Fat Freddys Drop, the self-professed ‘seven-headed soul monster’, made a triumphant comeback and defiant statement on Saturday night. With the help of a strong bill (Team Dynamite, a stellar Ladi6 playing sweet new material) and a majestic venue in the Villa Maria Estate Winery, all 10,000 tickets were sold out by Thursday. That is some feat for a local act – but, then again, the Drop are world-class. They’ve headlined massive shows overseas at London’s Alexandra Palace and the Sydney Opera House. They are, for the most part, a banging live show and deserve every accolade.
Their last album, Bays, was another winning mix of soul, reggae and dance music, and the material is a great addition to their set. You get amazing, soaring singles like ‘Slings and Arrows’ and ’10 Feet Tall’ (Hauraki’s number-one song of 2016), as well as brooding jams like ‘Razor’. The venue, a beautiful vineyard that goes with green that goes on forever, was family-friendly. The crowd seemed well-behaved, with alcohol being cut off around 9.30, though some always shake their shiverman a bit looser than others. Off to the detox tent they go.
The set, just over two hours, was perfect, surely designed to please the big numbers and first-timers. The light show was frickin’ incredible. The jams were energetic, the horn section a stand-out that is surely the closest to a modern-day JBs or Africa 70. But as a huge Freddys fan - since ‘Midnight Marauders’, in fact – it was a bit too perfect. I’ve seen over a dozen shows, including their historic Mangawhai Tavern gigs, and was keen on a bit of variety this time around. With the band coming off the Bays tour, this set was nearly identical to the one they played a whole year ago at Cable Bay on Waiheke Island - from the ‘Waiting in Vain’ snippet, the brass breakdowns, and MC Slave’s ‘fiyah, fiyah’ in ‘Roady’.
Another comment I heard in passing, surely from a group of casual fans, is that the set can feel like three songs rather than 10. ‘Razor’, ‘Russia’ and the ’Ernie’ intro seem to blend into one – and maybe that’s intentional. But sometimes all you want is faithful renditions of ‘Wandering Eye’ or ‘Hope’, their perennial classics, to break up that sometimes-plodding beat (they did throw in the former as a tag-on snippet). They also have amazing acoustic-based songs like ‘Dark Days’, ‘Bones’ and ‘Grounded’ that never seem to get an airing. Small criticisms, though - ‘Shiverman’, always the high point of their set, was still brilliant. It’s hard to beat that euphoric release after 10 minute of build-up. Its favela-like pulse, the epic horn lines, plus the Hopepa booty shake are all classic Freddys.
Maybe this show will be the close of a chapter. Don’t get me wrong - I enjoyed every minute of this gig. But maybe it’s time to shake up the set-list and get a bit looser.
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!