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Freaky Meat - Gig Review: Freaky Meat @ Backbeat, Auckland - 18/05/2019

20 May 2019 // A review by Shade

Wordcore at its finest: Freaky Meat Fugu EP Release Party, Saturday 18th May 2019, Backbeat, Auckland.

I have never regretted going to see a band play live, especially when it’s to celebrate a new release, and one band I consistently make an effort for are local Wordcore masters: Freaky Meat, and the release of their new EP, Fugu, was no exception.

Conveniently, Fugu went live on all digital platforms the day of the show, so there was no excuse not to check it out beforehand. I like to listen before a gig, just like you might enjoy reading a book before you see the movie, it means you get the full experience.

With Fugu, it's four tracks are akin to treating yourself to an audio book of short stories that just so happens to come with an amazingly beautiful, diverse and animated soundtrack at no extra charge.

But Freaky Meat in EP format is just one facet of this incredible beast. Like most bands, the live show is a very different experience and a great chance to explore the musical side in a way I have yet to hear captured on a recording.

In the live sphere, John McNab (guitar), Julian Pettitt (bass) and Rod Redgrave (drums) do not disappoint, this band is tight, impressive, very well-seasoned; the vibe is inspiring and addictive. If you're in a band and want some tips, these guys consistently serve up a live performance masterclass with ease.

Then add front man, Shane Hollands, painting poetic, lyrical landscapes that become the icing on the cake of the genre defying, intricately crafted musical delicacies presented by the band. Intelligent, unafraid, raw, honest, and real, yet polished and experienced; Freaky Meat explore and combine both musical and spoken word elements in quite a unique manner. You’ll discover rocky, jazzy, groovy licks that tumble into darker, intensely satisfying guitar melodies that then craftfully tumble on to the next adventure without batting an eyelid. All while providing the canvas for gruff, gritty observation and, at moments, snapshots of reality. It's just a bit clever.

If you’ve never experienced Auckland’s local live scene – good news! There is life beyond your couch, Spotify playlist, and ability to binge watch the latest TV series. All your favourite artists started where bands like Freaky Meat currently are. Hundreds of bands are working hard to produce new creative, fun experiences to enhance our lives.

But with few Auckland venues left, the time is now. Be brave. Check out the same venue on different nights without knowing what is on. Find a venue you like and make it your local. Stand up the front, ear plugs in and head bang until your neck hurts. Or stand at the back discretely nodding in time to the bits that take your fancy. Your efforts will be appreciated.

And when you find a band you like, stay loyal and support them. Invest in this joy. Buy the CD, wear the t-shirt with pride. Bands appreciate this and in return you will be rewarded – venues will thrive, bands will be inspired, nightlife entertainment restored. And you, as an audience, will have more fun in your life. Try it out. What’s the worst that could happen? The result sounds like a good deal to me.

Freaky Meat’s full discography is available now on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp. Freaky Meat would like to thank King Ketchup and the Red Light Runners for playing epic live support at the Fugu release party. Find them on Facebook and all good streaming platforms.

Posted by Superduck 19/05/2019


About Freaky Meat

Freaky Meat are a dynamic and innovative act who have successfully combined elements of Jazz, Funk and Rock with beat-speak styles inspired by Jack Kerouac, C. R. Avery, Gill Scot Heron and Captain Beefheart.

Their performance will capture you with mesmerizing narratives of life, travels, experiences and people with front man, premiere Auckland beat-poet Shane Hollands, drawing from his most diverse, exciting and personal adventures.

Freaky Meat are seasoned performers in Auckland's live scene, recently joining forces with the likes of Andrew Fagan and The People, Black Sand Diva and The Neo-Kalashnikovs. They have also performed live on Kiwi FM's 31 Bands in a Box, at Auckland University Orientation and featured twice at Titirangi Music Festival and Prana New Year’s Festival, Coromandel.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Freaky Meat


Year: 2011
Type: Album
Latenight Kebab
Year: 2010
Type: EP

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