Photos by Mark Derricutt

Photos by Mark Derricutt

By Mark Derricutt

Artist: Racing with Dirty Pixels & Dual

Date / Venue: Friday September 29th, 2017 - Kings Arms, Auckland

I remember an old friend once complaining about the lack of good live music here in Auckland, and there was also a time when I almost believed it; it's not that there's a lack of good music or good bands, but there's a limited number of good venues to service those bands.

With so much music out here, I'm never surprised when I come across bands I've not heard of - even more so when those bands grew out of earlier bands I'd also never come across - like I said: there's a lot of music out there.

I have a maddening love of discovering new bands and knowing that we have such a diverse, and large ecosystem here in New Zealand always makes that a joy.

Last night at The Kings Arm's Tavern was no exception for Auckland's Racing with the launch of their new EP The Bass. Despite being made of up two-time Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards winners I'd still not heard of them or the two supports, I will admit none of the bands generally fell within my normal listening spectrum, so that's not too unexpected, but good music is good music and can be appreciated and enjoyed by all.

A bad mix however - can mare ones first impressions of a band, with an overabundance of unintended bass, feedback and squeals coming from the PA and an occasional accidental mic drop I found I just couldn't get into the groove or vibe of the evening and my lasting memories of the evening are questioning whether I truly disliked the vocals for Dirty Pixels and Racing - or if the mix just made an acquired taste, even more, acquired --- none of this seemed to phase the audience as they cheered, danced, cheered, and enjoyed a good night of rock. Both bands provided a high-energy bout of rock with dynamic frontmen easily drawing in the audience for a good time.

Personally, I found the highlight of the evening to be Auckland duo Dual - centre stage was replaced with a desk to hold both laptop and synth/midi controllers with each member flanking the stage. Vocally I was reminded of a strange concoction of Stabbing Westward, Duran Duran and a hint of U2/Bono in the vocal lines. Dual was more in my comfort zone (I love a good electronic/industrial edge to balance my love of all things metal) and whilst the lighting, and stage setup made getting photos hard, I really enjoyed chilling out and watching the end of the set.