The history of R&V goes way back to the initial birth of the festival, where we were privy to a teeny tiny crowd, one simple amphitheatre stage, and Scribe. Yes, it was way back when he had a music career and Popsicles were 90cents.
Consecutive road trips down to Gisborne to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Waiohika Estate and the varied musical line ups continued for the following 3 years. By that point, the groups of hippie loving, sarong dancing and fire poi dancers had existed stage left perhaps for a quieter countdown to the New Year.
Gluttons for resurrecting the amazing times we'd had previous years, we foolishly attending R&V and stayed at the Bay Watch campsite for the 7th festival. Boy, oh, boy was that a disappointment. Arriving back to our tents after a petrifying bus trip, full of vomit, potty mouths and skirts which could have passed for belts to a tent completely destroyed by fire works - apparently the offender had decided to extinguish the fire with their own urine, and to be sure the embers were dead, covered it with vomit.
When we were invited to review this years R&V, hesitant, would be a word that comes to mind. Still, we're gluttons for punishment, and the possibility of a redemption... we packed up the car and headed down to Gizzy for one more roadie... definitely older, and potentially wiser.
Arriving at Waiohika Estate was a blast from the past, memories of bonding with friends while skipping through the vines came flooding back and a smile beamed across our faces. Perusing the line up in the car ride down didn't have us frothing at the bit, however there were certainly some big draw cards and we felt excited at the prospect of mincing it up with the crowds for those headliners.
Tent up - check. Blow up mattress erected - check. Drinks poured - check. it was time to get in there...
The air of the evening felt electric, and the masses descended through the dust and up the hills to check out the R aspect of R&V. With bad memories of school assemblies, we decided to skip the powhiri and mingled with a very (drunk) and optimistic crowd before heading to the Rhythm stage for Jagwar Ma. The stage looked incredible and to be honest, the event's layout was better than it's ever been... just wish I could pay some more compliments to Jagwar Ma who were decidedly average.
The sound was incredible, and we admired the view of the heaving crowd who were frothing at the bit for the next act - Danny Brown. He's picked up quite a bit of following over the past few years and with his first performance In New Zealand at Laneway earlier this year, his music has spread like the tinea I've picked up from the showers. But, why wouldn't it? The guy is pretty flippen talented.
With the mood lightened after a good act, we all milled around for the headline of the night, NetSky Live. He was ok. Just ok. Not that anyone really minded, the lacklustre was disguised with an abundant consumption of alcohol and everyone got into it.
The stray bodies laying half in and out of tents this morning was testament to the kick off of another epic R&V, and we're stoked with anticipation for what the coming 2 nights will bring.
We launched our night at our tent, sipping on G&T on inflatable couches which were nestled among the grapevines. A glorious sunset and bass driven house music spun a web of atmosphere around our nest.
We heading into the throng around 8pm and immediately got sucked into the oonst oonst at the Arcadia After Burner stage where Link was mixing up a storm. He was positioned on the first stage level rather than in the spherical DJ dome half way up the steam punk octopus structure where most DJ's sit. Link waved his arms around a lot which made for a more intimate dancing experience with the music and music maker.
We then hightailed it off to Chet Faker on the Rhythm Stage. He was a few songs into an electronic and solo voice set, playing keys and an array of toys at which he was more than proficient. His set lost us in some places when he dipped into what can only be described as the slow jams of pop which did not work so well - less Elton John please Chet. Just as our attention was waining, he came in with No Diggity and Drop The Gameright on top of each other. The entire crowd was going ape shit bonkers and eating out of his sweaty palms again. Gold was another highlight from Chet's set, and overall the sound quality was amazing but was a bit too heavy on the bass which drowned out some interesting melodies in the lower registers.
We then had a delightful drum and bass interlude at the Fridge. A minuscule venue where you are trapped into a 2 x 3 metre box with 30 people and a DJ. It was hotter than bikram yoga in there and almost as awkward - bodies thrashing about trying to find a centimetre of space to bust out some finger bumping moves. It was an awesome experience, but also a relief to step back into the cool country air to a mini dance party which had congregated around speakers blasting the same tunes, into the rows of vines.
We then headed back to the main Rhythm stage for Chase & Status... it wasn't hard to find, as the whole congregation was in attendance. People were losing their shit to the beats, which were bang on. It was a bit like going to a Michael Bay film; you don't go for the story, but for the shock and awe factor. The bass was so excessive on the main stage, that watching Chase & Status was a visceral experience as much as a visual and audio one.
At one point, where all we could think was 'Oh gosh, our feet are sore, this music is loud, and we want to go home", we did just that. And it was an excellent time had by all.
Our fancy was tickled from our second night at the Rhythm and Vines by the quirky, fun atmosphere at The Fridge, so we started our evening adventure at the minuscule venue. DJ Belleville was doing an epic set, spinning luscious gypsy beats with a whole lot of techno swing thrown in for good measure. He was adorned with a hilarious Turkish sorcerers hat and fed lollies through the grill to the punters in the sealed Fridge unit.
We then fought the masses to get to the main Rhythm stage for Broods who were a few songs into a well rounded set of cascading lyrical melodies and steady driving bass. The crowd was in ecstasy as Georgia Nott's angelic voice undulated around the field, while her brother Caleb balanced it out with dropping some serious low range in there. The classics like Bridges were played and the crowd crooned along, it was a nice and mellow performance and everyone enjoyed the brief hiatus of chilled sounds.
London's Bastille was up next and there were a fair few fans waiting in anticipation as they took the stage. Their performance did not disappoint, they were energised and engaging throughout the show and resembled a youthful version of The Killers.
Next it was Haere ra 2014 and Kia Ora 2015, queue fireworks, new years lashes along with hugs and high-fives from randoms. There was a 30 minute interlude where the energy wained after the New Years supernova and many in the crowd stood around awkwardly wondering if they'd laid it all on a bit too thick at the stroke of midnight.
We thought it would be an excellent idea to check out some of the smaller venues on campus so we formed a congo line (by far the best form of transport at a festival) and were treated to some chilled out house music at the Jagermeister stage and then some dirty old school drum & bass on the Arcadia Afterburner stage.
The sun began to rise and like vampires we scuttled back to the tents, trying to pretend we might get more than two hours sleep in before we sweated out the cheap alcohol in our sauna abode.
In conclusion, it looks like we've leant many things the hard way on our adventures to festival life over the years and feel like R&V 2014 was the perfect playing field for us to utilise our festie skills. Overall, R&V this year was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, not just for us it would seem, but for everyone who attended.....WIN!
One of our writers sat down with Amy Mansfield, writer of I Didn’t Invite You Hear To Lecture Me, ahead of the Basement shows. Most students throw out their study notes, but not Amy. She has kept hold of them for the past 20 years--vertibiam quotes from her lectures that are too good to ever get rid of. The play was shown throughout the Auckland Fringe Week 2018, and even in some personal living rooms, the vibe is very independent and witty.
It was a cold bleary eyed Saturday night as the clock struck midnight, and counted towards 1am… the time set forth to conjure Richard Shaw, guitarist for legendary UK black metal act Cradle of Filth. We talked ahead of their sold out, first ever performance here in New Zealand.
NZ is about to get OBESSED, with the newest in kiwi music. Local Tauranga sweetheart, Amelia McNabb comes to us fiercely, independently, and with more fire in her lungs than I've heard from any kiwi artist in while. THIS is what we’ve been waiting for.
Elgusto, one part of the innovative electronic/dance music duo, Hermitude, sat down with one of our interviewers this past week; chatting about their loaded schedule, the bands ethos, how they communicate an instrumental show, and their creative collaborations.
Catching up with friends who are musicians at their gigs is always an odd, awkward, rushed affair between sets, pack-down, or a series of inaudible shouts as another band plays. So with the release of the new Seas of Conflict single Monachopsis, I thought it was time I simply scheduled time for a chat, not only once but twice--due to technical issues--with guitarist Declan Storrie.
I recently ventured back to my old festival haunting grounds - or at least the successor thereof. It was a hot Sunday afternoon and after juggling band members between their Festival One main stage duties and their prior commitments off-site, I managed to sit down with the guys and gal from Amanaki - one of the few hardcore-metal acts to perform at the mostly radio-friendly festival.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
Featuring Future of the Left members Andrew “Falco” Falkous and Jack Egglestone, with the addition of Damien Sayell from the St Pierre Snake Invasion, the Cardiff outfit will be playing venues in Wellington and Auckland this January.
Andrew Fagan returns with a satirical take on today’s social media preoccupied society. Being an amateur social anthropologist, it is a topic close to his heart. Listen to new track On Channel Me below, off Fagan’s forthcoming solo album Act Normal, due for release in October on Southbound.
Brisbane’s own indie rock royalty, The Grates, have been invited along for the ride, and will treat their hometown crowd to classics from their extensive and impressive catalogue of tunes including 19-20-20 and Turn Me On.
Pixies, one of the most influential alternative rock bands of all time, have announced a second show for Brisbane fans due to overwhelming demand. Following on from Melbourne’s second show announced on Friday (on sale 12pm today!), Brisbane fans have been just as eager to see catch the influential music pioneers, selling out the Fortitude Music Hall date on March 13. A second show has been added at the same venue on Thursday March 12 as part of their mammoth world tour, Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa.
The Ugly Kings, featuring Devil Electric guitarist, Christos Athanasias, are four powerhouse blues rockers drawing influence from an eclectic and dynamic musical background. They offer a powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene, formulating what can only be described as power blues. They have released a new music video for Black Widow, featuring an award winning burlesque dancer Ferri Maya. Plus announced a live show this weekend!
Fame and fortune on the Kiwi music scene are a step closer for the top 10 acts just announced in Smokefreerockquest, New Zealand’s biggest live, nationwide all original music event for high school students.
Pluto’s nascent trajectory has covered the spectrum of the New Zealand musical stratosphere, bursting brightly onto the scene in 2001 just to have their star seemingly burn out just as abruptly in 2009. It would have been a suitably intriguing end to befall one of the finest, most exciting and alluring bands New Zealand has ever produced.
Exhilarating and high energy New Zealand rock band, Written By Wolves, have just released their killer new track, Tell Me What You’re Running From? This is the first single from the band’s upcoming new album, set for release later this year.
Australia’s foremost authority on progressive rock, Caligula’s Horse, are just weeks away from kicking off their Let It Grow tour which will celebrate their cult classic The Tide, The Thief & River's End and breakout progressive masterpiece Bloom by playing them back to back!
Within the four walls of The Fortitude Music Hall, lies The Outpost. Brisbane’s newest 300 capacity multipurpose venue that will feature a diverse program of artists, an impressive drinks menu featuring a cocktail list curated by the talented team at Proof & Company.
After spending the past year pulverizing the world with their stupefying live performances, Tropical Fuck Storm return home to tour their new album Braindrops and put the Antipodean public to the sword! Braindrops, the follow up to 2018's epic odyssey, A Laughing Death In Meatspace, will be released on Flightless Records in August
It’s been 20 years since The Flaming Lips released the one-of-a-kind aural hallucination that is The Soft Bulletin. To celebrate the anniversary of its release, The Flaming Lips will play a special show at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall.
15-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Alicia Keys makes her musical return with the powerful track and visuals for “Show Me Love,” featuring Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and producer, Miguel via RCA Records.
Backstreet’s back, alright! Get your group together, because the biggest selling Boy Band of all time (100 million albums), the BACKSTREET BOYS are heading back to New Zealand in 2020 for a show at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Saturday, May 16.
Platinum-certified independent singer, songwriter, producer, and pop visionary Lauv has released new single 'fuck, I'm lonely' with Anne-Marie today. The track will be featured on Lauv’s forthcoming debut album titled ~how i'm feeling
Frontier Touring and Roundhouse Entertainment are excited to announce that Norwegian pop icons a-ha are returning to Australia for the first time in 34 years, before heading to New Zealand for the very first time! They’ll be joined by very special guest Rick Astley at all February & March 2020 shows, taking in Sydney, Melbourne, and Christchurch, as well as a day on the green events in Australia and New Zealand.
Hitting a massive nine centres on his regional tour this September, Stan will take the stage to perform songs from his impressive catalogue plus his brand new pop smash single Give (co-written by Matiu Walters of SIX60) for his beloved fans. The Springboard tour will also boast three of NZ’s most up-and-coming new artists – Lepani, Niko Walters and Jordan Gavet.
TEG DAINTY and THE MISSION ESTATE WINERY CONCERT announced today that global superstar Michael Bublé will return in February 2020! Accompanied by a 36-piece orchestra and ready to to thrill his New Zealand fans for one night only; this will be Michael Bublé’s only show in New Zealand.
Elton John will perform a third and final show at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium, to satisfy New Zealand’s insatiable demand. It has also been announced that, due to a scheduling conflict, three of Elton’s sold out New Zealand concerts have been delayed by one week. Rescheduled dates affect the second show at Mission Estate Winery, and the first two Mt Smart Stadium shows in Auckland.
Vocal prodigy RUEL is returning to New Zealand for one show in Auckland at the Bruce Mason Centre in May. Counting Elton John and Khalid among his fans, RUEL is taking the globe by storm, smashing show records, and he’s only 16 years old.
Exactly six years to the day since the release of Vance Joy’s debut EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing, Liberation Records are pleased to reveal an extremely limited run of the EP have been pressed on vinyl for the first time ever for release on Friday 26 April. Vance Joy has also announced he will bring his Ukuleles For Kids program to Australia in a new partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia. Launched in the USA last year the program delivers ukuleles and how-to video tutorials lead by Vance Joy to children’s hospitals.
LA two-piece Moby Rich have announced two headline shows on their debut Australian tour this May. With their latest single Blink bringing further attention to the duo, this Australian tour is the perfect opportunity to catch two indie stars on the rise. Support on the tour comes from yergurl in Melbourne, whose lo-fi beats and unique pop style made her a Triple J Unearthed favourite. Sydney support will be from Hoodlem, a streaming sensation with her mix of experimental soul and future R&B.
Darren Middleton (POWDERFINGER), Mark Wilson (JET), Davey Lane (YOU AM I) and Kram (SPIDERBAIT) have joined forces to become ARC, one of the most collectively celebrated and successful supergroups in Australia’s rock history will be performing Abbey Road live, commemorating 50 years of existence.
Abbey Road, The Beatles' swansong and their crowning achievement as a recording group - is a stately, majestic, playful yet fiercely rocking masterpiece of pop music, regarded as one of the greatest records of all time.
TEG Dainty and Nice Events are excited to announce that Emmy-nominated television personality, podcaster and hairstylist to the stars, Jonathan Van Ness, will bring his Road to Beijing world tour to New Zealand
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.