By Poppy Tohill
Date / Venue: Friday September 2nd, 2016 - Karangahape Road, Auckland
Imagine over 40 acts performing in one of ten music venues all located on the bustling atropalpus of Auckland’s K' Road, in the space of six hours… sounds impossibly crazy right? However, if you managed to get along to The Others Way Festival last Friday night you will know that whilst definitely insane, the only aspect that deemed impossible was catching all 43 acts. (My personal best was approximately 14).
Offering a unique festival experience like no other, The Others Way exploded into its second year again showcasing the remarkably vast musical talent that exists within New Zealand, featuring acts from high school rockers Courtney Hate and Yukon Era through to Silver Scroll Finalists The Phoenix Foundation.
Aforementioned rockers Courtney Hate playing at K Road favourite The Wine Cellar were the first to kick start the nights proceedings, alongside the dreamy folk of Nadia Reid across the road at Galatos, both packing out the small venues with obvious fans and music lovers alike.
Scrambling from one side of the road to the other, hundreds of people piled into The Studio to catch a glimpse of the popular 90s pop-rockers Voom who seemed to be one of the bigger draw-cards early on in the evening, successfully powering through their beloved classics of which the crowd certainly had no trouble dancing and singing along to.
The volumes of people and music continued to increase as people wandered between Whammy Bar & The Wine Cellar to see both Emily Edrosa & Grayson Gilmour, both delivering impressive sets that left me refusing to pick a favourite, which resulted in a lot of running back and forth, because who likes missing out?
In order to assure a good spot for Fazerdaze, Scuba Diva’s set was unfortunately missed, but not one bad thing was heard about the man who sure knows how to party. Also despite only catching one song in passing, Anthonie Tonnon the man with style and a voice to match is another who definitely deserves a mention.
Claiming a nice and early spot for Fazerdaze however, proved more than worth it, as the shoe gaze, indie band had evidently been noted by many as one not to miss. As the main room of Galatos filled up, vocalist Amelia Murray almost surprised at the extensive turn out, expressed her gratitude to the masses before gracing us with her strikingly tender, versatile and reverberating vocals driven by a range of guitars from the leading lady herself and surrounding band mates.
Approaching the busiest part of the evening which saw a great number of incredible bands lumped together, I did my best to capture glimpses of them all from Kane Strang to The Beths, before getting mesmerised and caught up in the progressive, electronic, hip-hop of Yoko-Zuna. The bands’ infectious energy accompanied by their obvious passion and love for both music and their fans was magical to watch in and of itself as the audience crammed into Samoa House undoubtedly had the time of their lives dancing and hollering excitable responses as special guests including hip-hop duo HEAVY took to the stage.
Whilst attracting a large crowd throughout Galatos, Yumi Zouma just didn’t seem to have it up to their normal phenomenal standard this evening. Although delivering a good set, I hate to say could have been better. Although hats off to them for powering through as the audience began to thin once The Phoenix Foundation’s set neared - whom on the other hand blew the hats off everyone that filled The Studio for the last half of the evening.
Powering through a magnificent set that featured favourites from their 2013 album Fandango to 2015’s Give Up Your Dreams, the band took to the stage ready to the rock with the audience clearly just as ready to party. Racing through their 45 minute set an encore was demanded and much to the crowd’s appreciation, one was indeed awarded in the greatest of energetic fashions.
As for the last and undeniably biggest drawcard of the entire festival, post-punk rockers Cut Off Your Hands, lets just leave it with one punters comment that described their performance to me, as - “the best fucking riot that has ever been.”
And as it goes, I think that is quite a fitting quote for the entire festival overall. So, thank you The Others Way. As I like to say it - You were bloody top notch and I hope to see you next year!