19 Dec 2018
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  • Decades - Gig Review: Decades with Bakers Eddy, Dead Favours & Skinny Hobos @ Galatos, Auckland - 15/07/2017

Decades - Gig Review: Decades with Bakers Eddy, Dead Favours & Skinny Hobos @ Galatos, Auckland - 15/07/2017

17 Jul 2017 // A review by Sarah Sampson

This was a well anticipated show for many of the punters there, talking to them between bands around the venue and outside. Despite being moved into the smaller basement room below Galatos instead of being in the ballroom it was the perfect size and created the right atmosphere for the bands and audience to be closer together and almost as one.  Despite a few technical issues (blowing the PA) and the show starting a bit late everyone I talked to had an awesome night, and what’s a gig without some issues? That’s Rock n Roll!!!!!! Something that all the bands had in common last night was they all showcased new songs, some to be new releases or singles that will be coming out soon. I LOVE going to shows and hearing new music for the first time. For me Decades was the only band I hadn’t seen previously so it was a real treat hearing new music from some of my favourite bands. 

First up on stage was Bakers Eddy, this 4 piece originally hail from Wellington but have been living in Melbourne for the last four months writing and recording new music. I was lucky enough to see Bakers Eddy at the start of the year again with Skinny Hobos and two other acts and it seemed to me in the few months it’s been since I last saw them that their sound has matured and gotten more polished, if that is at all possible because I was blown away by their energy and stage presence the last time I saw them, and tonight they were even more impressive. I couldn’t fault their set at all! From their old crowd favourites to their new songs everyone in that room was moving by the end of their set, in fact they had the crowd eating out of their hands from the very first song. For me by their second song I’m wanting to put my stuff down and jump in the middle of the crowd and dance with everyone else.

The two songs that stand out in my mind from Bakers Eddy are both new songs which I think is because they seem more mature and the first one Talk Back Radio showcased their diversity and different influences perfectly. Starting straight away with their funky bass line to the almost ‘ska’ guitars interspersed with full on yummy Rock n Roll Vibes.  Their next single they will be releasing was the other song of theirs that I loved called Jack Sh*t for You which is a fast paced, in your face punk pop song filled with just enough angst for those that love their music a bit heavier, but mixed with a lightness and fun element. My feelings from this song is that it is one that will be played over and over and over again all summer long at parties and gatherings all over New Zealand and Australia. It’s going to be a summer anthem and road trip song! I can’t wait till it’s released.

Auckland band Dead Favours were up next. They have been referred to as New Zealand’s next super group, namely because of the big bands the members come from. This was a totally different band to Bakers Eddy and at first I was thinking that this is a weird combination of bands to have on one line-up together but by the end of the night once Skinny Hobos and Decades had played I realized how perfectly different the bands were, but they all also perfectly complimented each other without being too different or too samey (which happens WAY too many times at gigs – especially Rock and Metal gigs where it’s very common to get 3 or 4 bands that sound the same)

A Dead Favours live show brings something for everyone! From hard hitting Heavy Rock to softer, more soulful ballads.  Their set last night was the perfect blend of ballads and hard and fast rock. My favourite songs of their set was their 2nd one aptly entitled Protest Song and for fans of Rage Against the Machine or other early 90s punk/pop/rock bands this is a song written for you. The power of Jarrod’s voice in this song was AMAZING and the distorted guitars, drum’s all blend together for the perfect filled with angst protest song. Then there was their self-titled track Dead Favours which any Black Sabbath fan will absolutely LOVE! THAT bass line!  So, so sexy! The song that had the best crowd response was their last single they released called Dig which is one of my favourite NZ Music videos especially with all the cameo’s from so many of the musicians I know and love. I don’t think there were many people in that room standing still for Dig, it even inspired one female fan to jump up on the shoulders of one of the other crowd members. Do yourselves a favour and make sure you check them out next time they play in Auckland (or if you are out of Auckland check the end of the review for the tour dates yet to come).

Next up was one of my favourite New Zealand acts, Skinny Hobos. I have seen them at least three times this year and I could see them again and again and again and still not get sick of them! It helps that Sam and Alex are such friendly people off stage too but their general happiness comes across on stage too, especially with their banter. You haven’t seen banter until you have heard what these two talk about. Their banter is like everyone in the crowd are their friends and they know you personally and this doesn’t change from when you are seeing them in a smaller venue like last night, a larger venue or outside stage. The same can be said for their stage presence and energy. In fact I almost prefer seeing them in smaller venues because the crowd becomes so much more part of their show rather than just spectators. This was emphasized last night with Alex jumping off stage and playing guitar solos right in the middle of the crowd. 

One aspect of seeing live music that I absolutely love is that no matter how many times you see a band each set is going to be slightly different based on the energy in a room, how the band and members are feeling that day and this is particularly true with Skinny Hobos. The mix was perfect for them and I noticed so many new solos and the use of layering techniques to build up ambience to make it sound like there is more than just two members in the group. This use of layering means they are able to start a song quiet and slow or heavy and distorted to emulate a bass guitar and means that you never know which direction a song is going to go in. An example of this was in their 5th song of the set, Jacked like the Ripper where it started off slow and almost psychedelic with Alex on Guitar then he switched to a heavier bass tone then when Sam kicked off Alex was off using every corner of the stage even playing one of the most amazing guitar solos of the night with his guitar behind his head! Then all of a sudden the song changed to almost a slow, almost slow drone stoner metal ending where Alex jumped off the stage into the crowd. I’ve seen this song three times this year and last night was the first time it sounded this heavy and the crowd was the most into it I’ve seen. Skinny Hobos are one of the best live New Zealand bands we have! I’m honoured to have been able to see them again (and I look forward to the next time I see them too, maybe I won’t reviewing and I can dance for an entire set!)

Next was the band we were all there to celebrate – Decades and their debut album release. Straight off from the first song it was obvious why Decades have got to where they are, all before their first album release. The crowd was jumping and head banging from the first note and Decades were on fire with all of the members making great use of the stage with Liam pulling off an epic guitar solo right at the front of the stage during the first song and Curtis jumping off the bass drum of the drum kit numerous times all through their set. They are described as ‘Dark Pop’ on their Facebook page and I don’ think this is the right genre to be pigeon holed as, as I was blown away by how heavy and raw their set was, I didn’t expect for it to be so in your face or heavy, having only heard one or two of their songs before the show. 

By the end of the first song I want to join in with the crowd and dance and in fact I did put my phone down a few times to do just that. Not one of Decades songs sound the same and while some are soft, almost bordering on ‘sweet’ most of their songs are hard hitting, fast, loud rock songs. Trying to think about which of their songs stuck out to me to mention in my review is too hard! I haven’t enjoyed an entire bands set who I’ve never seen before in a very long time! My notes for every song say ‘crowd loving it’ ‘epic bass/guitar/drum solo’ ‘I want to dance’ ‘I want to head bang’. Choosing a favourite song is something I can’t do with Decades I loved each and every one of their songs. Even their softer ones, which I often find boring live with other bands, drew me in and kept me enthralled. Loved it!

The tour is continuing over the next two weeks. Next weekend they are playing Meow in Wellington and on the 28th July it is Decades home town show at Blue Smoke in Christchurch followed by Re: Fuel in Dunedin on the 29th. This is one tour of New Zealand’s best Rock bands that you do not want to miss!

 

About Decades

Formerly known as Ashei, there are a myriad of ways to describe NZ rock outfit, Decades, but one word that really summarises their so-far 5 year journey in sharing their music is simply: determination. Bursting on to the scene in 2009 led by a unique female voice that reaches both the gritty angst and delicate reservedness of the vocal spectrum, Decades have shown they are an independent Kiwi rock band to really watch with their shared passion for intense live performance and honest song writing.

Members Emma Cameron (vox/guitar), Liam Muir (guitar), Daniel Perry (drums) and Curtis Booth (bass) have spent the last several years focussing on honing in on their unique sound, independently releasing a scattering of singles and music videos to varying levels of local success, playing as many local shows as they could muster around their full-time day jobs, and supporting larger national and international acts such as Midnight Youth (NZ), Villainy (NZ), The Ataris (US), and Scary Kids Scaring Kids (US).

In 2013, Decades knew they were at a point of ‘go big or go home’, and so they began to envision what the next couple of years should look like, and how they were going to reach these milestones. Early 2013 saw Decades lock in with producer Matt Bartlem of Loose Stones Studios in QLD to create their debut record. Faced with the many obstacles of an independent band, the band launched - and achieved - a $10,000USD indiegogo crowd funding campaign in mid-2013, to head over to the studio in Australia to complete a 5-track EP.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Decades

Releases

The Truth and Other People
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Music Is Boring
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Nine To Twelve
Year: 2013
Type: EP
Light And Live
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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