White Lung & Upset

By Clare McCabe

Artist:  White Lung / Upset

Date / Venue:  Friday June 13th, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland

Oh yes, a lovely double-bill from White Lung and Upset on Friday night at the Kings Arms. Apparently the girls (and one lonely boy) have turns playing first and last night we got to see Upset first and then White Lung screamed out the finale.

Support-wise, Penny Dreadfuls were up first (love these girls, so young, angsty and in your face), followed byTeam Ugly.

But we were really here to see the girls weren't we? After interviewing the fabulous Patty Schemel a few weeks back, I was especially keen to see Upset for the first time. And I was not disappointed.

Away we go with Upset coming on first. Our chum Patty's in the back pounding away on her drums. Ali's singing her punk/pop tunes with that cute and very powerful voice. There are fast and jangly guitars from Aliand Jennifer and Rachel in the corner, playing bass in her own little world (great kimono Rachel). We are treated to Back to School, the punky (and Ramones-esque) Let it Go, the super fast Game Over and then they amp it up again with She's Gone.

These girls certainly love playing together and they are super tight - perhaps as Auckland was the last gig on this Australia/New Zealand tour. The crowd seemed damn into them as well.

And then White Lung sweep onto the stage, set themselves up and the place gets noisy. Very noisy.

Mish is one angry chick behind the microphone - Jesus she has a strong voice. And that fan is just beautiful. She screams one minute (think Brody Dalle) and wails the next (a touch of Siouxsie in fact). There is feedback everywhere. Kenneth and Heather (guitar and bass) produce a wall of sound supported by Anne Marie on drums. Fast and punchy songs blend into each other beautifully. These guys own that stage for their way-too-short set. So much energy coming from one little four-piece. Have to say I don't know the names of most of the songs they played, but they were all good. And did I mention they were mostly fast and loud? Just how it should be.

Their latest album was released last week, what a treat, will be off to purchase immediately.

Thanks for coming, said Mish as they launched into their last song. No thank YOU for coming guys. And please do come again. I may know a few more of your songs by then.

What a great night. So good to see these types of bands doing tours down under. And to see the great welcome they get for making the effort. Thanks girls (and Kenneth). See you again soon.