20 Jun 2019
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  • Die! Die! Die! - Gig Review: Die! Die! Die! @ The Captain Cook Tavern, Dunedin - 24/08/2018

Die! Die! Die! - Gig Review: Die! Die! Die! @ The Captain Cook Tavern, Dunedin - 24/08/2018

26 Aug 2018 // A review by Darryl Baser

The first band on for the night was Wet Specimen, starting at 9:45pm. Wet Specimen are a three-piece band born from the remnants of Opposite Sex, featuring Lucy on bass and vocals, Reggie on guitar and Chris Schmelz on drums.

Their style is kind of a trashy Rock and Roll, think Dead Moon with a bit of Sonic Youth. Odious comparisons (only for your reference of course dear reader) aside, Wet Specimen totally have their own style, and when singing, Lucy has a great Kim Deal (Breeders, Pixies) overblown yell which cracks at full volume.

Early on it was bloody good to look across the gathering crowd and see Die! Die! Die!'s Andrew, getting on down, and grinning as much as I was.

Wet Specimen have a bunch of charm. Their third song called Heaven's Gate, is as Lucy tells us "named after my favourite cult". A song called Boyfriends is next, which Lucy dedicates to Tom Bell, their sound engineer. Overall, this was a great set. 

Death and the Maiden began moodily, then when the bass and sub bass dropped it could have been used for restructuring buildings; seriously low frequencies, just fantastic.

This band is Danny Brady (synths, programming), Hope Robertson (guitar, drums, vocals) and Lucinda King (vocals, bass). Their album Wisteria is blowing up, and the band is on fine form tonight. Danny has a great array of samples, including some charming 808 samples.

Death and the Maiden's second song has danceable grooves, encouraging the booties up the front to shake and the Cook's band bar appears to be pretty close to capacity.

They plays electronic pop with guitars, and their great song writing is a great update of the amorphous collective noun 'Dunedin Sound'. What's not to like? All’s going well, apart from the smelly drunk 6-foot anorak wearer that just stood in front of me.

Looking around the anorak I glimpse Hope Robertson. When many people play guitar, they sometimes have odd facial expressions. Hope is not among them, she just looks cool, very cool, with a slight smile which may be saying; "yup, I think I'm doing well."

I love how Lucinda King stares out in to the defiantly as she plays and sings, she is such a strong and confident front woman.

Death and the Maiden finish up just after 11pm, with sound engineer extraordinaire and Chicks Recording Studio chief Tom Bell and Die! Die! Die! setting their stage at a leisurely pace, taking ten minutes. I filmed them setting up in time-lapse, and for the most part the crowd wasn’t going anywhere.

The band opens up with Ashtray! Ashtray! from their debut self-titled release from 2005. It could have been a bold move to lead with a song that once was an encore. But it’s Die! Die! Die! and they rocked it. By the first chorus, Andrew Wilson was singing in the crowd and Lachlan Anderson was standing in Michael Prain’s kick drum.

Hell of a way to get everyone’s attention.

It seems the anorak wearer was more of a Death and The Maiden fan than Die! Die! Die!, as he’s nowhere to be seen. There has been an audience shift. In my original notes I wrote “Death and The Maiden fans with sensitive hearing have migrated to the back of the room while the deaf old fucks like me have our arthritis pounded into submission by a Die! Die! Die! onslaught” - I stand by that.

Tom has the PA tuned to perfection for Die! Die! Die!’s sound as 1970's punk dance style 'the pogo' returns to The Cook.

To the untrained eye, with both Andrew and Lachie going into the crowd at different times, and with the angular post punk Die! Die! Die! make, it could seem like complete chaos. But on closer inspection, it’s very well organised chaos.

I wouldn’t say every move is a planned stunt, but there’s a certain degree of discipline, and intention in their familiar disorder. The band knows what each other is doing like parts of a well-oiled machine, and the non-verbal communication between members really works.

Just after midnight, and returning from another sojourn into the crowd, Andrew wishes long-time friend of the band Leila George a happy birthday and Lachie sings her happy birthday, leading the 'hip hip hurrays', with the crowd of around 200 backing him up. Cool way to turn 40.

Shortly after Mikey’s snare drum breaks, a call for a replacement goes out, and Chris Schmelz offers his.

The songs People Talk and I Wanna had people singing along.

After chants of encore, encore Lachie returns first and plays a bass line until Mikey finds the 'in' point, the first beat in the bar, you know, the bit where he should start, when he does as if by magic Andrew comes in at the same point and then it's all on again for one blistering encore, just one.

And younger more agile fans beat me to the set lists, hence the distinct lack of song titles. Bloody youngun’s.


Review written by Darryl Baser

 

About Die! Die! Die!

Die! Die! Die! is a three-piece band from Auckland that was formed out of the ashes of Xanadu, Carriage H and Rawer. They play songs that are abrasive and catchy, fast and loud and like people who dance at their shows.

In the year since their first show together they played over 100 shows including three tours (each) of New Zealand and Australia, and one small one of USA.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Die! Die! Die!

Releases

What Did You Expect?
Year: 2015
Type: EP
SWIM
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Harmony (Special Edition)
Year: 2013
Type: LP
Harmony
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Form
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Promises Promises
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Locust Weeks
Year: 2006
Type: EP
Die! Die! Die!
Year: 2005
Type: EP
Die! Die! Die!
Year: 2005
Type: LP

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