21 Jun 2018
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Gig Review: Head Like A Hole NYE @ Totara Street, Mt Maunganui - 31/12/2016

05 Jan 2017 // A review by River
New Years Eve at the Mount reminded me a lot of the high-octane gigs from back in the day when Head Like A Hole (HLAH) first started touring the metal scene up in Auckland, which was a bit dead at the time. Of course there’s not as much nakedness going on these days, but HLAH still helps people to get over their inhibitions with rip-roaring performances that will blow your mind.

The night started out with Hamilton based Rebel Sound Radio who blasted through their set like well-seasoned pros, with the hard-hitting rock mixed with a dash of punk warming up a small but enthusiastic crowd.  The stand out song was Liberation with Jesse James Hanright’s well-executed guitar solo holding the audience transfixed. Keep an eye on Rebel Sound Radio, who nailed their set without a hitch.

Second on the bill was local group Edward Gains and The Human Remains whose relaxed stage presence put the growing audience at ease. Surprisingly edgy pre-grunge with touches of melancholy for good measure, their post-punk sound generally allowed people to meet and greet as they arrived.

Tauranga band All Hail The Funkillers injected a bit more frenetic punk into the festivities. Think Bikini Kill with a tinge of X-Ray Spex. Faster and more energized than on their digital album, the song Sophrysyne was lapped-up by an enthusiastic audience and despite a false start; the cover of Beastie Boys track Sabotage also went down a treat. All Hail The Funkillers was well placed to get the crowd amped for the main event.

Dedicating this gig to their good friend the late Gerald Dwyer, Head Like a Hole started their set off in fine tradition with Fish Across Face, which was bloody awesome! 

HLAH swapped nicely between new and old material with Drummer Mike Franklin-Browne nailing all the tricky fills in their extensive back catalogue. Guitarist Andrew Ashton’s excellent solos and crunching power chords on a stunning Les Paul Gold Top put the icing on the cake. If anything the difficulties HLAH have gone through over the years has made for an even more cohesive group.

Halfway through their set and instead of the usual midnight countdown, founding guitarist Nigel Regan opted for a ‘Fuck You 2016’, which was happily echoed by the buzzing crowd.

At times the PA system struggled slightly to keep up with HLAH’s unrelenting dynamics in songs like 1 Pound 2 Pound, Hootenanny and Never Mind Today. But for the most part and with a little encouragement from the band, sound quality in the Mauao Performing Arts Centre was good. My favourite Johnny Cash cover, I’m On Fire, sounded great and by the time audience pleaser Wet Rubber got underway, consummate performer Booga Beasley had partygoers eating out of the palm of his hand.

A few guys looking for trouble kept bar staff and bouncers pretty busy throughout the night, which was the only dampener to an exceptional event of fantastic live music that left my head ringing like a bell. Get along and check out Head Like A Hole at a venue near you.

4/5

About Head Like A Hole

Formed in Wellington, Head Like A Hole originally consisted of Booga Beazley, Nigel Regan, Andrew Durno and Mark Hamill. Like most young bands, they started out by playing small gigs at local pubs and at various well known live venues. Then quickly started touring the university circuit. The band soon made a name for themselves with energetic and often outrageous live performances, appearing on stage either naked, caked with mud, or covered completely in body paint.

Therefore forming a solid and dedicated following throughout the live music scene. Head like a Hole were soon signed to Wildside Records and began their recording career. 1992 saw the release of their debut album, 13 which the band largley produced themselves. The single Fish Across Face successfully made it into the New Zealand Top 10 charts. In keeping with Head Like a Hole tradition the video for Fish Across Face included a scene where Nigel regurgitates an orange substance into Booga’s mouth and was promptly pulled off air.

Head Like a Hole continued touring and performing the university orientation circuit. Then returned to the studio in 1993 to record their second album. Flik Y'Self off Y'Self. Which was released in stores in 1994 providing two singles. Faster Hooves and Spanish Goat Dancer. After the release of two successful records the band’s popularity and exposure increased, and so Head Like a Hole remained on tour. Playing to capacity crowds and sold out venues throughout the country, and in 1996 secured a position on the bill to play The Big Day Out festival. That same time the band suffered a sudden and tragic loss, with the death of their Manager Gerald Barry Dwyer. And it was late 1996 where they headed back to the studio, this time travelling to Australia and worked on a third album. Double Your Strength, Improve Your Health & Lengthen Your Life. Cornbag, the first single from the album, was released in November 1996, but received only moderate chart success.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Head Like A Hole

Releases

Faster Hooves
Year: ????
Type: EP
Spanish Goat Dancer
Year: ????
Type: Album
Narcocorrido
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Blood Will Out
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Blood On A Honky Tonk Floor
Year: 2000
Type: Album
HLAH IV
Year: 1999
Type: Album
Wet Rubber
Year: 1998
Type: Album
The Not Nicomjool EP
Year: 1995
Type: EP
Flik Y'Self Off Y'Self
Year: 1994
Type: Album
Beelzebeats
Year: 1993
Type: EP
13
Year: 1992
Type: Album

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