19 May 2024

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Voodoo Bloo - Gig Review: Radicals w/ Voodoo Bloo @ Meow, Wellington - 29/09/2022

30 Sep 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
On a stormy, unusually wet Thursday, (even by Wellington’s standards), I approached Meow bar in the heart of the CBD to attend what would prove to be Voodoo Bloo’s homecoming gig of their recent tour. This event, their third to last, is in promotion for their latest offering, The Blessed Ghost. With grungy Sydney rock band, Radicals, the two bands had toured throughout Australasia spreading an appreciation of jagged, abrasive and high energy alternative rock n’ roll.

I interviewed Voodoo Bloo in the green room, where they initially appeared a little worried about the weather, particularly Rory who paced around the venue whilst on call. The rest of the band was soon relaxed and joking amongst themselves, unlike Radicals who exhibited a slightly nervous energy as they passed through. When asked about it, they told me Radical’s lead singer was feeling a little ill and on cue he arrived in the room to use the kettle for a much needed tea.

During the interview, (which covered replacing the band members with their musical heroes in a hypothetical situation), a string of synth notes heralded the beginning of The Night’s set and we all departed to see them.

The Night is a local Wellington band with some heavy rock elements, tempered with pop song structures. Female lead vocals kept the melody at the forefront, assisted by keys that came in and out of the mix depending on the song. Despite a slightly disappointing turnout for them, the band played on and by their last song had got the bar moving to their punkiest songs.

Then, Auckland band Sandtrap (pictured) took the stage. This band had quite a different sound with a prominent distorted bass, staccato indie guitar riffs and impressive quick drum work. The band covered The Strokes, but this inspiration was evident in all their songs, along with Muse and Arctic Monkeys. The band was fluid, fast and fun. The crowd began to grow.

Radicals came up next, giving the headline position to Voodoo Bloo. I was confused at first as the bassist was singing, but he soon explained at the end of the first song that their lead singer was in no shape to sing tonight. However, by the fifth song, their singer had taken the microphone duties again. Despite his cough altering his voice significantly, he soldiered on to perform their most recognizable hits such as I Hate Myself and Feel. Finally, he came off, exhausted with a tea in hand, but as a special surprise, Rory from Voodoo Bloo was called to the stage along with Radical’s tour manager, to perform Rage Against The Machine’s classic, Killing In The Name. This song, despite not really being a real band on the line-up, had awoken the venue. People were out of their seats.

By the time Voodoo Bloo (pictured) came out, the crowd had swelled to become an impressive ring of punters who were hungry for more. Despite the grunge rock angst, (and then rap rock) which had followed, Voodoo Bloo began gently like their latest album, easing the audience into their story to tell with For Asterisk, although the intensity of the air was still present. As with many Voodoo Bloo songs, there is a tension in the songs either imminent or fully explored with unusual textures. With Jackson their drummer welcoming the crowd as the band swapped instruments before they started We’re Here, Love is Somewhere Else, he pounded the drums and allowed the floodgates to open as the band whipped themselves into what seemed like a frenzied state. Daniel, their lead (or perhaps I should say, effect) guitarist danced across the stage to the music, his hair flailing behind his erratic movements. Their bassist, Olly, while not as wild, held down the anchor points of the song solidly while providing his own energy to the songs. Despite the wildness of the performance, Rory’s vocals remained in tune, an impressive feat considering the amount of noise this band can generate. Throughout their performance the band kept the crowd entertained but in their minds.

Thanking the crowd between songs and speaking a little about inspiration for songs, the band was professional and powerful. Voodoo Bloo pulled back the intensity to perform Tomorrow Person, with the crowd needing the rest after the onslaught of songs such as Default and Skin.

The set ended with the one-two punch of The Blessed Ghost (Older Now) and Continuous Simulation, just as their album does, and Rory and Daniel both fell to the floor in exhausted heaps. As they triumphantly descended from the stage, sweaty and smiling, they were greeted by their fans old and new in their home city.

Photo Credit: Nicholas E. Clark


About Voodoo Bloo

Voodoo Bloo are an energetic young alternative rock band influenced by artists such as My Bloody Valentine, Interpol, Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Voodoo Bloo


The Blessed Ghost
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Year: 2020
Type: Album

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