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Homegrown 2013 Review

11 Mar 2013 // A review by Alistar3000

The 2nd of March brought the annual Homegrown festival to Wellington once more and I headed along to get some photos, check out some bands I hadn’t seen live before and soak up the atmosphere of 17,000 happy music fans enjoying the best of our local talent.

Last year I seemed to spend most of my time at the Rock Stage, so this year I thought I’d try and check out the stages where I wouldn’t normally hang out. Here are my highlights of the day.

The Babysitters Circus really surprised me with their set. I only knew that one song of theirs that was all over the radio and TV last year until everyone got sick of it, so I wasn’t expecting much. But I ended up catching the end of their set after North Shore Pony Club’s set turned out to be more a DJ/laptop thing.

Clap Clap Riot were great on the rock stage in the early afternoon. I really liked their album from last year so I’d been hoping to see them live sometime. They didn’t disappoint, ripping through tracks from the album and putting on a good show for the couple of hundred excited people watching. It was good to see so many people getting into it so early on.

AHoriBuzz were one of my favourite acts of the day and it was good to see them on a bigger stage this year. The band looked like they were having a great time on stage, and the crowd was loving it – particularly when they came back for an encore, playing a version of Hey Joe directed at the Prime Minister.

Home Brew pulled a huge crowd last year and this year was no different. The audience were singing along, screaming and getting pretty worked up when the group took the stage. Their set seemed to mark a turning point in the day, and the crowds swelled after that (as did the number of stumbling drunk people).

Cairo Knife Fight are always good to watch, and despite putting everything into his set with AHoriBuzz, Aaron Tokona managed to still stomp around the stage like a true rockstar.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Aaradhna lately, and I’ve been enjoying her singles, so it was nice to be able to see her live performance. She’s got a great voice, and knows how to own the stage. A real professional show.

The Black Seeds are always a crowd favourite in Wellington, and having missed last years’ Homegrown I think the crowd was extra-excited to see them back, with their tent almost full.

Minuit seem to always come up with something a bit different when they play Homegrown, playing with a gamelan orchestra. This year they pulled out an entire brass band to support them, adding another layer to familiar songs.

Kora seemed to have the loudest set, with their songs able to be clearly heard a long distance away. The noise seemed to attract more fans, with the dub and roots tent being absolutely packed when they played. They sounded awesome, and really got things amped up for Shapeshifter, who closed the night on that stage.


Other Reviews By Alistar3000

Primacy - Single Review: Shade Black
15 Oct 2015 // by Alistar3000
Auckland 5-piece Primacy are one of those bands that don’t try and hide their influences; their new single Shade Black is a healthy blend of all that was good about ‘90s rock, and that’s not a bad thing. Starting out with a Tool-like intro that soon gives way to a heavier, chugging riff, the song maintains a freshness and urgency throughout.
Cairo Knife Fight - Album review: The Colossus
11 Jun 2015 // by Alistar3000
Having seen Cairo Knife Fight perform live many times over the past few years I’d always been under the assumption they were performing songs from a number of prior recordings. So I was a little surprised to discover that The Colossus was actually their first album (they do have a few EPs recorded), and more surprised to find that long time guitarist Aaron Tokona (AHoriBuzz) was no longer a key part of the band, and makes only a small appearance on the album – with that revelation I didn’t know what to expect when I pressed play.
Mel Parsons - Album Review: Drylands
05 May 2015 // by Alistar3000
Back in 2011 I reviewed Mel Parsons' second album Red Grey Blue and enjoyed it – it had some well written songs, was well produced, and was easy to listen to. When I first popped in her latest album Drylands, I thought she’d taken a bit of a different path to the alt-country that dominated her first album.
Album Review: Tahuna Breaks Live 10
02 Apr 2015 // by Alistar3000
It’s hard to believe that Tahuna Breaks is celebrating 10 years making music together, although they do seem to have always been around, and I guess if anyone’s going to be keeping a record of how long they’ve been making their brand of funkified reggae, it’d be them. To celebrate the occasion they’ve release Tahuna Breaks Live 10 – 10 tracks spanning their career, recorded live last year at a one-off concert to celebrate the milestone (so I guess the album should actually be called 10 + 6 months).
State Of Mind - EP Review: Until The World Ends
12 Feb 2015 // by Alistar3000
Auckland drum and bass duo State of Mind are no strangers to collaboration, having worked with the likes of Tiki Taane and PNC to craft some big hitting tracks that achieved a lot of airplay. This time round they’re working with the trio from Black Sun Empire, hailing out of the Netherlands, produce the heavy hitting Until The World Ends EP together.
Album Review: Latinaotearoa in Latinoamerica
09 Dec 2014 // by Alistar3000
When I started reading about the concept behind the second Latinaotearoa album it sounded like a good idea and I was quite excited to have a listen to it. If you’re not familiar with the story, Auckland musician Isaac Aesili (Solaa, Opensouls, Eru Dangerspiel, Funkommunity) teamed up once again with Venezualan singer Jennifer Zea, and Brazilian-born DJ Bobby Brazuka, to research and write a bunch of songs in Brazil, then record the album of Latin-influenced tunes in Brazil and Auckland with guest appearances by some great musicians (such as Raiza Biza, Julien Dyne, Riki Gooch and Miguel Fuentes) – what should, on paper, lead to some great experimentation and crossovers of styles.
Beastwars Live at San Fran, Wellington 10/10/2014
21 Oct 2014 // by Alistar3000
I was finding it hard to believe that it’d been over 18 months since I last saw Beastwars play in Wellington as I stumbled on down to the newly refurbished San Fran in Wellington last week. I’m not sure why it’d taken me so long to go back to Wellington’s number one metal (or at least heavy rock) band, especially since they’d never disappointed me before.
Into Orbit - Caverns Album Review
24 Aug 2014 // by Alistar3000
Wellington two piece noisemakers Into Orbit have an appropriate name for the kind of music they’ve created on their new album Caverns; it’s spacey feeling, often out there and is sure to take off. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from the album before listening to it (or even if I’d like it at all), but came away a devoted fan after having it on constant repeat for a couple of days while I explored everything it had to offer (I’m still not there yet, not even close).
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