28 Oct 2020

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Gig Review: The Others Way Festival @ K'Road, Auckland - 30/08/2019

01 Sep 2019 // A review by Paul Goddard

K Rd is electric!

Even Tesla has opened up its Auckland branch on Auckland’s most (in)famous street. It’s only 3 pm, but there is already a buzz in the air as the build-up to The Others Way pt. 5 gets underway.

The many bars are starting to fill and as I sit in The Thirsty Dog people are working out which bands to see and which ones they are gutted they will miss. The line-up gets better every year but with this being the best musical pub crawl in NZ the logistics mean picking 8 to 10 bands that you really want to check out. I have mine locked and loaded and share my humble opinion with a few gents who have travelled up from Tauranga.

The Others Way is about discovery more than anything else. That it sells out every year when it could be argued that most people haven’t heard of most of the acts is a testament to the people at Flying Out who do an amazing job promoting and organising.

First up I head over to the all-ages venue on Pitt Street to check out Mermaidens (pictured) after a tip-off from one of the punters at The Thirsty Dog.

So glad I did. Impossibly young and talented, Mermaidens create a sound that has echoes of The Cure. Their mid-paced and hypnotic set shows huge potential. It wouldn’t sound out of place in a Peaky Blinders soundtrack.

Great start to the evening so I hang around to check out Moon Children. Doing a quick google of Moon Children isn’t recommended as it throws up some questionable sites and whilst they have some tunes they, unfortunately, pale in comparison to Mermaidens.

Darkness has set in and after a quick feed and bumping into familiar old faces I head down to Whammy to catch Miss June. I saw them a couple of months ago in London where they played one of the best gigs I have ever seen. Whammy is packed but it's more of a “quiet before the storm” kind of vibe. I am sitting at the back typing into my phone and then decide to head front and centre.

Miss June enter, then explode with a mixture of joyous energy and angst. The pit starts and bodies collide as the sound bangs off the walls. In a blur of sensory overload, it is all over too quickly as I race back to The Thirsty Dog to catch Sulfate (pictured).

Different venue and a different darker vibe. Peter Ruddle from (Wax Chattels) on Keyboard with just drums as backup creates a menacing soundscape that sucks you in and swallows you whole.

I walk back down to Galatos relaxed but pumped to see Wax Chattels who I first discovered at The Others Way last year. The room is full as Tom starts pummeling his stripped-back drum kit. One of the best drummers in NZ right now I don’t know where he gets the energy (he is also in Miss June)

Once again I am lost in a blur of colliding people and smiling faces as the Key’s cut through a wall of sound. Wax Chattels are one of the most interesting and challenging bands to emerge in recent years and one you need to see.

I am now shattered but there is one personal highlight that I thought I would never get to see.

Back in the 80’s in the UK I was a kid who would fall asleep listening to the legendary John Peel show. One night he played a song that gave me goosebumps. It was called She Speeds.

I went to HMV the next day and bought my first Straitjacket Fits (pictured) album. Eventually I formed a band and to soundcheck my vocals I would (and still do to this day) sing Straitjacket Fits songs. I didn’t even know they were from New Zealand until I moved here in 2003.

I walk into The Studio as they take to the stage and from the first notes I am mesmerised. Almost frozen to the spot. I don’t move and just stare at the stage smile on my face goosebumps on my arms.

Something I will never forget.

Thank you, Shayne Carter, and thank you The Others Way. You are a life-changing experience.

Photos courtesy of Chris Zwaagdyk/Zed Pics
View the full photo gallery here


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