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  • Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian with Outside In and Hospital Sports @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 11/07/2020

Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian with Outside In and Hospital Sports @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 11/07/2020

12 Jul 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland
Tonight’s gig was a series of firsts for me; it was my first visit to the Ding Dong Lounge, my first gig of the year, the first time I had seen any of these bands play live, and my first ever gig review for Muzic.net.nz. Consequently, I ended up in the centre of town quite early and was somewhat surprised to be allowed into the bar. I started chatting with the boys from Hospital Sports, and then made myself known to Kris from Coridian - we had been speaking a lot recently and it was great to finally meet him in person. After grabbing some beers, we made our way upstairs to where Outside In were undertaking their soundcheck.


Hospital Sports took to the stage first with bassist Laurence Diack wearing a Celtic Frost sweatshirt when he arrived tonight, and even though it would be hard to argue that band has been a major influence on their sound, there is no doubt that the band are far heavier than on their new album On We and You. Of the six songs on offer tonight, four were taken from that set, but the band did not really interact with the audience at all and it felt like it was an opportunity wasted in some ways. There was quite a lot of re-tuning Danny’s guitar between songs, and to compensate they set some loops so music was still playing, but it would have been good to have at least some conversation with the crowd. For the guys it was all about the music, with the track Life Support being a real standout, as it is on the album. They need to work on their interaction with the audience, but musically they were very solid indeed and I'll look forward to seeing them again.

From a trio onstage with plenty of room, we quickly moved to Outside In, who are a quintet with keyboards and two guitarists with large pedal boards, and all of a sudden, the stage appeared to be a very small place indeed as they launched into Blue Dragon. That wasn’t going to stop singer Mikey Brown from being incredibly animated and really getting into the music, although I must point out that in more than forty years of attending gigs this is the first time I have ever seen a singer wearing a dressing gown on stage! Of the three bands tonight, these guys have by far the most complex sound, with Joe Park often conjuring sounds out of his guitar which are more often associated with keyboards and Jonnie Barnard moving to an eight-string during the set. Adam Tobeck was wearing headphones to enable him to keep the band on track, while bassist Elliot II Seung was a true revelation. During soundcheck he was hardly moving, just playing intricate runs as if it was nothing, but on stage he was moving as much as he could being blocked in against a wall, and always in danger of losing an eye to Joe’s guitar, and providing really strong backing vocals. Then there was Mikey; using two different microphones, as one was an effect, he is in his element fronting the band and it shows. Although musically they are quite different, I found myself being reminded of Mice On Stilts in their approach.

The crowd were reacting strongly, so much so that one couple started making out while standing on seating - visible to everyone. They obviously felt Outside In were creating a certain mood. Mikey was having a blast; while the guys concentrated on the music, he was living the experience, bringing everyone in the audience along for the ride. These guys have been gaining a great deal of exposure for their album Karmatrain with positive reviews both inside and outside New Zealand, and that has obviously boosted their confidence. With comparisons to the likes of Radiohead and Karnivool it will be interesting to hear how this comes through on their next album, which Jonnie told me they are already working on. All too soon they were playing Om and their set was over.

This meant it was now time for Coridian, and there was no doubt that this was the band which most of the audience had come to see. This was the launch gig for their new album Eldur, and tonight we were going to be treated to 6 of the 8 songs from that release. Coridian kicked off proceedings with old favourite Nonetheless. With Kris wearing headphones at the back, bassist Nick staying to close to one wall, and guitarist Mike staking out his own area of the stage to one side, it was down to Dity Maharaj to dominate the centre ground, something he did with ease. The microphone stand was dispensed with before the gig even started, which is just as well as here is a band that really does bounce. Kris and Nick may not move nearly as much as they concentrate on locking down the foundations, but looking at the way Mike was headbanging, jumping up and down, and being into the music reminded me so much of Scott Ian from Anthrax: he was on fire. With a musical support which only comes from many years of playing together, it allowed Dity to have fun and show off his vocal chops, which he did with incredible style. But it was not just the band who were into it, the crowd were moving as much as they were. Dity was the perfect front man who knew exactly what to do to egg punters on that little bit more.

This was Coridian’s night with their fans, and they knew it. Everyone was more than happy to sing the bridge unaccompanied to Rite of Passage, as they were all there for the party. This week Mike celebrated reaching 40, so there were shots onstage to celebrate but then it was back on with the show. Putting the slower and more emotional Lost Heroes in halfway through the set was perfect as it allowed both the band and the crowd to get their breath back so they could power in for the rest. When Coridian ended with Seed II there was no way they were going to be allowed to leave at that, and when the crowd all started shouting for Wicked Game the band happily obliged. I doubt if Chris Isaak ever thought his soft and gentle number could ever be turned into something so passionate and heavy with an audience shouting the words and everyone moving, but it definitely was last night.

Three great New Zealand bands, all with new material available, what a night.


Photos thanks and courtesy to Ginelle Cocks / Ginny C Photography

 

About Coridian

Coridian is an alternative/progressive rock group from Auckland, New Zealand.

Formed in 2015, the band consists of brothers Mike Raven (Guitars/Keys), Kris Raven (Drums/Percussion), Nick Raven (Bass) and Dity Maharaj (Vocals/Lyrics/Art).

They’ve been described, "Raven brothers (Mike, Kris and Nick respectively) work as a well-oiled machine; the gear box of which is Maharaj, his vocals taking the band from a hum to a scream within seconds" (Ambient Light).

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Coridian

Releases

Hava
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Eldur
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Caldera
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Oceanic
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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