8 Jul 2020
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking
  • Articles »
  • Reviews »
  • Strangely Arousing - Gig Review: Strangely Arousing @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 19/10/2018

Strangely Arousing - Gig Review: Strangely Arousing @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 19/10/2018

24 Oct 2018 // A review by rupakelly

Strangely Arousing, hot off their strangely unconventional 7-date tour of South Korea and China crashed into the Tuning Fork In a hot beat and fantastic fashion. Bringing with them Joe's Van and their own DJ Straw Hat providing enjoyable jams between sets, the night was bursting with potential.

Up first was Joe's Van, a surfie collective from the Mount, offering up a mix of their own original songs and some really high quality covers of classics from the likes of James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Curtis Mayfield and closing (to a resounding and well deserved encore) on Th' Dudes Kiwi Anthem Bliss. Their performance had everything a good show needed, screaming fans, a saxophonist wearing sunglasses inside, a freestyle rap and an audience member who had enjoyed one too many beers getting on stage and making an ass of himself. Frontman Jake Nicholas's off cuff audience interaction was a treat, making the crowd feel like a mate and encouraging everyone to come and have a dance.

And then. the main act, Strangely Arousing. Knowing they had 5-band members, I was somewhat curious how they would manage to fit onto the stage. This isn't my first gig at the Tuning Fork and I'd never quite seen the stage so packed with instruments and electronic displays. Two keyboards, a few brass instruments, a couple of guitars large LED riddled crosses lining the back of the stage and a curiously psychedelic eye sitting centre stage, behind the drum kit. But alas, they managed to deftly fit together and still had plenty of room to express themselves. What truly impressed me about the act was the commitment, passion and attention that was displayed with each aspect of the experience of the performance as a whole. From the DJ keeping the crowd warm between acts (he doubled as the sound engineer too) to the excellent use of the lighting through-out the show; everything was directed and focused on providing the audience with the absolute and whole representation of their art-form.

The members on stage were grooving just as much as the crowd was, the banter was on point and hit the right spots to keep the crowd light and laughing. Musically, Strangely Arousing presents a fantastic experience best described as punchy, the weight of the melody and rhythm swaps from the guitar to the brass so well and draws on so many genres I, an absolute lover of categorisation struggle to give their style a name. Skanking guitar, swinging brass, punky drum-beats; whatever it's called, it makes for a fantastic night of dancing and singing. Throw in a cover of one of the more moody Fat Freddy's Drop songs and you've got a tasty musical parcel.

The high point of the show came at the end after an undeniably unique approach to the classic 'get everyone hyped for the last couple of songs' when the band members disappear off stage, an ecstatic slowly increasing in tempo performance of their jam Rebound that left the crowd buzzing with sonic joy. I'd previously listened to their debut album a few times but after seeing them live, I can happily say that I am confirmed fan of both their music and their vision and will very much be looking out for them the next time they roll into town.

 

About Strangely Arousing

Strangely Arousing are a five-piece progressive reggae/ska band, effortlessly blending other genres and styles of music to create their unique sound, laced with brass, synth, dub, and guitar. Strangely straddles the line between the bizarre you know you love and the weird you don’t know you love yet, like old pros. Whether you come to marinate in dubs and bass, or simply to melt into a puddle on the floor, Strangely Arousing offers a new wave of music inspired by New Zealand’s legendary hip-hop and reggae dub forefathers.

Formed in 2012 and hailing from Rotorua, this talented bunch made a statement with their first foray into the New Zealand music scene by winning the SmokeFree Pacifica Beats in 2013, and went on to win Battle of the Bands in 2014. They have since played at sell-out shows on multiple tours around NZ, and appearances on the main stages of festivals such as Raggamuffin and Rhythm and Vines, alongside their musical heroes such as Damien Marley, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Sticky Fingers. The band has performed internationally in the Middle East, China and South Korea, including headlining the Kiwi ExPats ball in Dubai in November 2018.

Their first EP Extended Play was released in 2014 followed by their studio album Strangely Arousing in 2017. Recorded at Roundhead Studios and debuting at number 3 on the NZ Music Charts, the album was also a finalist for the coveted Taite Music Prize ‘Best Independent Debut’ Award in 2018. The music video for single Groove Shooter made headlines, as it featured the members trying to win over Nazanin ‘Naz’ Khanjani from The Bachelor in a multi-million dollar house. Proudly weaving their M?ori heritage into their music with lyrics in Te Reo, Strangely deliver revelation by vibration.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Strangely Arousing

Releases

There are no releases to display for Strangely Arousing.

Other Reviews By rupakelly

Gig Review: Avantdale Bowling Club @ Powerstation, Auckland - 24/08/2019
05 Sep 2019 // by rupakelly
Avantdale Bowling Club, the project of Homebrew frontman Tom Scott released one of the best records of 2018. A personal, soul rending piece that spoke of West Auckland based Scott’s experiences with getting older, losing friends and the love of his newborn son.
Read More...
Taco Joint - Single Review: Burning Bridges
20 Mar 2019 // by rupakelly
Taco Joint is a 5 piece Jazz, come blues, come lounge-y act hailing from Auckland, New Zealand. Burning Bridges is their first official release and it shows a clear breadth of musical talent that is available in this project.
Read More...
Gig Review: Soaked Oats @ La Zappa, Auckland - 08/03/2019
19 Mar 2019 // by rupakelly
A free gig, especially one of Soaked Oats calibre are rare to come by. Set in the beautiful La Zappa bar, our space shared by the Auckland University Economics Club, the energy in the night was palpable.
Read More...
Lexxa - Single Review: Get Out
20 Nov 2018 // by rupakelly
Lexxa returns with Get Out, a follow up to their synth pop jam I Got Better Friends Now. After a good year of touring and opening for both local and international heavyweights, Get Out is an excellent second studio release.
Read More...
Alae - Album Review: Henry St
27 Oct 2018 // by rupakelly
Henry St is the debut LP from NZ indie-folk band Alae. After the success of their first self-titled EP Alae and the subsequent tour they undertook coupled with the release of their singles Too Strung Up and Stone Cold, Alae entered the studio to work on their first full length album.
Read More...
Gig Review: Steve Gunn & Arthur Ahbez @ Southern Fork Americana Festival, Auckland - 06/10/2018
10 Oct 2018 // by rupakelly
The Southern Fork Americana Festival returns again to New Zealand, bringing with it a tantalising and exciting selection of artists from a range of genres held under the umbrella of Americana. Expect folk, plaid and all things good and wholesome to vibe out to steel guitars from a who's who of some of the premier artists kicking it in the scene today.
Read More...
Biobird - EP Review: Counter Productive
05 Oct 2018 // by rupakelly
Biobird is a one-man Dubstep project, with the main man Caleb Bird hailing from Hamilton. This is his third release, and his second EP, titled Counter Productive.
Read More...
Gig Review: Daffodils @ Tuning Fork, Auckland - 27/09/2018
01 Oct 2018 // by rupakelly
I spent the best times of my formative years adventuring into a multitude of venues, gigs, and shows. These gave me many fond memories of meeting up with friends, going out and enjoying our mutual interest: music.
Read More...
View All Articles By rupakelly

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • ROCKSTAR
    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
  • GO CRAZY
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
  • ROSES (IMANBEK REMIX)
    SAINt JHN
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • BLINDING LIGHTS
    The Weeknd
  • STUCK WITH U
    Ariana Grande And Justin Bieber
  • WHAT'S POPPIN'
    Jack Harlow
  • ROVER
    S1mba feat. DTG
  • BREAKING ME
    Topic feat. A7S
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem