23 May 2018
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Gig Review: Cheshire Grimm @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 24/11/2017

06 Dec 2017 // A review by butch181

It was a reasonably quiet evening at Ding Dong Lounge with Auckland music fans being split between multiple venues that were all putting on shows at the same time. Heading upstairs there was a relaxed atmosphere, as punters from downstairs came up to check out the bands that were on show for the night.

First up was Violet Highway, who generally perform as a three-piece, but today was just a duo of Niki on drums, and Jacqui on guitar and vocals. Powering into their first track, they were beset by some unfortunate technical issues, with the guitar cutting out, stopping them in their tracks. A quick troubleshoot determined the problem, and they started over, with no further technical issues of note. With powerful and prominent sound of the kick drum, and clean picking, the band came across with having a style that combines the Joan Jett with the White Stripes. Even the vocals had a Jack White flair to them, providing not only a clean melody, but a distinctive abrasive rock vocals with some Cranberries-esque inflection thrown in for good measure. Sound-wise, without the bass guitar present, the balance didn’t feel quite right, with the drums overpowering much of the guitar. They certainly do have a good level of talent, coming up with original riffs and varied fills. Jacqui has some charisma behind the mic, and it works well with Niki’s confidence on the drums, and it created an enjoyable experience. They slowly warmed up and started getting more animated as they performed, accidentally kicking the mic for the kick drum, but it all added to the positive vibe that the band gave off.

Up next was Cheshire Grimm, a three-piece psychedelic melancholic rock group from Hamilton, comprised of Lora on the vocals and guitar, Kat on vocals and bass, and newly assigned drummer Craig. It is easy to see there is a great chemistry on stage between Lora and Kat, as they get straight into their set and pull of some impressive guitar solos over a dominant bass rhythm. With a bit of variety in their musical style, they combine bits and pieces from grunge, rock, and even reggae with some riffs reminding me of Australian Crawl’s 1980 classic Boys Light Up. Cheshire Grimm has a surprisingly good clarity of sound considering the level of grunge in their songs, and pull off some nice vocal harmonies, though they were a little strained (Kat did mention recently being unwell, and only recently gaining her voice back). Mid-set they pulled a cover out of the hat, performing a competent display of Royal Blood’s Little Monster, which garnered some praise from the crowd. Kat is not afraid to chat and banter with the crowd, explaining the story behind the track So Much For The Summer, a gloomy, mournful song, that laments the poor weather of New Zealand’s last summer season. While Kat provided the charisma and charm, Lora provided the technical skills and unique dance style that gives Cheshire Grimm that idiosyncratic Indie feel. Craig performed well on the drums, considering it was only his second performance, but the vibe was still like he was a session drummer helping out a duet. Undoubtedly, over time there will grow more chemistry between the three of them. Due to time constraints they ended their set earlier, finishing on their latest single Slave to the Grind and Sin.

Final act headlining the show was Quinn the Human, a five-piece and potentially one of the most photogenic groups I have come across. With juxtaposing long hair and upmarket attire, they have a very eccentric but well layered sound. Performing Desert/Disco, immediately you can see that they love what they do. Full of energy, power, and passion, they are incredibly animated in their performance in a completely individual, and yet inconceivably consistent way. With all the guitarists sporting multiple pedals (potentially 20+ each) you could sit there and watch them as they each constantly switch from one tone to another adding and multiplying effects to create cohesive tracks that are technically unreplicatable to the average musician. Multiple guitars, and multiple vocals, with an indescribably large number of effects, it created such a rich and diverse sound that you really couldn’t zero in on a genre that would truly classify them. They performed a cover of Queens of the Stone Age’s Make It Wit Chu, which worked well with the vocalist’s smooth, sultry vocals, and the drummer’s enthusiasm. A band that needs no backing tracks. A thrill to watch them perform.


Photos and review by Alex Moulton

About Cheshire Grimm

Genre: Melancholic Wonder / Prog-Alt-Pop-Glitter
What do you see when you think of Cheshire Grimm?

The brainchild of Kat Waswo (vocals/bass) and Lora Thompson (guitar/vocals) has created a dark creature, twisting through the motions of light and dark, threading their bright colours into a warm blanket of melancholy.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Cheshire Grimm

Releases

Rain Or Shine
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Cheshire Grimm
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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