With tree canopies as a visual backdrop and Underworld as the stage headliner, Oro '17 was set to be a music festival the likes of which Auckland had never seen.
Autumn had well and truly settled in to the 09 and prepping for the 12 hour festival out in Woodhill forest wasn’t for the faint hearted: To gumboot, or not to gumboot? Oro '17’s premise was that reminiscent of 90’s rave, and I for one, was pretty pumped to rehash my fire poi twirling days to some arm flailing beats set amidst a forest of fruity festival goers.
Bit of background on the land before getting into the music; local iwi and owners had worked in unison with festival manager Dave Roper (one of the founders of FuBar) to provide a unique setting which we all love and respect. With a clear understanding for the land and restrictions around protecting it, Oro '17 had lovely intentions, but transport logistics were a headache. Shuttle services were set to pick up and drop off punters every half hour, which is good for environment and good for the pocket, but best laid plans proved worse than ineffective.
Panic was set on a number of peoples faces… perhaps due to bad acid, or perhaps due to the claustrophobia of knowing there was no escape once you were inside the venue. It made me wonder how many people actually considered walking the route back to Auckland, and of those that had followed through with action to the idea, how many of them are still walking now.
The set up was pretty good, although AWOP was present, and I have yet to meet a single person who is a fan of that payment system. A small range of drinks and a few eat stands to choose from, everyone was catered for. Patchy cellphone connection was a bit shit, as were the amenities. And then there were the queues (which are always to be expected) but it seemed like the organisers of Oro '17 were expecting a far less thirst crowd.
But enough of the gripe, there was also some pretty sweet music to offset and dance to while waiting in lines for hours.
New York hip hop legend Jeru the Damaja was one to note, just when the crowd seemed to lack energy he hit us with beats so fat you’d almost want to refer to them as PHAT. Bangers like 99.9 Pacent and Come Clean had us all break into a dance and in turn, quite a sweat, which cooled quickly in the fresh forest air.
The trees swayed and we all swayed along to the electronic and diverse beats of DJ Phil Hartnoll of Orbital. With an arsenal of tracks to choose from his 10 years on the music scene, the crowd really got into his vibe and he took us on quite the journey.
World-class house musician and producer of famed artists such as Bowie, Petshop Boys and many more Dave Seaman pulled his plethora of vinyl and hit us with some pretty chilled but fun beats.
With local artists like Greg Churchill and DJ Dubhead, everyone felt at home and bopped along to our own homegrown legends. Up n comers SoccerPractise were a bit of a wowee too – hearing them at Splore earlier in the year, it was wicked to see them come to their own on stage again with funk/reggae and hip hop melting to the audience.
But in all fairness, we were all there to see Underworld, and they did not disappoint. Underworld's set began with a light display that was pretty amazing and really added to their performance. It took our breath away and the crowd was erupting in anticipation and elation at seeing the legends take to the stage. It was almost a spiritual experience when Born Slippery played – a track that is the stuff of legends.
Shit eating grins, even though we had a bus ride back to the city with some pretty dilated peoples, Oro17 was a festival worth the effort. Here’s hoping to more tree hugging, forest stomping for an Oro18.
Mount Kimbie have celebrated the start of their world wide tour with the release of a new visual for ‘You Look Certain (I'm Not So Sure) (feat. Andrea Balency)’, their latest collaboration with Frank Lebon.
There is a HUGE festival coming to Mt Smart Stadium on the first weekend of summer 2017. On Saturday December 2, thousands of festival goers will join us to kick off summer at OUR:HOUSE Summerfest, featuring the one and only Deadmau5.
Saturday, December 2, will see thousands of music fans flock to Mt Smart Stadium for Our:House Summerfest 2017 - a very exclusive outdoor festival full of world-renowned international electronic artists plus a few of the local favourites.
Known as the lead vocalist of Grammy-nominated indietronica act Hot Chip, Alexis Taylor will share his intimate piano work at The Tuning Fork on October 18th in a pared-down solo show featuring his critically acclaimed solo material along with a sprinkling of his favourite covers and reinterpretations of much-loved Hot Chip hits.
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!
After crisscrossing the Northern Hemisphere for over a year in support of their brilliant seventh studio album Ellipsis, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro announce their return to New Zealand for one all-ages show at Spark Arena on April 24.