Shayne Carter is one of my favourite New Zealand musicians. Itís not just his music but also his performance. He is very passionate about what he does and it shines through. I was lucky enough to bear witness to one of the final shows of Straitjacket Fits and also last year when he did his retrospective show tour and I am always in awe and inspired when I see him. As he is ending one phase and heading into the next, we say goodbye to Dimmer as we welcome in the new age of Shayne as a solo artist.
Wellington's Beastwars were the support act and they amped up the crowd nicely. They have a huge riff laden sound along with Matt Hydeís vocals which reminded me somewhat of Lemmy from Motorhead. I was surprised to see them as support as they are more on the side of Heavy Metal than anything but they also share with Shayne the same sense of improvisation and organised chaos - a 3 minute song played live can quickly turn into a 7 to 8 minute song, but thatís what we love about Shayne. Beastwars must have bought some Spinal Tap amps because they were turned up to 11 and they would be one of the loudest bands I have ever heard live. Their sonic sounds launch an assault on the ears that was very pleasurable. I also learnt a lot from their set, being into guitar and singing rather than bass and drums, they demonstrated the importance of bass and the melody that can come from it which I found quite enlightening. They played some new tracks which really got the fans pumping.
Dimmer took to the stage and came to give us one final curtain call before they hung up their boots and there was a good crowd there to see them off. They are an incredibly tight band who seem to feed off each other under the guidance of Shayne. Other than the fact that they missed my favourite Dimmer song My Evolution, it was an almost 2 hour set full of great songs from all of the 4 of the Dimmer albums even including a cover from The Gordons' which got some fans bouncing of the walls. A close to 15 minute version of The Seed highlighted Shayneís guitar prowess and worked the whole crowd into a rhythmic sway. I remember seeing them at a Big Day Out playing on one of the smaller stages and they had gone 15 minutes over set time due to some huge guitar breaks and there was still an international band up next and but the whole crowd was smiling and enjoying the great exhibition that is Dimmer.
The encore of Crystalater went down a treat as Shayne looked uncomfortable as he was given flowers which he then shared with his band members and the crowd. With that it was goodbye from Dimmer and hello to Shayne Carter's solo music career. I canít wait to see the next evolution from this talented and inspiring man.
'You've Got To Hear The Music' is the second album from Dimmer, recording vehicle for Shayne Carter, New Zealand's premier explorer of the credible corners of rock in the past 20 years.
Picking up where the previous Dimmer album, the critically acclaimed 'I Believe You Are A Star', left off three years ago, Carter's hushed, dark pop tones settle into a delicious groove on this new eleven song set.
That last outing was a densely-plotted excursion into electronic music. The new album has an immediacy belied in the urgent demand of its title. The majority of the set was written in a single, month-long, outpouring of new tunes and the eventual recording retains an organic relish to match the songs' genesis.