After interviewing the man himself a few weeks back, I was keen to check out what he would be like playing live, especially at such a great small venue as the Kings Arms.
By the time CJ Ramone arrived on stage and launched into his first song, the audience was ready and waiting. PCP Eagles and Fireshark both played short, sharp sets and I must say PCP Eagles are a joy visually to experience live, all tattoos, hair and beards.
And then on come our pal CJ and his mates and 1-2-3-4 away we go.
For the next hour and a half we are treated to a range of classic and new songs including tunes fromReconquista and CJ's latest album, Last Chance To Dance.
"You guys wannna hear a Ramones song?" asks CJ after a few tunes. Why yes, CJ, yes we do.
I am not usually a fan of setlists but for god's sake, tonight CJ and the boys plow through an absolute shitload of our favorite tunes onstage. Last time I heard these songs live was in 1996 in London and that is a long time ago and another story.
Steve and Dan (from the Adolescents) and Pete from Street Dogs are obviously as into these tunes as we are. They are seriously on vocal back-up duties as well as guitars. These guys are tight together, and this is just the first night of a long tour.
We get Judy is a Punk, Blitzkrieg Bop, I Wanna Be Sedated and KKK Took My Baby Away - and that's just for starters. We get One More Chance from his latest album and the marvellous Three Angels (a song for the fallen Ramones brothers).
CJ is a fan of the audience banter - my favourite line of the night from him: "Anyway, I'm the lone survivor and I can play what the fuck I want". He was talking of the many love songs that the Ramones wrote but seldom played live. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend follows, with Dan and Steve harmonising behind CJ singing the main verse. So. Damn. Cool.
Carry Me Away is the last song they play from the latest album and then it becomes a full-on set of solid Ramones tracks. Californian Sun, Commando, Rockaway Beach, Sheena is a Punk Rocker... And the boys even sneak in Baby I Love You, my all-time favourite which Ramones never played live... To be honest I appear to be missing part of my voice this morning...
If you are a fan or the Ramones, trust me, you should try and catch CJ and the boys on tour. Enjoy Australia boys and pop back to NZ when you have the chance. There will be a beer with your name on it.
In the words of CJ (and something I have always lived by) - Ramones Forever.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Roger Waters is bringing his US + THEM tour to New Zealand this week, performing two shows at Auckland's Spark Arena on Wednesday Jan 24 & Friday Jan 26, before heading to Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium on Tuesday Jan 30.
Central Otago was on song today, when the annual nationwide Summer Concert Tour kicked off in Queenstown with international music artists Colin Hay of Men At Work fame, Alanis Morissette and The Orchestra starring former members of Electric Light Orchestra performing to a 18,000 strong sell-out crowd at the Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert.
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.