By Lisa Diedricks
Artist: Cairo Knife Fight
Date / Venue: Friday May 29th, Whammy Bar, Auckland
The long weekend could not have started off with a bigger than the return of rock gods ‘Cairo Knife Fight', and release of the album, 'The Colossus'. Nick Gaffaney, front man for the band, writer and drummer leads his NZ length of the tour with award winning guitarist, writer and producer, American born, George Pajon Jr, who hold credentials such as being one of The Black Eyed Peas respected and key recording musicians and performer, co-writing many of the groups most popular and chart raising hits, and has a long list of superstars in writing that include, Sting, Kelis, Macy Grey, Damien Marley, and Carlos Santana.
Cairo took the stage at Auckland's Whammy Bar on Friday 29th May, which was also the bands album release too. The gig was a sold out event and the bar was wall to wall covered in rockers, punkers and all round music lovers. As I watched the crowd, I couldn't help notice the insane consistency in everyone's head banging skills, more so, impressed that they were able to do so whilst holding the beer steadily in one hand! Cairo sure know how to get a crowd going, with constant interaction with the crowd, to playing songs that were being yelled out by the crowd, Nick and George immersed themselves into a blood sweat and tears show. Nick absolutely killed in on the drums performing a few solos in songs like ‘Rezlord' and ‘Brain Damage', while George slaying his perfection on the guitar with long intervals of whaling strings.
The crowd reacted positively to their impromptu runs, and the band even joked about not doing encores because as quoted with leading man, Nick Gaffaney, "...don't ask us to do any encores, we don't know any more songs". With sound being extremely loud, the bar offered ear plugs for $3 and surprisingly, not a lot of people were wearing them, I guess they wanted the full effect of the show.
With songs such as 'The Colossus' and 'Climbing Through Ashes', it's hard not to see why this band has started to slowly take over again. The album brings a sort of eerie, mystic feeling that surprisingly had me thinking, this album is what could be used in such TV shows that involve supernatural plots and dark and twisted story lines. I was so engrossed in the world their music was taking me, I completely forgot that I was standing in a compacted Auckland bar. That's the beauty of this album, it somewhat takes you on a journey.
Cairo is known for drummer Nick Gaffaney having a revolving cast of some of the world's most accomplished guitarists and songwriters. While George accompanied him on his NZ stretch, the album itself saw him collaborating with NZ icons, Aaron Tokona, Joel Haines, Laughton Kora and William Knapp, cross over to the USA, music icon Mark Lanegan (Queens of the Stonge Age) and producers, Tyler Fournames who worked with Marilyn Manson, and John Anderson who worked with rising star Banks.
The diversity of this album and the deliverance of the songs, has definitely seen this album subtly take the reins of rock music here in NZ and internationally, while still maintaining the fierce and intense feeling that Cairo Knife Fight is known for.
All in all, I realised that Cairo Knife Fight try, and in many cases succeed in redefining what two unique and different musicians can conjure up in the studio, and delivering those live shows. With Nick holding his responsibilities on the drums and lead vocals, creating loops to sustain an edgy atmosphere, he prides himself on bringing the biggest and baddest to the stage with him every time.