28 Nov 2022
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  • Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian w/ Channeled & Mudshark @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 10/10/2020

Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian w/ Channeled & Mudshark @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 10/10/2020

12 Oct 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland

First time at the Ding Dong Lounge since we went back into lockdown, and tonight was set to be a special night with Coridian and Outside In back from their wonderful sets on 11th July at the same venue. Unfortunately, Mikey Brown from Outside In was struck down with a lurgy and was unable to perform (although he valiantly attended tonight at least for a while, boy did he look crook) but Channeled stepped in at the last minute, having played The Thirsty Dog the night before, and were up for being part of the Dead Witch Relaunch.

I caught up with Mudshark before the gig, and they were plotting with bar manager Nik for him to join them onstage later that night. So, I wandered upstairs, walked through the door and… stopped. The booths have gone, speakers are now on the floor, the fish tank is gone, there is a new DJ booth, a new lighting rig, PA, and even some new seating next to the sound desk (although I did have to stifle a chuckle when the barman was asked at one point in the evening if it was okay to sit in the VIP area). It is still the Ding Dong we all know and love, but it feels cleaner, more professional, and ready for lift off. I asked Kris Raven what the new sound was like onstage and was told it was really clear, and "bloody loud".

Time was pressing on and I kept checking my watch, as surely Mudshark would soon be on the stage but where was everybody? With bassist Neb now safely(?) in the UK, the band have morphed into a rather unusual quartet in that they have guitar/keyboards and drums, along with Rory at the front. They started with Uncle Blen and definitely let everyone know they were here. There were a few people wearing Mudshark shirts and some congregated at the front where they proceeded to have an absolute blast as the band made full use of the new PA to create something heavy but light, solid with a groove, and a definite sense of swagger. Rory moved between ‘normal’ singing and trying to rip his lungs out of his chest and the longer they played the more relaxed and energetic they became.

Mudshark also played the only cover of the night, Lamb of God’s Laid To Rest, with Nik joining on dual vocals with Rory, and they blasted it out. Every metalhead in the place was certainly satiated by the end of their set. It will be interesting to see if they stay in this format, but certainly the bass was not missed in their sound. What was missing in action though was the crowd, as there were just enough for people to enjoy what was happening but not nearly enough for the bands to be really appreciated.

Before the gig I caught up with Ben Ruegg from Channeled who told me that he is actually a music teacher. He then introduced me to guitarist Matt Garratt and bassist Michelle Anderton and told me they were also music teachers, all at different schools! Drummer Branden Pritchard was doing his best to bring down the average age of the band as he used to a pupil of Ben’s!

As soon as Channeled started playing there was obviously an issue with the sound, as people speaking a few feet away from me were louder than the band, but it wasn’t going to stop the guys from having fun as they ripped into Isolation, a track they released a few months ago. The sound soon improved and as it was cranked up everyone paid close attention to the twin guitar band, which is more hard rock than metal but combining elements of both alongside power pop. Given they were following such a heavy outfit they made the wise decision to drop a softer song from the set and concentrate more on giving the crowd what they wanted, and everyone was soon lapping it up. Both Matt and Ben provide lead guitar, with Ben also providing all vocals, but it is not unusual for the guitars to be missing altogether and for Michelle to be providing the melody, using a pick to provide a definitive strike on the bass. Then at the back was Brendan who is possibly the happiest drummer I have ever seen and played the whole gig with a massive smile on his face, looking as if he simply could not believe where he was, but definitely there on merit providing a strong backbone.

The highlight of the night was probably Is The Glass? which will be on the new album (due later this year); far more complex, this had some string interactions and weaving of melodies. The longer they played the better they were, and it was only later that I discovered they had actually only played a few gigs together, so this is still early days for them in many ways. When We’re Gone is another fine example of bass leading the melody and groove, with the guitars coming crunching in over the top yet also quite dreamy and reflective. By the end of the set the crowd were singing and heavily involved in the music, all having a blast.

What is there left to say about Coridian? The Raven brothers play as if their lives depend on it, and somehow in the middle of the maelstrom is Dity Maharaj whose vocals are always clear no matter how much jumping around he is doing. Kris was resplendent in an Outside In t-shirt, but tonight was a night for baseball caps with all the band wearing their merch, which provided them with a solid look. They kicked off with Algorithm and immediately it was on. This is a band that does not need to warm up or get the crowd on their side: they get onstage, plug in, kick off, and the world is immediately tumultuous, sweaty, and full of energy. Nick is the solid rock, Kris is always in control, while Mike continues to do his best Scott Ian impression and Dity goes between standing still while he belts out some superb vocals to becoming a ball of energy wondering how far he can jump.

The Witness started with some complex drum patterns, and they really know how to build emotion and power, with Dity always at the front. When he announced that it was only their second gig of the year I was amazed as they are just so tight, so together, that one imagines they are gigging all the time, although in fairness 2020 has been somewhat unusual. Their whole set was a blur as the crowd were egging them on, the band were responding, and they soon ripped through the song list. I could not believe it when they started playing Seed 2 as I knew that was the last one, but what happened to the rest of them? It was almost as if everyone there was so in the zone that normal rules of time and space had changed – there was just no way they had played all the songs, it seemed as if they had only been up there for five minutes! Of course, there was no way that was going to be the end, so they came back with Wicked Game before finishing with Blind Faith. Way too soon it was over, and one of the finest Kiwi bands around were looking to pack up their gear while the DJ made his way to the new booth to start his set.

This was a great way to relaunch Dead Witch, who have made some serious investment into improving the experience for punters, and all power to them for doing so at a time when it will not have been easy. Tonight, there were three very different bands, who really complemented each other, and it was a real shame that there were not more people there to see it. Local bands and venues need support, so get out there!


Photos courtesy of Morgan Creative
Coridian
Mudshark
Channeled

 

About Coridian

Coridian is an progressive hard rock group from Auckland, New Zealand. Formed in 2015, the band consists of Mike Raven (Guitar), Kris Raven (Drums), Nick Raven (Bass) & Dity Maharaj (Vocals).

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).

They've worked with some of the best names in NZ and Australian music including Zorran Mendonsa (City Of Souls, Shepherds Reign)) Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Claemus) and Ermin Hamidovic (Architects/Intervals).

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Coridian

Releases

Eldur
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Caldera
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Oceanic
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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