19 Feb 2019
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Gig Review: End of an Era Night 1 @ Kings Arms, Auckland - 26/01/2018

29 Jan 2018 // A review by Paul Goddard
I arrived early for this first of two nights of bands who have come together to say goodbye to iconic Auckland venue the Kings Arms, which will finally close its doors at the end of February.

Punters are slowly streaming in for the opening band A Doubtful Sound (isn't that the best name ever for a Kiwi Band) but the band don't care about how many people are in the room and hit the set full tilt. The drummer especially is a machine and they have a scuzzed up indie grunge sound which after a few tracks does get a little repetitive but it appears their recent stint in the UK has given them a bit of edginess to keep things interesting. Things really pick up though when the new bass player takes over vocal duties on what I think is a new track. I love it when bands do this, they pull something out of the bag that really stands out and A Doubtful Sound has huge potential.

You know what happens when you get a kid called Chazz with a passion for punk rock. He forms and band and pushes forwards, screams, shouts and has some success. Then things change the band ends (The Rabble) but the passion never goes away. He's a punk so he won't give up. There is always something to rail against or celebrate. Some years later on a Friday night in a bar in Auckland which is about to die because of corporate greed, apathy, progress, whatever. Chazz and his band find themselves in the right place at the right time. The disaster they have been flirting with, avoided and we are treated to a show that is equal parts celebration and angst. Flirting with Disaster are tight, have one of the best frontmen in New Zealand and have the crowd really fired up for what is about to follow.

His Masters Voice are a band I had heard a lot about. There is a hype around them but not the self-promoting social media hype. This is old school word of mouth. Being in a bar, talking music and people asking if you have seen them yet? No? You really should! It's a cliche but some people are born to do one thing. The four people in His Masters Voice should not be doing anything else than what happens in the next 30 mins. Lemmy was never going to be an accountant!

It's one thing to for a band to transport you to a different place by listening to their music. It's a whole other level when they can do that in a live environment with so many distractions around especially if you have never seen or heard them before. From the opening rumble, I was somewhere else, lost in what was emanating from the 60sqm of stage. I didn't even need to watch the band, this noise hit my soul, my mind was fused and wandering. When I see a band like this there aren't words to describe it. The thought process goes, the analysis is not important, everything just connects.

Do yourself a favour. Make a date with your soul and go see His Masters Voice

Luger Boa are the perfect band to say goodbye to the Kings Arms. Jimmy Christmas is as legendary as the venue itself and from the minute they hit the stage the farewell party is on. Being a kind of poppier version of The D4 but still having that raw energy saw these guys make some great music that provides the perfect curtain call for the KA. Beers are thrown, people are dancing, Jimmy is in the crowd and everyone leaves with a smile on their face. Just how it should be. Jimmy will carry on with the D4 back together and the rest of the bands tonight have bright futures. Farewell Kings Arms you will be missed as a place that created some amazing memories.


Review written by Paul Goddard
 

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