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Left Or Right - Gig Review: Left or Right @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 13/07/2018

10 Aug 2018 // A review by Sass_Metal

After 6 months of traveling Europe and the UK I’ve found it an adjustment coming back to NZ for a number of reasons – one of which being shows not having the first band on till 9pm, when in UK and England 9pm would be the 2nd to last band as most shows finish around 11pm which is AMAZING – especially on a week night, another adjustment is that in New Zealand (well for 4/5 shows I’ve attended, worked or reviewed in the last two weeks) is that there’s hardly anyone at the show for the first band. It’s so hard going first in Auckland, as it’s common to pre-drink and not make it out till 10, but Leighton Fairle did an amazing job. I was late to the show myself, as I had been at a friend's birthday dinner but as I was walking down the stairs at Whammy I was greeted with warm, yummy reggae tones. I was amazed when I got into the venue and only saw two people on stage! They created such a full, rich sound that easily sounded like there was many more people on stage. I’ve not seen this style of music live in a very long time and often it’s a solo singer on stage singing with a backing track. Seeing the music created live before me with vocals too was a special treat. 

Next up were my musical brothers His Masters Voice. They are probably one of the bands I’ve reviewed the most in the last few years. An HMV show is always an experience and last night wasn’t any different! I’m often transported to other realms during an HMV show and last night I went on a memory trip to Europe and the UK of all the times I’ve played them for Belgian friends and bands while on random tours I ended up on or when I was homesick or exhausted on a train back to wherever was home at the time. His Masters Voice’s live energy is one I had missed a lot this year as I didn’t get to see a lot of Rock n Roll style bands in my travels – it was all Death Metal, Black Metal or Doom so last night’s show was an AMAZING re-energizing and re connection of my NZ musical family. I tried to stand back and take notes but as with every time I’ve seen HMV I found myself being drawn to the front and fully absorbed in the music. I was standing in front of Az and I can absolutely confirm in the last year my ears have changed to now notice and love the guitar whereas before I used to dance in rhythm with Brandon's Bass and Rene’s drumming. I was grinning from ear to ear the entire time they were playing. Technically on point and putting on a show! His Masters Voice, as always, were there to make new fans and entertain the old ones. There wasn’t one body standing still during their set and it felt good to be home in that crowd!

Finally it was time for the band we were all there for – Left or Right, who was touring the country and doing FAR MORE dates than a lot of local bands do ‘on tour’ which is why I wanted to review them. To be honest I had no idea at all what to expect with Left or Right as I hadn’t had a chance to check them out before their Auckland show. When they started I wasn’t sure what to think as Reggae isn’t my preferred choice of music, but they soon had me captivated with their heavier guitar hooks, drum break downs and I’m pretty sure I stood there more than once with my mouth hanging open. There’s no other artist to describe Left or Right with and I can’t see how they can be pigeon holed into one genre… From Kora to Tool and Karnivool and back to Katchafire would be how I would describe their set if anyone was to ask me what other bands they are like. The crowd was a mixed one and at the start of their set the rockers stood back kind of eyeing each other nervously not too sure what to expect or think but mid-way through when Az and Rene from His Masters Voice got up the front and started to head bang the rockers relaxed a bit and let themselves enjoy it more.  Left or Right peaked my interest and while they aren’t a band I would have gone to check out ordinarily I’m more than glad I did, and they definitely have a new fan with me. If you have never checked them out before then I highly recommend you do! Their tour is over now but they are playing with Katchafire in Queenstown soon and then settling in to record their 4th Album. I hope I’m back in NZ to review their Album release tour!

Review written by Sarah Sampson


About Left Or Right

Southern New Zealand band Left Or Right are excited to announce the release of their second record Buzzy through local label MrYoda Productions. As with their debut record Nuggety, Buzzy will be available in four formats: 12" Double Orange Vinyl, CD, Cassette, and download via ITunes, Bandcamp & Amplifier.

Since the release of their 2009 debut record, Left Or Right have continued on their mission of extensive touring: appearing at some of NZ’s sweetest festivals along the way (Kaikoura Roots, Feastock & Catlins River Festival), and performing alongside many of NZ’s highest profile acts (The Black Seeds, Kora & Salmonella Dub). All the while, the band have also been honing their song writing craft, with an eye to the recording of the new album, Buzzy.

Just under a year in the making, Buzzy was recorded in Dunedin at Albany St Studios by Mike Holland and Left or Right, and Mastered by Dale Cotton (Beastwars, The Bats). The making of Buzzy has very much lived up to the record’s title, diving into an intense and at times bizarre world of sound.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Left Or Right


Year: 2015
Type: Album
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Year: 2009
Type: Unknown

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