates don’t hear” kind of way. It perfectly fits this intimate, coming of age film and revisiting it on Bandcamp made me desperate for a rewatch.


5. Goodbye Pork Pie – ‘Gerry Escapades’ & ‘Main Theme’ by John Charles

Callum: I could have filled this list with Geoff Murphy and John Charles collaborations (hon. mention A Quiet Earth) but this is the one that sticks out. I first saw this movie on DVD when I was sick home from school and remember it scared the shit out of me. First, because these guys are maniacs, and second was the score. Underneath the crackly honking sound design and yelled dialogue sits this brassy score that swings from giddy Dixie comedy in early antics to haunting and bleary suspense during the final chase, and the woozy sexy main title, really crawling into your sinuses. The jazz band orchestration is something very of its time, making me curious about a country I didn’t know and probably doesn’t exist.

Linkscubadupa.co.nz/
instagram.com/hanspucket/

Second Lineup Announced For CubaDupa 2021 Ft JessB Chantal Claret More

Chris Cudby / Image: JessB
/ Wednesday 3rd February, 2021 10:00AM

  
  

The capital’s mighty CubaDupa festival returns this summer to take over the avenues and alleyways of Cuba Street Precinct, featuring a vast variety of local sounds, cultural activities and tasty food options to tuck into over the weekend of March 27-28, 2021. A second wave of musical artists has been revealed to round out the family friendly, free street festival’s already massive lineup, overflowing with "19+ hours of curated entertainment across 20 stages and creative zones," celebrating Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s unique creative spirit with "470 performances and 20 parades with over 1700 artists from all over Aotearoa".

Joining the bill for CubaDupa 2021 are hip hop icon JessB, Aotearoa-based US songwriter / actor Chantal Claret (Netflix’s Love, lead singer of Morningwood), Paekakariki-based French songwriter ​Franck Monnet will make his first NZ festival appearance, Tāmaki avant big band ​New Telepathics, and horn-infused North Shore groovers Molly and the Chromatics​. Pillar of our heavy music community, Valhalla will be putting a dark spin on the summer fun, offering "a unique experience for alternative music lovers; featuring thrash metal, metal inspired by science fiction and horror, and dungeon synth," while the hard-working Eyegum gang are teaming up with Hotel Bristol ​to showcase more than 13 local live faves, including ​French for Rabbits​, ​Grawlixes, Hummucide, Bored Housewives Club, Dartz, Spectre Collective ​and ​Goya.

All that on top of an already mega-stacked lineup including Taite Prize winner Troy Kingi, guitar-pop champs Hans Pucket (with full horn section), New Orleans brass band party starters Richter City Rebels, Christchurch indie rock / pop tunesmiths There’s a Tuesday, an all female fronted lineup on the ​Garage Project Wild Workshop Stage (​programmed by ​Gussie Larkin​ of ​Mermaidens​), the debut of the ​RadioActive​ ​Upper Cuba SoundSphere, and the Cubasonic "mass musical interruption" spearheaded by Aotearoa composer ​John Psathas — involving "over 300 musicians lining the street, twelve conductors above the crowd, [and] a custom-made overhead sound system."

Festival Director Gerry Paul shared his excitement for this year’s CubaDupa festival: ​“We couldn’t be more excited about the second announcement of artists, vendors and external stages. The programme that has been pulled together by our creative community is astronomical. With only two months until the beautiful disruption of CubaDupa hits the streets, the team are buzzing and we feel privileged to be in a position to hold festivals. Aotearoa is the envy of the world right now – so join us on the last weekend of March and get ready for Wellington to turn it on!”

CubaDupa

Saturday 27th March and Sunday 28th March 2021 – Cuba Street Precinct, Wellington (free)

20 stages and creative zones featuring 470 performances and 20 parades with over 1700 artists from all over Aotearoa

Head along to www.cubadupa.co.nz for the full programme

You don’t want to miss JessB, get amped with the summery clip for her 2019 anthem ‘Mood’…

Press release:

CubaDupa, New Zealand’s most diverse and creative street festival, has released its second wave of an additional 30 artists, 30 external stages and creative zones, and the first 40 Street Feast vendors for the festival which will be held on the weekend of March 27-28, 2021

Jess B,​ Aotearoa’s undeniable queen of hip hop graces the CubaDupa stage on the Saturday. NZ based American actress & songwriter ​Chantal Claret, k​nown for her role in the Netflix hit series ‘Love’ and as lead singer in the band Morningwood,​ ​will bring us her one-of-a-kind ​fusion of earthy soul and boot-scootin’ stomp. ​Renowned French Singer-Songwriter ​Franck Monnet,​ based in Paekakariki, will honor CubaDupa with his first ever New Zealand festival performance.

Auckland’s eleven-piece ​New Telepathics​ will bring an avant-garde explosion to the streets of Te Aro and to coincide with the CubaDupa appearance, they will be releasing a ‘best of’ vinyl featuring two new tracks. ​Molly and the Chromatics​ will fill the CubaDupa Sunday afternoon with their harmonies, horns and groovy tunes.
Te Kairanga Wines​ is the newest partner of this juggernaut festival and will be presenting the ​Te Kairanga Street Feast. ​Enjoy over 100 local food stalls offering a diverse range of local vendors and culinary experiences; including the triumphant return of the ​Wellington Night Market ​who have been closed since the March lockdown.

New for 2021 is the ​Wellington Airport Ngā Taniwha Stage​, designed by Wellington wāhine toa artists; Miriama Grace-Smith​, ​Xoe Hall ​and ​Gina Kiel​. The design will feature the Whanganui-a-Tara taniwha Ngake and Whātaitai, as well as people woven throughout the taniwha representing the first iwi Ngai Tara that Te-Whanganui-a-Tara is named after, their descendants, mana whenua and people who live in the area today.

On the neighbourhood level, Cuba Street’s local businesses have been busy organising their own stages and programmes as part of the festival. ​Valhalla​ is offering a unique experience for alternative music lovers; featuring thrash metal, metal inspired by science fiction and horror, and dungeon synth. Wellington’s favourite music collective ​Eyegum ​has teamed up with ​Hotel Bristol ​to bring you a whole weekend of free music with over 13 bands including ​French for Rabbits​, ​Grawlixes, HUMMUCIDE, Bored Housewives Club, Dartz, Spectre Collective ​and ​Goya,​ just to name a few.

‘The world’s smallest theatre’ ​Tiny Town​ will feature a wild and varying line up of tap dancing, DJs, Cabaret and sultry​ Jazz for five audience members at a time.​ ​Hugo Grrrl, Colossal, 3 Speed Crunch Box, Rollicking Entertainment​ and ​Humourous Arts​ will ignite your imagination and sense at The Mammoth​ as part of the Kāpura Circus & Cabaret Programme.

CubaDupa is held on the weekend of March 27-28, throughout the Cuba Street Precinct in Wellington. For latest details of artists, vendors and stages visit ​www.cubadupa.co.nz​.

Linkscubadupa.co.nz

Mermgrown Festival Tmaki Makaurau Announced Ft Kane Strang Mermaidens Leaping Tiger More

Chris Cudby / Tuesday 26th January, 2021 9:00AM

  
  

As if Mermaidens organising a fantastic summer festival of hand-picked artists to enjoy in Pōneke wasn’t enough, they’ve truly taken it to the next level, announcing Mermgrown Festival Tāmaki Makaurau is taking over Whammy Bar, Wine Cellar & Backroom in March. The ‘wow!’-inducing lineup for the boutique fest’s super city edition is a special one indeed, as it features the first live appearance from Kane Strang with band in three years. The Taite-nominated songwriter will debut fresh material from a forthcoming new album, joined by live bandmates Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate), Leith Towers (Marlin’s Dreaming), Mitchell Innes and festival curator Gussie Larkin (Mermaidens, Earth Tongue). That’s by no means all to look forward to, as the all-killer bill includes local faves Leaping Tiger, Phoebe Rings, LEAO, K M T P and of course Mermaidens (who promise "new bangers"), with even more revelations to follow. We strongly recommend you secure your spot quick-smart, as tickets are sure to fly out the door for the triple venue, artist-driven event — here are the details…

Undertheradar proudly presents…

Mermgrown Festival Tāmaki Makaurau 2021
Saturday 20th March – Whammy Bar, Wine Cellar & Backroom
Featuring… Kane Strang (with band), Mermaidens, Leaping Tiger, Phoebe Rings, LEAO, K M T P + more to be announced 
Tickets available HERE via UTR

Mermgrown Festival Pōneke
Saturday 20th February – The Workingmen’s Bowling Club, Wellington (doors 1pm, all-ages)
Featuring… Womb, Emily Edrosa (solo), Mermaidens, Hans Pucket, Motte, Zero Cool, Ludus, PollyHill, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Black Spider Stomp
Tickets available HERE via UTR (kids aged 13 and under get in free)

Watch the vid for Kane Strang’s ‘My Smile Is Extinct’, from 2017’s Two Hearts and No Brain…

Be dazzled by the future visions of Mermaidens’ ‘Bastards’, from their latest album Look Me In the Eye…

Press release:

Mermgrown Festival Auckland 2021

First Lineup Announcement, Tuesday 26 Jan 2021

In the spirit of worldwide domination, Mermaidens have announced that Mermgrown Festival will be coming to Tāmaki Makaurau! On Saturday 20 March 2021 the merms and their talented pals will take over Whammy, Wine Cellar and Backroom for a steamy multi-room extravaganza.

Alongside Mermaidens, this year’s Mermgrown Auckland lineup features the long-awaited return of Kane Strang with a full band, playing songs from his upcoming album as well as happysad bangers from his back catalogue. Kane Strang’s band includes Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate), Leith Towers (Marlin’s Dreaming), Mitchell Innes and Mermaidens’ own Gussie Larkin.

The first lineup announcement also includes local faves Phoebe Rings, electronic artist Leaping Tiger, 95bfm favourites K M T P, David Feauai-Afaese’s project LEAO, and many more to be announced.

Expect some new bangers from Mermaidens, who scooped up nominations at the Aotearoa Music Awards and the Silver Scrolls last year. In 2020, Mermgrown Wellington sold out within weeks of being announced, so don’t dilly dally – tickets are on sale now from Undertheradar.

Tickets on sale now from Undertheradar.

Linksfacebook.com/mermaidensband/

Mermgrown Festival 2021 Full Lineup Announced Hans Pucket Emily Edrosa More

Chris Cudby / Photo credit: Paige Warton
/ Tuesday 19th January, 2021 10:32AM

  
  

Summer just got 100% more fab with today’s revelation of the long-awaited full lineup for Mermgrown 2021, the inaugural all-ages festival creation of Mermaidens. Gearing up to knock your socks off at Pōneke’s Workingmen’s Bowling Club this February will be Hans Pucket, Emily Edrosa (performing solo), PollyHill, Black Spider Stomp and Freya Daly Sadgrove, joining an already stonkin’ bill featuring Motte, Zero Cool, WOMB, Ludus, and of course the Taite-nominated team of Gussie Larkin, Lily West and Abe Hollingsworth themselves. Mermgrown has been a long time coming and will be well worth the wait, as an earlier version was frustratingly cancelled way back in March due to dirty old Covid. There’ll also be a bar to help quench your thirst (non-alcoholic options will be available), yum food courtesy of Two Girls One Taco and even an art market — grip the full lineup details and secure your spot before it sells outs…


UTR proudly presents…

Mermgrown 2021

Featuring… Womb, Emily Edrosa (solo), Mermaidens, Hans Pucket, Motte, Zero Cool, Ludus, PollyHill, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Black Spider Stomp

Saturday 20th February – The Workingmen’s Bowling Club, Wellington (doors 1pm, all-ages)

Tickets available HERE via UTR (kids aged 13 and under get in free)

Watch the vid for Emily Edrosa’s super catchy ‘Drinking During The Day’…

Smash play on PollyHill’s new single ‘Mentors’…

PollyHill · Mentors

 

Linksfacebook.com/mermaidensband/

Weekly Roundup Friday 27th November

C.C. / Image: Earth Tongue / Photo credit: Frances Carter / Friday 27th November, 2020 4:22PM

  
  

Just the merest glance at our weekend gig picks below will hammer home the awesome fact live shows are popping off across Aotearoa right now, with the schedule only set to get even more hectic as we zoom toward the silly season. Announcement highlights for the week included 100% Good and NoiseFloor are teaming up to celebrate the end of a mare of a year with Music Of The Humans Summer Solstice Edition 2020, featuring Hans Pucket, Phoebe Rings, Priya Sami‘s new band Bub plus more, Tauranga’s Your Enabler Presents have put together huge lineup of noise-loving bands for their all-ages, four stage No Future Festival 2021 in February, noiseniks Wax Chattels are headlining the Infestive Festive Festivities all-ages Xmas fundraiser at Auckland Old Folks Ass. in mid-December, Lyttelton songwriting sensation Marlon Williams announced even more Tāmaki Makaurau headline dates for his rapidly selling out solo tour, Marlin’s Dreaming, Soaked Oats and Daffodils are teaming up to move crowds across the upper half of the North Island on The Beach Ball tour in late December / early January, and Tāmaki Makaurau’s 95bFM, Whammy Bar and The Wine Cellar have organised a party-popping, mega-stacked Christmas extravaganza on 19th December, in support of Auckland City Mission.

WEEKEND GIG PICKS


Friday 27th November

Leigh: Thunderground – Leigh Sawmill
Auckland: Adam Hattaway And The Haunters – The Wine Cellar
Auckland: Earth Tongue – Whammy Bar

Auckland: Spring Cleaning – Cassette Nine

Auckland: Rachel Shearer, K-group, Richard Francis, Rosy Parlane – Audio Foundation
Auckland: YKK Presents: Dera Meelan and Deadforest – Whammy Backroom
Hamilton: Landlords, Swallow The Rat, Qualms, Orbjks & Pillcutter – Nivara Lounge
Tauranga: Big Scout – The Hop House

Napier: The Phoenix Foundation – The Cabana
Hastings: Makeshift Parachutes – Common Room
Wellington: Femme n Bass – Moon1

Wellington: Space Time Friday Jam – KUKI KOORI

Wellington: Daily J – San Fran

Christchurch: Reid & Ruins – The Piano
Christchurch: Pretty Dumb, Cold Shower, Bear Trap, Bin Day – darkroom
Dunedin: Princess Chelsea – Dive
Dunedin: French For Rabbits – Bark@Dog With Two Tails

Saturday 28th November

Leigh: Adam Hattaway and The Haunters, Ryan Fisherman – Leigh Sawmill Cafe
Auckland: Clap Clap Riot – Whammy Bar

Auckland: Coridian Christmas – Ding Dong Lounge

Auckland: Georgia Lines and Alex James – Freida Margolis

Auckland: Makeshift Parachutes – Gelatos

Hamilton: Earth Tongue – Never Project Space
Napier: Hail To The Thieves – Paisley Stage
Palmerston North: Big Scout – The Stomach 
Wellington: Soaked Oats – San Fran
Wellington: The Phoenix Foundation – The Opera House 
Queenstown: Reid & Ruins – Sherwood
Christchurch: French For Rabbits – Space Academy
Lyttelton: Princess Chelsea – Wunderbar
Dunedin: Bo and The Constrictors – Dive
Dunedin: Luke Hurley – ADJØ

NEW TRACKS:

Linksaucklandcitymission.org.nz/

Music Of The Humans Xmas Shindig Announced Ft Hans Pucket Phoebe Rings More

Chris Cudby / Image: Hans Pucket
/ Monday 23rd November, 2020 10:02AM

  
  

Lock up your office photocopier and bust out your secret stash of silly Santa hats, because Christmas party season is nearly here again. Hard-working best buds 100% Good and NoiseFloor have teamed up to celebrate the end of a mare of a year with Music Of The Humans Summer Solstice Edition 2020, a mid-December festive knees up featuring Poneke catchy tunesmiths Hans Pucket, rising stars Phoebe Rings, Priya Sami‘s new band Bub (awesomely described as "The Strokes meets Dolly Parton meets The Cars"), groove-worshipping supergroup Friends Of The World (Live Band) and DJs’ SG Margo, Tony M and Aw B. Eye-popping stage art and lighting will be provided by artist Cat Ellis, all proceeds go to the great cause of Girls Rock! Aotearoa, and music nerds will be happily in their element with an "obscure NZ Music trivia quiz curated by the performers and organisers", so attendance is pretty much mandatory at this point. Grip the details here…

Music Of The Humans 2020 Summer Solstice Edition

Featuring Hans Pucket, Phoebe Rings, Bub, Friends Of All The World, DJs Tony M, SG Margo & Aw b w/ stage design by Cat

Friday 11th December – Cassette Nine, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR (early bird tickets available)

Watch the action-packed clip for Hans Pucket’s earworm ‘Comfort’…

Check out the magical debut single from Phoebe Rings ‘Cheshire’…

Press release:

Best friends 100% Good and NoiseFloor collaborate once more on their annual charity Xmas Shindig. This time at the Music. Of. The. Humans. 2020 Summer Solstice Edition at Cassette 9 Friday December 11th.

This year Number 4 will feature the stellar talents of their friends like:

Poneke power pop trio (and yuuuge fans of Nature’s Best CDs 1 & 2) Hans Pucket

Cosmological Jazz pop combo Phoebe Rings

The premier of NZ’s best torch singer Priya Sami’s new (The Strokes meets Dolly Parton meets The Cars) band Bub

Tamaki Makaurau monsters of the groove Friends Of All the World this time in a supergroup live band format.

The proceedings all held together masters of the vibe SG Margo and Tony M selecting.

Capping the night off dancefloor banger merchant Aw B

Stage art and lighting from artist Cat Ellis

There will be an obscure NZ Music trivia quiz curated by the performers and organisers, band merch, a themed celebratory teapot cocktail and a commemorative gig poster T shirt.

All proceeds go to Girls Rock! Aotearoa

Definitely gonna be the best Xmas hang of 2020

Linksfacebook.com/onehundredpercentnz/
facebook.com/fromthenoisefloor

Interview The Phoenix Foundation Speak Out About Friend Ship

Annabel Kean / Photo credit: Ebony Lamb / Tuesday 3rd November, 2020 11:43AM

  
  

The Phoenix Foundation fellows are boarding their Friend Ship tour, rigging the sails, and navigating Aotearoa throughout November for eight album release shows. The album is their seventh, and has seen them return to the pop sentiments of earlier collections like Buffalo and Pegasus, and recruiting some of their favourite musicians for collaborative duties. One such collaborator, and Pōneke peer, Anita Clark (Motte) is joining the band for the tour and "violining up a storm like a one woman orchestra". Before they’re run off their feet sharing music new and old in gorgeous venues like Wellington’s Opera House and Ōtautahi’s Isaac Theatre Royal, Phoenix Foundation front man Samuel Flynn Scott caught up with Hans Pucket‘s Oliver Devlin. The pair dive into how Friend Ship was created and where it sits in the Phoenix Foundation’s oeuvre, as well as the best ways to enjoy peanut butter on toast. Check the full run of dates here, and scroll down a wee way for the full interview…


UTR proudly presents…

The Phoenix Foundation – Friend Ship tour of Aotearoa

Friday 6th November – St Peter’s Hall, Paekākāriki

Thursday 12th November – Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch

Friday 13th November – Starters, Dunedin

Thursday 19th November – Totara St, Mount Maunganui

Friday 20th November – Sawmill Cafe, Leigh

Saturday 21st November – Powerstation, Auckland

Friday 27th November – The Cabana, Napier

Saturday 28th November – The Opera House, Wellington

Tickets available via Banished Music

Oliver Devlin: Hey, kia ora, it’s Oli. I just got a chance to listen to the album this morning, and was getting my thoughts together… this is my first time interviewing somebody, so I guess bear with me.

Samuel Flynn Scott: Ok, I’ll be really difficult, I’ll make sure I give you no answers.

Haha, yeah. Just yes or no. Straight up.

Yep, really flat.

I just finished listening to the album, and oh boy, wow. That is a heck of an album you’ve got there.

Oh thank you!

It’s pretty stunning. Really nice way to start the day, sitting and eating my banana and peanut butter on toast and listening to some really beautiful music.

That’s a good toast combo. I’d sort of forgotten how delicious it was but I’ve been making it for my sons and then eating it myself. It’s just really good right? Banana and peanut butter.

Peanut butter is having such a cultural moment I feel, but I’m a wimp, I can’t deal with it by itself. Even with how delicious it is, I need a little bit of banana, a little bit of honey or something.

I think it needs some sort of lubrication. I don’t understand people who eat peanut butter on toast without butter. I feel like it’s really claggy if you don’t have jam or honey or something else to change the texture a bit… these are the important topics for UnderTheRadar.


Yeah, we could just keep talking about breakfast.

Yeah sure. But officially I don’t eat breakfast, supposedly. I’ve fallen off the wagon a bit lately. It’s a dieting thing. This is what bands hitting forty have to do now.

Oh okay, I’ll look forward to that.

Leading up to photo shoots and stuff, you gotta hit the intermittent fasting pretty hard.


That’s a great segue, I’ve got my notes here… You’ve worked with Nadia Reid, and Hollie from Tiny Ruins, and Anita Clark, and Amelia [Fazerdaze], and also the entire NZSO. There’s a bit of a theme there going across the album, well obviously friendship, but how did that come together? Collaborating like this, and bringing all these people into The Phoenix Foundation?

We were maybe half way through the record and I was living in Auckland by this stage and me and Luke [Buda] were having a big conversation about how we wanted to finish the record and what we needed to do to give it something special — not just make it another Phoenix Foundation album. And at that stage the NZSO thing, we were still working out how we were gonna do it, if it was gonna happen, and I’d just done the Neil Finn album, with the choir. That choir was people like Reb Fountain, Fazerdaze Amelia, Hollie from Tiny Ruins, and I just loved singing with these women. They have incredible voices and I was listening to so much of their music. I was listening to Fazerdaze, I was listening to Nadia, I was listening to Tiny Ruins. I was listening to Aldous. Most of what I listen to at the moment is New Zealand women. I didn’t used to listen to that much New Zealand music, and I didn’t used to listen to that much music by female songwriters, I don’t think. I’ve always been a huge fan of various female songwriters, but I wouldn’t say it’s dominated my listening, and the last few years it’s really like 80-percent of what I listen to crazily.

I think for a lot of people it’s just a real shift in energy in terms of what we want out of music or something, or just doesn’t feel stale. And so we wanted to tap into that, because that’s what we’re interested in, and it should make our album better and we get to work with some people that we like hanging out with and whose voices we really love, so it just kind of made sense on every level.

One of the songs on the album — is it Luke who’s singing about his life? And starting a band in high school and everything? [Former Glory with Anita Clark]

Yeah, so that’s very much a Luke lyric, because it’s about travelling to New Zealand from Poland and it’s all very — I mean, I love how explicit the lyrics are in that. I don’t mean explicit in a rude way, it’s just that they say what he went through.

That was a really beautiful moment for me on the album, after coming through that whole experience and how hard that must have been. When the band comes in at the end he’s like "Things got cool in high school, I started a band with my best friends". I was like, ‘Oh shit’.

They say you shouldn’t write songs about being in a band, that’s kind of passé or whatever, but I like funny songs bands write about their own little stories. And our one goes back a few years, so why not?

Were you all thinking about that while recording that song for this album? I suppose you’ve been celebrating 20 years of the band, you’re probably sick of being asked questions about the history of it.

Oh na, I mean it’s fine really. It is what it is, especially after doing the NZSO tour which was the 20 year celebration, it’s like, well, we kind of have to accept that at some point you move into a different sort of zone of what you mean to your audience. This is the really interesting thing about working with Nadia and Hollie, you know they’re about ten years younger than us, but they were listening to our music in high school, so the music we were making in our twenties had soundtracked some of their teens. Which is when we met as a band, it was in our teens, and we started to lend each other records and influence each other.

I can absolutely say the same for me as well. I was thinking, the first time I heard you guys was the Eagle Vs. Shark soundtrack.

Ah right! So many people heard us through soundtracks.

Your songs, and the instrumental songs from that album, and then The Reduction Agents were on there as well, and it felt like the whole scene that was going on here. It was quite exciting to come across this trove of all this New Zealand music all at once.

Yeah and most of that music probably, I’d say everyone knew Taika, other than the famous international acts on it. People talk about the ‘scene’ or whatever, but it was never like a ‘cool scene’, no one ever felt ‘cool’ in that world. I think we were all nerds. There was this place called, I think it was Cable Street and it was a warehouse where people like Taika, Age Pryor, Bret Mckenzie and Jermaine, they’d all be making music or putting on little play. You know you’d just go to parties there cos that was the cool, loose party, and you’d meet people there and it’s kind of how you’d end up on their soundtrack. And I kind of loved that time. At this point in my life I can’t connect with people in those ways, and I do miss that, because I’m not young and going out to random things, and because some of that culture doesn’t really exist anymore. Because people don’t have those warehouse spaces where a bunch of artists from different mediums can hang out and work together.

Do you think that your approach to music has changed a lot with that change of environment as well? Or does it still feel like it’s coming from the same place.

You know it does change at different times when we have different motivations. I think with this record we tried to tap into some of the motivations we maybe had sort of 10, 15 years ago. We talked a lot about really focussing things back to songwriting and lyrics on this album, cos I think we got quite caught up in performance. Because we got better as musicians and we got better as a band, and a lot of what makes Give Up Your Dreams a cool record is the way we’re interacting with each other, but we maybe didn’t put that much time into a lot of the lyrics. Whereas with this album, that’s what I said to Luke, that that’s what I’d like it to be about. And he kind of groaned a bit like ‘oh god, lyrics are so hard uh’. Then he came out with ‘Decision Dollars’ which is this personal song about being hungover, and then ‘Miserable Meal’ which people would have heard on the NZSO tour, and that’s again quite a personal song, quite a beautiful song.

Kind of Burt Bacharach-y sorta trumpets in there.

Yeah the arrangement by Claire Cowen which is really cool. And then him just writing about being a Polish immigrant coming to New Zealand and getting beaten up for his lunch money, until the one day he fights back and feels some sense of worth or something, buys a guitar, and meets the people that will become his lifelong friends. It’s like a little mini epic tale, I love it. He wasn’t that into making the lyrics the kind of be all and end all, but in the end he just nailed it. Great stuff.

How about yourself? How’d you find your lyrical writing on this album?

Well, I put a lot of hours into it. ‘Transit Of Venus’, again that’s a very personal story and I’m really just writing about exactly what was happening at the time. I did write that song with my wife when we were supposed to be doing the dishes together and I was annoying her by singing about the stars and planets through the window instead of drying the dishes.

You’re writing it in that moment?

I was writing it in that moment! I was in the kitchen.

That is so beautiful.

Yeah and she was like ‘that sounds really good Sam, but actually could you please do the dishes’.

And then getting to take that to the NZSO — is it Claire doing that arrangement as well?

Ah no that’s Hamish Oliver doing that one.

Yeah, and adding the celestial element to that.

It really does make sense.  I was really unsure about having such a big, bold, Hollywood film kind of arrangement on it, but I was completely wrong. It’s beautiful, it’s great. I’m so glad we did it.

The way that whistle manages to- it cuts through perfectly on top of that huge, mass of humans.

You’ve gotta make the whistling song right? You’ve gotta have a whistling song at some point in your career.

I’d just love to ask you about ‘Landline’ as well, cos that is a straight up, solid gold hit. Fantastic.

I sure hope so! But I won’t hold my breath [laughs]. But no no, I always think ‘aw yeah this one’s pretty catchy, this is going to be the one’, ‘this is the one that’s gonna work for people’. Then I’m like ‘aw no, no one likes it, once again’.


Do you feel a little bit like you’ve got some particularly beautiful gems on this album though? Do you have a little glimmer of something, some hope that there’s some pretty special music on this album? Or are you trying not to think about how it’ll come across to people.

I dunno. I feel like it’s a pretty solid album. I mean, I have my favourite albums, they’re probably Buffalo and Pegasus. I mean I really enjoyed making Give Up Your Dreams, that was one of my favourites to actually make, the process was really cool. But I’d put this up there with Buffalo I think, in terms of the songs. ‘Landline’ is a funny one, cos it’s so much poppier than the rest of the album, but I think it’s good in the context of the album, it’s just got a little bit more juice, and then those really really mellow ones like ‘Trem Sketch’, it allows those songs to be there as well. It kind of balances the force or something. So yeah, it’s a very poppy song, but it’s a song about reaching out and being there for your friends when they’re suffering from depression or anxiety, and also being understanding if they’re not available for you, or you’re not available for them, cos it kind of goes back and forth this thing about ‘being in the blue’. It’s very fun and catchy, but it’s also written from the perspective of someone who’s seeing a lot of mental anguish amongst the people that I love. It’s just amazing how all this shit, we’re writing about all this anxiety and stuff, and then it’s got worse and worse. The whole global situation’s got worse and all feels even more relevant than when we were making it. But ‘Landline’, weirdly, the themes on it are quite central to what the album’s about.

That’s the kind of pop music I love. It’s got enough under the surface to stick around really. It’s really got something to say, and there’s some pretty straight ahead lines in that song, but you know that it’s about something a bit deeper and a bit apocalyptic or something.

Yeah there’s a lot of apocalypse in the album.

I think that the messages that you’ve got on this album are just really perfectly timed for where we are right now, and maybe you got a bit lucky with that, or maybe you were feeling what was already going on.

Sorry, hang on one second Oli. ["I’m in the middle of doing an interview — it’s just there, it’s that building there"] Sorry, I’m directing my dad into a mechanic’s. It’s a very weird thing that I’m doing right now, at the same time I’m doing this interview, but this is life!


I’m wrapping up!

Hey I’ve been listening to a bunch of Hans Pucket, I mean I’ve heard you guys obviously through the years, but I thought I better listen to Oli’s music to prepare for this interview and I was really enjoying it by the way. Good lyrics, they’re fun.


Good lyrics! I’ll hold onto that one, thank you.

Lyrics are hard man.

They’re so hard. Maybe that’s why I had such a good time with it this morning as well. It’s a good thing to listen to right now, and thank you for that.

I can’t believe the NZSO’s on it, it’s amazing. I can’t believe that Nadia’s on it, Hollie, and Amelia’s on the track that’s on the 7”.

It’s amazing. I’m a huge fan of orchestral pop music as well, there needs to be more orchestras on pop recordings.

Now that I’ve done it, I know why there isn’t more! It’s really hard to make it all come together, but it happened, and the NZSO really came on board.

We have to appreciate it while it’s here. Anyway, I’ll let you go and hang out with a mechanic.

Thanks Oli, have a good day man.

The Phoenix Foundation’s seventh album ‘Friend Ship’ is out now via The Phoenix Foundation / Universal NZ.

Linksthephoenixfoundation.bandcamp.com
instagram.com/thephoenixfoundation
facebook.com/thephoenixfoundation
twitter.com/phoenixfound
youtube.com/phoenixfoundationTV
soundcloud.com/the-phoenix-foundation
banishedmusic.com/friendship

Heres Five Oscar Mein Of Soaked Oats Top 00s Deep Cuts

Annabel Kean / Oscar Mein / Thursday 8th October, 2020 11:22AM

  
  

They’ve done their breakfast prep and are ready to take their Soaked Oats musical treats on the road, with the Say Hey And Play Some New Ones nationwide tour kicking off tonight in Ōtepoti. Joining them for all ten shows is Jesse Schrader‘s DJ act Hot In The City, with champs Hans Pucket, Ha The Unclear, Wiri Donna and Neive Strang popping in for a jam along the way. Before they charged ahead, we asked lead vocalist and former hip hop dancer Oscar Mein to take a moment to look back — back to the raging ‘Noughties’. With a prompt to select five ’00s deep cuts, Mein took the idea and ran with it; low rise jeans, whale tail and all. First, here’s the tour and ticket info, don’t miss out…

Soaked Oats ‘Say Hey And Play Some New Ones’ Tour w/ Hot In The City

Thursday 8th October – Dive, Dunedin* w/ Neive Strang

Friday 9th October – Blue Smoke, Christchurch*

Saturday 10th October – Yonder, Queenstown*

Wednesday 14th October – The Plant, Blenheim*

Friday 16th October – Lucky Bar, Whanganui*

Saturday 17th October – Hawkes Bay Arts Festival, Napier

Friday 23rd October – Tuning Fork, Auckland w/ Hans Pucket

Saturday 24th October – Longline Classic Festival, Gisborne

Sunday 25th October – Leigh Sawmill, Leigh* w/ Ha the Unclear

Saturday 28th November – San Fran, Wellington* w/ Wiri Donna

Tickets on sale HERE via UTR*

Oscar Mein: Was trying to remember what early teen me listened to then it all came flooding in. Always nice going back over the stuff that got you started and lead on to the next thing. The jouuurrnneyyy…

1. King Kapisi – ‘Reverse Resistance’

My brother had this single on CD with ‘Sub-Cranium Feeling’ on the flip side, routinely played in the household. His voice, strong.

2. P-Money Ft. 4 Korners – ‘The Xpedition’

This album kinda was it for a very long time, P-Money seemed otherworldly. Dj Sir-Vere’s Major Flavours was massive also, heard a whole lotta Hip Hop through those compilations. Vol. 5 got a particularly heavy workout.

3. Sound Providers – ‘The Field’

There was definitely a competitive aspect to who could find the unheard of gem, a friend called Henry showed me this in high school and I was a little jealous.

4. Ski Beatz Ft. Mos Def & Whosane – ‘Taxi’

Another from beyond the border. This might be sneaking into 2010… but it’s a goodun.

5. Tim Moore – ‘Dark Child’

I would’ve come to this after the ’00s but there you go, the original [Made famous by Marlon Williams]! Saw Tim Moore’s old band Von Klap for the first time at their last ever show in Christchurch and it was something. James Davies put me on, danke James.

Linksfacebook.com/soakedoats/
soakedoats.bandcamp.com/

Watch Na Noise Hans Pucket Perform On Goin Live With Chabs Milky

Annabel Kean / Tuesday 4th August, 2020 11:13AM

  
  

Goin’ Live With Chabs And Milky, the show with two James’ for the price of one (James Milne & James Dansey), has hosted two of Te Ika-a-Māui’s hottest harmonising, guitar wrangling crews in their latest episodes. Featuring members of Guardian Singles and Echo Ohs, Tāmaki Makaurau duo Na Noise are one of the many must-sees at this year’s The Others Way festival, and if you weren’t already convinced, their Chabs And Milky appearance is fuzz on fuzz dreamy spaghetti-western pop. Looking back a little further, the Hans Pucket boys took the studio by storm the day after their Deep Dive festival rager, debuting a handful of unreleased tracks and brand new fourth band member Callum Passells (Saxobros). Peruse the live videos below, with a special shout out to Hans Pucket’s five minute shout out section, and keep your Sundays free for the next two eps featuring CHAII and Dateline

Linksgoinlivewithchabsandmilky.tv/
facebook.com/goinlivewithchabsandmilky/
instagram.com/goinlivewithchabsandmilky/

Live Photos Review Deep Dive Festival 2020 Whammy Bar Backroom The Wine Cellar Auckland

Photography: Connor Crawford / Review: Ali Nicholls / Chris Knox bonus review: Daniel Smith
/ Monday 27th July, 2020 10:28AM

  
  

Tāmaki’s Karangahape Road is a cultural institution like no other. Locals and outsiders alike know it to be the creative fermentation station of the arts community, with a space for everyone that is looking for a way to challenge the status quo. But in recent years, the gentrification of the neighbourhood has given seed to a cultural shift that is slipping through the careful hands of local artists.

Growing interest from property developers and corporates has driven up rents, and forced out even the most long-standing locals. Local businesses are forced into an economic competition that cannot be won, and those that manage to stay afloat do so by the skin of their teeth every single day. The expansion of high profile real estate interest leads to the constant drone of road works that leave huge areas of the street inaccessible and create as much social tension as physical disturbance. People are packed into smaller areas with fewer resources to share inspiration. Our street whānau are pushed out of neighbouring suburbs, and the constant environmental turnover causes stress and agitation. When this leads to aggression or violence, both police presence and fear increase, particularly in light of recent instances of police brutality in our neighbouring communities. It seems that the fate of our home is being increasingly woven into the very institutions that K Road has always challenged and rejected.

But while the changes seem to pick up speed around us, tugging at the frays like a tornado, at its core is the same resilient community that has kept the womb of K Road fertile for generations. A community as determined and creative as ever, pulling together to find a way forward that reflects the legacies passed onto us.

On Saturday night, Whammy Bar and The Wine Cellar hosted a phenomenal line-up of leading musicians and creatives for the annual Deep Dive Festival. Bringing together audiences from the many diverse pockets of the scene for a night of celebration, seventeen acts had the chance to show just how much they had to offer, and not a single shot was wasted.

Opening the night in the Mainroom was Durham Fenwick, Whammy sound tech and mind behind the atmospheric vision Green Grove. Flying solo to establish the night, punters were slowly drawn into the cavernous main room to mingle in the intergalactic Plantasia-like ambience of Fenwick’s set. Jazmine Mary brought their gut-wrenchingly honest and sincere country sound to The Wine Cellar to follow as the crowd picked up. Suddenly, the Mainroom is packed to the gunnels, and the founding father of Aotearoa’s underground scene takes to the stage. Chris Knox, a decade on from a major stroke resulting in aphasia that limited his lingual vocabulary to roughly twenty words, showed his expressionistic genius in a solo spoken performance that brought together a lifetime of admirers whose own work whakapapas back to his groundbreaking time with the Flying Nun record label. [Scroll down to read more about Knox’s influence and legacy via Daniel Smith’s special bonus review]

Solo garage-pop figurehead Roy Irwin opened Backroom with their intimate set. Dreamgaze guitar backed the soft textured vocals that have gently ushered them to prominence over the past decade, which has seen their sound refined to the gorgeous and earnest performance they gave on the night. Next up was Disciple Pati in Wine Cellar, bringing an extraordinarily tight set swimming in funk and contemporary RnB influence. Backed by a band stripped back to the essentials (bass, guitar, keys, and drums), Sapati Apa-Fepulea’i started with a crowd easing into the night and ended with them begging for more as she rolled out banger after banger.

Hans Pucket drew in a throng of Flying Nun enthusiasts so strong that the constant influx of fans created a swirling wave around the central dance pit. Their old school sound harks back to the Dunedin days of punk, with a sprinkling of influence from their Wellington days, that delivers an uplifting sound fit for the rowdiest house parties. The crowd loves it, and they shift the energy from focused appreciation to an arm-flailing, hair-down ruckus. Guardian Singles threw their post-punk set down to a thirsty Backroom crowd that kicked and shook their way through the performance. Merging the classic Dunners melodic sound with shoegaze guitar and rolling drums, they carry on the top banter energy of Hans Pucket with a gripping, abrasive edge.

The Wine Cellar slowly packs in as Dick Move take to the stage. The feminist hardcore punk get-up slam out their set with such ferocity that they end with five minutes to spare, spontaneously revisiting a cover of ‘The Chapel of Love’ once performed at a mate’s wedding. The mosh at the front is dominated by women unleashing their frustrations with the band, revelling in the direct and celebratory delivery of a set that busts down patriarchal doors one minute-long song after the next. Meanwhile in the Mainroom, recently relocated from Wellington to Auckland duo Earth Tongue unfurl their sludgy psych rock sound like tendrils into the audience. Striking a delicious aural balance between grotesque dystopia, psychedelic soundscapes and powerful vocals, their show brings a taste of the Pōneke underground to the Tāmaki palette. It’s refreshing and exciting, and a tough act to follow.

Fortunately, producer and DJ Leaping Tiger is up to the task, easing the crowd away from the thus far analog sets into their intricate electronic sound. Taking it further still, legendary live house pair Two Farben take off on a quintessentially streamlined set that opens with Julien Dynes’ cut-back drums and doesn’t stop to breathe until its closure. Slowly incorporating synths and drum machines into their line-up the sound climbs higher and higher into the realm of house until the audience, collectively pulsating with the constant heartbeat rhythm, seems to merge into a single monolith of movement. For the final punk act of the night, Echo Ohs smash out a thumping garage rock performance with strong psychedelia influences that give out one last thundering adrenaline wave before the DJs settle in ’til the early hours.

In Backroom Amamelia’s hardcore trancey set is followed by Totems, who dishes out a tasty helping of breakbeat and techno. Aw B rounds out the night with a mix of them all, showing her expert skills for genre-bridging across a huge range of electronic styles. Meanwhile in the Whammy Mainroom, Native Bush brings a signature organic techno that strikes out in pulses of rich rhythms, leaving the sharper edges of the genre to the side for a throbbing set. BBYFACEKILLA follows with a queue of tracks that credit their rapidly growing reputation for physically demanding, insatiable beats that pop and clap with relentless ferocity. Ending their sets with a back and forth conversation on the decks, their intertwined styles close the night with a perfect nod to the artistic symbiosis inevitable when a community as tight knit as this has the space to get together and challenge one another to push the boundaries of their sound.

Throughout the night, St Kevins Arcade is a fluctuating dance of conversation between band members, Whammy regulars, sweat-drenched fans, hopefuls waiting for the coveted 12am door-sales, locals, and passers by. It’s a reprieve from the humid dance floors and a chance for conversation to be had at less than 100 decibels. There are long-awaited reunions, hurried logistical plans, and reassurance for those of us genuinely worried about blowing out an eardrum by standing too close to the amp.

Events like Deep Dive in institutions like Whammy and Wine Cellar are crucial to the survival and empowerment of our arts community. There’s no better place to see what is leading the way in the underground culture of Tāmaki. This is the culture that will persist and grow, and change the future. These are the places to be, to see it all in action. Huge congratulations to Deep Dive’s Taylor MacGregor (Moral Support) and the organising crew for putting together such an inspiring and exciting night, and to every musician that breathed life into our essential and extraordinary scene. – Ali Nicholls

Bonus review – Chris Knox (Whammy Mainroom / 8.55pm)

It must be strange to be a living legend. To know that your entire artistic career is general knowledge to many. When you face a crowd you know that they know you, and you know that they expect something special.

So when Chris Knox began his set by mewling softly into the microphone for five straight minutes expectations were subverted to say the least. The crowd stood quiet and restless, unsure of how to respond to seeing a true blue kiwi legend reduced to this state.

Then Knox’s eyes became downcast, his lips brought into a frown. He spoke the word that a few may have been thinking, “sad”. The crowd was stunned. Knox said it again, this time drawn out and moaning, “sad”. Behind his frown was a mischievous glint in his eye. He was fucking with us.

Chris Knox then proceeded to bring the house down in a masterclass in non-verbal communication. His voice was in turn both guttural and pretty. He made sounds running the gamut across high-pitched whinnying, animal growling, Bela Legosi—esque wailing, teeth clacking, unrestrained screaming, mouth pops, melodic doo da doos, breathy grunting and so much more.
Chris Knox’s stroke didn’t stop him from putting on the most punk performance that I have ever seen. He used his own body like a much loved but ill-repaired guitar. The strings may be rusted, and the pick ups stuffed, but by god it can still wail loud.

But a poet to the last, Knox’s performance wasn’t just senseless noise. He was passing on a message. Don’t conform to expectation, find people who understand you, love and cherish them. One of the great performers of our age showed a modern audience exactly why he is the patron saint of being weird in New Zealand. – Daniel Smith

Click on the thumbnail images below to view a gallery of Connor Crawford‘s snaps of Deep Dive Festival 2020…

View all photos
Linksfacebook.com/moralsupportnz/
facebook.com/CrawfordxPhotography/

Watch Crap Date Perform On Goin Live With Chabs Milky

Annabel Kean / Monday 13th July, 2020 3:44PM

  
  

You know what’s been missing from all these recent live streamed shows? A touch of the surreal, and Goin’ Live With Chabs & Milky is just what the doctor ordered. Two of Aotearoa’s favourite musical James’ are the unhinged hosts, Chabs (James Dansey of Hang Loose, The Sneaks) and Milky (James Milne of Lawrence Arabia, The Reduction Agents), and they’ve mastered the VHS / digital divide to create three hypnotising episodes so far. Carnivorous Plant Society and Vincent HL each thrived in the Goin’ Live With Chabs & Milky studio, and Tāmaki Makaurau synth-pop trio Crap Date took the web by storm last night in the latest stream. Performing tracks from their upcoming debut album Better That The Real Thing, Crap Date wowed under heavy fuzz and jazzy transitions. Make a note in your schedule to tune in for the next two Sunday episodes; Hans Pucket on the 26th of July, and Na Noise on the 2nd of August. Meet the disarming Chabs & Milky duo below, and maybe brush up on your Latin for upcoming shows…

Linksgoinlivewithchabsandmilky.tv/
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instagram.com/goinlivewithchabsandmilky/