High Dependency Unit (HDU) are one of those bands that just seem to have always been a part of the New Zealand music scene. They were part of the Flying Nun stable in the 90’s until they went their separate ways in 2008 and gained a cult following for their post-rock sound and for their live shows; the latter being remembered for the huge wall of layered sound that the trio would create.
They’ve been touring this month as part of Flying Nun’s 30thbirthday celebrations and made it to Wellington on the 11th for an unforgettable show.
The crowd was an interesting mix of old fans from the early days of the band, to younger fans, introduced to the band through the Flying Nun celebrations this year.
Wellington trio Glass Vaults opened the show, hot of the heels of their EP release the week before. They’re an interesting band to see live, as they blend synthesizers, guitar and percussion to create something unique. The moments when all three musicians bang out rhythms on pieces of drum kit are always a highlight of their set.
HDU played with a more refined sound than I remember them ever having, although that may just be my memory playing tricks. They were still huge, filling the San Francisco Bathhouse with relentless sound. They seemed to be in good spirits, frontman Tristan Dingemans interacting a lot with the crowd and joking between songs.
Their set covered their history well and seemed to please the crowd, many of whom were witnessed breaking into huge smiles as songs bought back memories of previous HDU experiences.
Flying Nun deserve a massive round of applause for bringing us the 30th birthday celebrations and giving us the opportunity to once again remember the contribution they, and their stable of bands, has made to the New Zealand music scene.
HDU was formed in 1994 in Dunedin, and they have performed alongside Bailterspace.