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Racing - Gig Review: Racing @ Galatos, Auckland - 30/11/2018

02 Dec 2018 // A review by Paul Goddard

Preparing for this review was hilarious. Do a Google search for Racing and yep everything that involves coming first (nope, not those kind of websites) is there except the band.

So I move onto the next act and go one step further and google Dual band and get a lot of shite about wireless networks etc and don’t even get me started on a google search of Starrr or Starr band or even Starr band Auckland, nothing , nada ,niltch....so with phone firmly back in the pocket I buy a beer and let the music do the talking.

It’s a decent turn out at Galatos as Dual get into their thing. A duo (who would have guessed it?) They have an immediate energy and a sound that could fill any venue. They blast off and don’t ever let up. It's pop with a twist and spark and the singer (fuck knows who he is? thanks google) has a great voice even when soaked in echo and reverb.

Their sound is fresh and reminds me of the first time I saw Pop Will Eat Itself (now there is a good band name that you should google), Dual have that something that can’t be learned or bought. That kind of effortless cool that so many bands try too hard to emulate.

Things are moving along at a decent pace and the crowd are getting into it as the energy is filtering through and then things slow a little as the samples and loops are stripped away to just guitar and vocals. I don’t know what the song is called but it gave me goosebumps and elevated Dual to a whole other level and puts them in pole position.

As they finish I get the sense they are carving their own path and that is intoxicating like watching a band that you know people are going to be talking a lot about in the future.

Starr potentially have the worst band name ever, but one song in and I am hooked. It’s a self-assured statement of intent that flows over a warmed up crowd who are wanting to dance.

Things carry on in a similar vein and then about 3 songs in I find I am drifting into space. It's all feeling a bit samey, a little less shiny and I need a pit stop. This Starr is getting a little dimmer. I find myself looking round the crowd, the venue, the ceiling. Thinking about how good Dual were and in my mind they are ahead.

Nothing wrong with what Starr do, but even this morning putting this together I can’t remember one song or any particular stand out moment. Following Dual was going to be difficult. For me Starr’s songs started to blend into one and I think I would have noticed them more had they opened the gig.

So here we go, Racing race, no sorry, walk onto the stage and are greeted by an audience keen to move. If Only is the opener and the place goes nuts. Ed’s sparkly jacket acts like a mirror ball as the band and crowd instantly connect.

Tonight is confirmation that NZ has some real fucking talent. Musicians that are playing for themselves and not aiming for just 5 minutes of The Edge or The Rock exposure off the Gulf of Hauraki whilst sipping on a Mai FM cocktail.

This is a band that manages to take all its influences, put them in a blender and come out with something completely different.

This is indie music for people who don’t like indie, disco for people who have never heard of Heatwave. This is music that connects on all levels to all ages and all genres. Music you feel.

The songs tonight lose the sheen of production we hear on the recordings and we get to see a band that clearly loves playing live. Even Ed’s dad dancing is engaging. Given the band members previous history it is no surprise they know how to keep an audience engaged.

There is a nod to many musical genres and psychedelic leanings throughout most of the songs but something more primitive is underneath it all. It permeates and penetrates. This is primal music fired through a defence screen of pop sensibility.

To break this review down to a song by song analysis is pointless. Every song tonight is a part of the bigger picture. The set builds in all the right places and things just get better as the band up the gears.

It sucks you in because we all like something new and shiny but what holds us is the soul, the rhythm. That is what I can feel tonight and see in all the people here moving as one as each wave of music flows over them.

The place is swimming.

The whole set is a highlight. Not one dull moment. This band are special, you need to see them now because pretty soon I am guessing they will be spending most of their time overseas playing places much bigger than Galatos.

Tonight the race was won the minute Racing took the stage.

Game Over.

Photos by Matthew O'neill / Shifty Jesus Photography


About Racing

Racing is a Rock and Roll band from Auckland. Hypnotic groove-based rock and roll with touches of English big beat.

Described as "the thoughts of a crocodile in flood season," Auckland based Racing is a Hypno Rock band, featuring Edward Knowles, Sven Pettersen, Izaak Houston and Daniel Barrett. Their first, self titled, self produced EP was released in June 2015 and was met with immediate critical acclaim, showcasing a sound that is mesmeric and ominous.

Known for their ferocious live show, Racing made their festival debut at Rhythm and Vines in 2016.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Racing


Real Dancing
Year: 2018
Type: Album
The Bass
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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