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Gig Review: World Domination @ The Crown Hotel, Dunedin - 4 August 2018

05 Aug 2018 // A review by Darryl Baser

The coastal settlement of Waitati just north of Dunedin has been described as a refuge for creative types for generations, like Brunswick in Melbourne, or how Grey Lynn used to be pre-housing boom, or Wellington’s Aro Valley, except Waitati is rural and more 'down home'.

The good folks of Waitati wanted to buy a PA system for people to use out there, to encourage bands with talent, but not resources. Tonight's gig in the legendary Crown Hotel is one of a series of fundraising events to gather funds to pay for a PA system as a community resource. 

First of the five acts is ALXG, solo rapper, using Person Will's gear, and pre-recorded beats. When he gets going his freestyle flow, isn't bad. He's definitely a work in progress. There's potential. He refers to himself, as ‘young blood,’ showing a good level of insight. He improves as the crowd grows, by 10pm it's standing room only, well, booty-shaking room only. 

Person Will follows, he’s another solo beat maker, but is further down the path, and has been growing a following over the last couple of years. He produces his own tracks then sings and raps over them, and while making seriously good dance tunes, Will doesn’t take himself seriously. Although off stage he appears a bit, shy, onstage he’s a born entertainer.

He gets asked for one more, and says: "Here's a slower number, I think I hyped you up too much". His up-tempo positive vibes suited the occasion well.

In a change of the program, originally scheduled to be last, George Street Normal are next, named after a Dunedin primary school. Robin Murphy on bass and Brad Martin on guitar mean the musical pedigree is deep, add in Patrick Frame, GSN has a solid drummer. The band is tight.

On stage frontman Ross McKenzie appears angry, and like he'd be more comfortable as the Phantom of the Opera, or the Barber of Seville. I’ve been reviewing all genres of music for about 30 years, and there's not many lead singers I’ve seen (including black metal, the darkest goth genres), and think that guy's just angry enough to play Hitler convincingly. I don't know if he meant to be disturbing, but he was.

That said, they have a dancing crowd at the front, which does dwindle as the lengthy set who are having a good time. The sound pressure level measured more than 78 decibels most of the time. 

Shakes and the Washin’ Up bring back the fun with their own brand of surf tunes. What they lack in cohesion the make up for with fun.

Three songs in and they play a dirty little surf song called Girls, which Shakes has been playing with various bands for 20 to 30 years. It's good to see the twist being danced again in The Crown.

Chris ‘Shakes’ Prendergast is a survivor of playing in bands with Chris Knox in the late 1970's, and wrote a song called Motorbike in the mid 1990's, which they pulled it out of the garage tonight. It was beautifully sloppy, and totally fun. Shakes swaps Gretsch 6 string for a Rickenbacker 12, and they launch into a couple of tunes well suited its ringing tones. Their set ends with a gleeful destruction of the song Crimson and Clover.

Last band for the evening Kill Martha came on about Midnight and their second song is a version of the 80's New Order classic Blue Monday.  

Front woman 'Miriam Schmirium' is a firecracker, not a huge woman but with a huge voice, and tons of style and sassy attitude. The band is all about having a great time. Kill Martha are a five piece: two guitarists, Tania Turei who also plays keys, Worik Stanton plays lead guitar, Matthew Peppercorn on drums, and Metiria Turei on bass.

The band is high energy and fun. Half way through the set there's a song which sounds like it’s called You're A Good Cunt, Jesus. Many of Kill Martha's songs have a basic surf structure. Imagine your favourite 60's garage surf rock and with a fantastic front woman, and a drummer who sings, and raps at times too. 

Kill Martha are a seriously fun band, who's lyrics find the good taste filter and kick it out of the window, then find it and stomp on it a few times.

The evening ends about 1.30am, and organisers of the fundraiser believe they're getting closer to their funding target. Good cause, great night.


Review written by Darryl Baser

 

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