Little Bushman (Live) Review

Monday, January 29, 2007

Little Bushman- Sunday 28th of January 2007 at The Sound Shell, Wellington

For the past three weeks Wellington has been graced with free live music. The crowds for Gardens Magic in 2007 have been amazing, with the Botanical Gardens Sound Shell being packed to capacity almost every night. Built up to showcase one the hottest bands on the Wellington scene, closing night saw the Little Bushman perform. Promoting their debut album Onus of Sand the Bushmen pulled an even bigger crowd than previously seen.
Lead by Warren Maxwell the Little Bushman offer a psychedelic, funkedelic fuse of indie rock. They could be described as a medium between The Phoenix Foundation and Odessa. So what of them live? Well too be honest I came away very disappointed; not so much because the music was bad, but because of the way the bushmen laid out their set. With such a large crowd gathered, many of who couldn’t see the stage; they failed to hold the audience’s attention. Sure Maxwell declared it was all about letting go and being free, but many of the songs were much to downbeat and chilled out for the venue. There were quite a few long periods when the sound was so quiet it couldn’t be heard beyond the main lawn. Complaints aside, when they got into some bluesy psychedelic numbers they sounded brilliant, proving they are all extremely talented musicians. It was just a shame more of the 90-minute set wasn’t dictated by the fuller sound. It was always going to be hard to better the performance of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, who covered a diverse range of artists from the White Stripes and Kings of Leon to Crowded House and Johnny Cash. Without a doubt my highlight from the past three weeks.

The Shins- Wincing the Night Away: Review

Thursday, January 25, 2007

…. Or wasting your time away! I’ll be honest; The Shins are one of my favourite bands. Oh, Inverted World and Chutes too Narrow are both sensual masterpieces. But this latest effort leaves me bewildered. Everything I loved about their sound is missing. It somehow seems the band experimented so much that they’ve deviated remarkably from their earlier sound. Potentially isolating a large sector of their fans while prospectively winning a whole new bunch. In fact Wincing the Night Away is one of those albums the band probably adores. It sounds more tuned to the bands tastes than the fans.
So while this latest Shins effort may not grace many playlists in the coming months, at least you’ll always find their previous work a joy. Like many bands, one album in their back catalogue can often be forgotten. It’s just sad for the Shins that its come so early in theirs.

Camera Obscura Tour Dates

Thursday, January 18, 2007

One of Scotland's finest Pop groups Camera Obscura have announced they will be touring New Zealand. According to the band's website no specific dates have been set yet, but a reliable source tells me the Wellington show is on March 7th at the San Francisco Bathhouse. The Auckland show is March 9th at the Kings Arms. It will only set you back $35, so keep an eye out for further details as they emerge.

Tape Man

Friday, January 12, 2007

An old neighbour of mine once handed me a cassette tape and said you should check this out. That was my first introduction to Tape Man aka Mysterious Tape Man. A few weeks ago I found a new Tape Man recording, Live At the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. One of Wellington's famous icons was bought to life one cold winters night by a man in a suit with tape rapped around his head. This weird creative man, claiming to have mystical powers makes some the best surf rock I've ever heard. To witness the sound for yourself, check out his myspace page or if you live locally head to Slow Boat Records.

CSS with So So Modern (Live) Review

Monday, January 08, 2007

CSS with So So Modern- Sunday 7th Jan 2007 at the San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington

Officially the best gig I have ever attended, and I wasn't even going to go. I drove 7 hours for this one, but it was so worth it. CSS and So So Modern, the combination couldn't have been better. The boys from Wellington warmed up the stage and crowd with a impressive performance, getting everyone in a swinging mood on the dance floor. Their 45 minute set wasn't long enough for many and had the crowd screaming for more. I just hope for the boys sake that someone from Subpop records was there.

Enter Lovefoxxx, a tiny, sexy Asian Brazilian goddess. "Are you Kiwi's ready" (said in a Brazilian accent). CSS had arrived, casual as you like to entertain us all. And what, they had bought a special guest, no one really realised but when Lovefoxxx asked our favourite fruit the answer was not Kiwifruit. Peaches, yes PEACHES had joined them backstage, taking time out to see CSS while holidaying in New Zealand. But it wasn't the Peaches show, it was all about CSS. They played all the tracks from their debut album plus a couple of tracks in Portuguese. They were so casual they played an encore without even really going of stage. I could talk about them forever but the truth is go and see them yourself. An extra show has been added in Auckland because the first one sold out so quickly.

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