27 Jan 2022
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking
  • Articles »
  • Reviews »
  • Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 4 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 04/11/2020

Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 4 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 04/11/2020

07 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland

So, it was back to Ding Dong for the final heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland and Muzic.net.nz. I had been really looking forward to seeing Black Sands as by all accounts they are a great band, but unfortunately one of them fell ill and they had to cancel. On a positive note it did mean that On Tick were brought back to bring it back to a 5 band line-up, and as I thought they should have gone through from their heat it meant they had another opportunity to prove their worth.

First up was Libermere, a trio featuring Adam Moore (guitar, vocals), Shaun Caffell (bass) and Anaru Broughton (drums). They were the first band I have come across in a long time who use an electronic drum kit, so they were on at the beginning to ease the changeovers, as everyone else would be using On Tick’s kit as a base. Nerves were frazzled by the failure of a DI on the kit itself, but that was fortunately resolved and they started with The Lazarus Effect, which seemed somewhat of an unusual choice as this was a slower instrumental, but The Alchemist allowed them to start shaking loose and relax. This was only their third ever gig, but as they turned it up and became more metallic, they definitely started to generate a groove. There were also some interesting things happening at the back, with Anaru using rimshots for effect, as well as some complex patterns. When they covered Fairies Wear Boots they did a good job and generated strong audience response, but both the band and the audience enjoyed the last song most, Queen of the Stone Age’s No One Knows. However, this was a competition and not a normal gig and to play 2 cover songs in a set of just 7 (in total, there was just 1 other cover version played over all 4 heats) was probably not a wise decision.

After a drum kit change, up came On Tick. They had only been asked that day to do the gig, so it was the same setlist as the previous heat, apart from the final song where they swapped WWII for Rats. As before, Radioshit really grabs attention from the off, mixing the likes of System of a Down with a hardcore punk attitude, abrasive and full of energy. Aidan was really going for it tonight, ripping into his guitar and spitting venom in his vocals, while Matt was all over his 5-string, providing either support or counter melodies and Brendan was at the back providing both dynamic assault and beast-like vocals at the right time. There was massive enthusiasm and desire coming from the stage, and the crowd definitely responded. We were getting finger popping on the bass, at times there was some weird funk being brought to us while Don’t Know Who I Am was massively aggressive yet also contained some complex over the top melodies which moved away and then returned. They hit the groove early on and maintained it until the end. There was no doubt they had set the bar very high indeed and given three bands were going through tonight out of the five, even having not seen any of the others I was sure they would be in the semis.

This then brought us to World On Fire who comprise Nick Moriarty (drums, vocals) from Auckland, who lived in Japan for the last decade, and Saki Nakayama (guitar, vocals) from Tokyo, Japan. They started playing together about 6 months ago after the first lockdown when they realised they had a common love of Japanese alternative/indie bands and other British/American alternative music, but although Nick has been in other bands this is a first for Saki, so the preliminary heat was not only the band’s first-ever gig together but the first time she has been on stage, and she was decidedly nervous for tonight. Lyrics are a mix of Japanese and English, with both providing lead vocals for different songs, and right from Nyusion they gained attention from the crowd. The reason is this is alternative music that is very different indeed, abrasive with attitude but also hugely experimental. The more they played the more it reminded me of the styles of music coming out of CBGB’s in the mid Seventies, when there was a real melting pot of expression, and as they continued the more I enjoyed it, with Sonic Proof probably being the highlight. The pace changed throughout by the set, and by the end no-one was quite sure what they had seen and heard, but all felt better for it.

Next up were Electric Moccasins who comprise Sidharth Pagad (vocals, guitar), Hrish Chandratre (guitar), Simon Murcott (bass) and Dyames Ortiz (drums). Not only was this just their second ever gig, but the band had also only been together for a month, so they had already done well in getting through the heats. As they were setting up, I noticed Simon was wearing a fretless bass, which for me is pretty much a guarantee I am going to enjoy the band, as it takes a special character to play one. From the first notes of Garden they hit a groove, with Sidharth providing strong edgy vocals, and the song morphed from something emotional into a sound which was far heavier and in your face while retaining melody. There was a feeling of classic Seventies to much of the music, with a blues base, and in Sidharth they have a commanding frontman while Hrish is a fine guitarist, always in control and providing controlled leads while there was all good interplay between them. The rhythm section laid down a solid base, which then allowed the guitarists to build from there. The sound itself was huge, yet they were prepared to break that with some acapella vocals to provide sonic relief. Passage was the highlight, with a superb guitar solo, and overall, I really enjoyed the set. One wonders what they are going to be like in the future if they have only been together a month.

Last up were Glass Throne, who came into the event with a strong reputation. A three-piece comprising Justin Robinson (lead vocals, bass), Owen McKibbin (guitar, backing vocals) and Daniel Cutfield (drums, backing vocals), they are unusual in that Owen also plays organ while Justin moves to lead guitar. This allows them to be quite different in their musical approach, as they can mix it up in ways the audience may not be expecting, and certainly drive songs in different directions. Just a few bars into Living Dying I was already a fan, as here is a group of youngsters who are determined to put on a show. Whether that is undertaking a guitar solo with the guitar over the heads of the audience, or stick twirling aplenty, these guys realise a live gig is about more than just music. There were times when they were in the centre of the stage egging each other on, and others where Owen ditched his guitar for a few bars of keyboards, before coming back with finger tapping while Justin provided intricate lines and Daniel classic drum fills as well as showboating: they reminded me of Atomic Rooster, yet in an updated manner. Cage saw them finish the set with Justin on electric guitar and Owen on keyboards throughout. This was far more metallic, but for me there was not enough bottom end, so it did not hit quite as hard as it could have.

Now it was all over, and all that was left was for the judges to make their decision and then have Andrew Treeby announce it from the stage. The deliberation took much longer than I expected, but finally they came out and going through was Glass Throne, On Tick, and World of Fire. I admit that last one threw me, but I also understood where the judges were coming from. If it were me then I would have given that slot to Electric Moccasins, but I am very happy I am not judging as the next night would be the first semi-final, and that was going to be tough! Well done Ding Dong for putting on yet another great show at everyone’s favourite rock dive.


Photo Credit: Aaron Leece

 

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Melanie - EP Review: ABCD
25 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Since releasing their debut EP back in 2018, Auckland pop/punk outfit Melanie have been making quite a name for themselves in the old-fashioned way of doing things, namely playing anywhere and everywhere, and having total belief in themselves and their music. When I first saw them, I was impressed that here was an unsigned band who had invested in having their debut album pressed in vinyl and had a few different t-shirts available as well as some other merch including stickers.
Read More...
Gig Review: Checaine & After Forever @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 22/01/2022
23 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
As normal I got in early to the venue, then soon left again to have a beer up the road with the guys from Checaine. I was mightily impressed as they had brought a bus up from Hamilton with a load of fans onboard – one way of guaranteeing playing in a strange town in front of a friendly crowd.
Read More...
Gig Review: Blindfolded and Led To The Woods @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 15/01/2022
16 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
I have been looking forward to tonight for ages, as Auckland went into lockdown in August with all gigs being cancelled until just before Christmas, and even then, that was with limited attendance. This means that tonight was going to be my first gig in five months, and given that I covered more than 30 in the first part of the year, that was some cold turkey.
Read More...
Fool's Lagoon - Single Review: Bizarre
13 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Bizarre is the debut single from Auckland-based quintet Fool’s Lagoon. Mark, Connor, Joe, Matt and Joshua have created a bright and summery indie pop jangler which is heavily guitar-based yet is somehow light and airy throughout.
Read More...
Powder Chutes - EP Review: Sweet Noise Pollution
11 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There is always that little hint of concern when reading a press release for a new EP and realise it contains a quote from yours truly for the single which was taken from it. How would they take it this time around if I panned this release?
Read More...
Tall Folk - Album Review: Wiser
11 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
2021 was a wonderful musical adventure for me as I threw myself into the NZ music scene, and towards the end of the year I realised that with nearly 200 reviews of local music I really should work out my Top 10 singles, EP’s, albums and gigs (check out https://www.muzic.
Read More...
Pass The Peas - EP Review: Pop
06 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This three-track EP is the latest release from Poneke-based quintet Pass The Peas, who describe their music as Wasabi spicy Rock n' Roll, whatever that means. To my ears it means they play mid-paced alternative pop rock with a strong concentration on the gravelly and emotional vocals of Kurt with loads of space within the arrangements, which are well-produced.
Read More...
Black Sands - Single Review: Apocalypse of Eden
22 Dec 2021 // by Kev Rowland
To my mind this single is long overdue, as I have been lucky enough to catch these guys play live a few times this year and they always put on an amazing show. Comprising Cameron Owens (guitars), Ruaidri Keens (guitars), Matt Hammond (bass) and James Trimmer (drums) they are one of those very rare breeds, a hard-hitting metal act with no need for a singer.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DOWN UNDER
    Luude feat. Colin Hay
  • COLD HEART (PNAU REMIX)
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
  • MR REGGAE
    L.A.B.
  • ABCDEFU
    GAYLE
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • HEAT WAVES
    Glass Animals
  • EASY ON ME
    Adele
  • FINGERS CROSSED
    Lauren Spencer-Smith
  • SHIVERS
    Ed Sheeran
  • STAY
    The Kid LAROI And Justin Bieber
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem