23 Jun 2018
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Gig Review: Head Like A Hole @ Galatos, Auckland 04/05/2017

14 May 2017 // A review by butch181
Heading in to the venue, it was to be my first gig at Auckland's Galatos venue. Situated not too far away from the now-sold Kings Arms Tavern, and the currently for sale Wine Cellar and Whammy Bar, Galatos is in a prime position. Despite the limited lighting equipment on site, the venue has a capacity that shows its potential as a prime candidate for filling the void that the loss of these venues will create.

First and only support act were Seedy Jeezus, who journeyed from Melbourne, Australia. A three piece group consisting of Paul Crick on the bass, Mark Sibson on the drums, and Lex Waterreus on the guitar and vocals. With a style that oozes with a mix of grunge and classic heavy rock tones, they could easily be described as a modern day Black Sabbath. Despite incredible technical abilities, the mastery of their instruments is often hidden, masked under layers of distortions and effects, though they do break free of the mold on occasions, such as the instrumental track Chasing the Dragon's Tail. This track showcases their knowledge of the music and ability to create a plethora of musical genres and song styles, combining them in a fashion that creates a journey, that draws the crowd in close and leaves them mesmerized.

With Seedy Jeezus finishing their 7-song set, band equipment is switched over, and Head Like a Hole (HLAH) take to the stage. Dressed in what could almost be classed as fancy dress, they are clad in gear that would certainly not have looked out of place when the album 13 had been released 25 years ago. Rocking moustaches, leather pants, studded belts and face paint, the crowd surged to the front of the stage waiting for the first track to hit. 

Jumping straight into Hole, a mosh pit opens up in front of centre stage almost immediately. Surprising really, as the crowd has quite an age range, from the barely legal, to those well into the grey-haired years. But all ages were taking part in the creation of a circle pit that restarted during nearly every chorus throughout the remainder of the show. Moving onto the second track Life's a Joke it became apparent that HLAH were going to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of 13  not only by playing the entire album in their set, but by doing to in order. 

Each song led to an increase in energy and passion from the crowd as they pushed to get closer, and started to mosh more and more violently. Tracks such as Fish Across Face and Penut riled up the audience more and more, eventually resulting in the odd brawl that was swiftly stopped, and frowned upon by the band. As HLAH came to the end of the 13 album, security guards had moved up to the front in an effort to reduce the mess that the mosh pit had become, but to no avail, as the end of the 13 playlist marked the beginning of the remainder; and this included all the other hits that we have come to expect from the band. Tracks such as Wet Rubber, Glory Glory, and their cover of Springsteen's I'm on Fire were eaten up by the crowd, who showed little signs of tiring.

With a set that almost lasted two and a half hours, the highlight of the night certainly had to come from their performance of A Crying Shame, complete with the trumpet. A performance that even their encore of Hootenanny couldn't possibly compete with. High energy performance, that shows HLAH are far from being done.

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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