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  • The Bravo Uniform Mikes - Gig Review: The Bravo Uniform Mikes w/ Cherry Punch @ Paisley Stage, Napier - 26/05/2023

The Bravo Uniform Mikes - Gig Review: The Bravo Uniform Mikes w/ Cherry Punch @ Paisley Stage, Napier - 26/05/2023

29 May 2023 // A review by Rob Harbers
In a venture threatening the eardrums of all those who come near, the ever-so-subtly named Bravo Uniform Mikes have paired up with Cherry Punch for the Bum Punch tour across Te-Ika-a Maui.

Kicking off at Napier’s coolest little venue (tm), Paisley Stage, this pairing gave a powerful demonstration of the treats in store for those who make the effort to catch them on the remaining dates.

Filling the role of Local Support Band were Ahuriri’s Mirrored Walls, with a sound deeply reminiscent of a not-so-long ago era, i.e. around about 15-odd years ago, in the time of MCR, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, and their ilk, while leavened through with some heavier elements, calling to mind the likes of A Day to Remember. As overt as the influences may be, though, they meld them together to make something quite new, complemented nicely by a strongly melodic guitar interplay and spiced with bursts of synth. I’ve been aware of their existence for a while, without having encountered them, but based on this performance I’ll look forward to seeing them again around the traps!

With a mission statement of being “here to fuck shit up”, it should come as no surprise that Te-Whanganui-A-Tara’s Cherry Punch bring some serious attitude to their performance (in a very fun way, of course!) When the opening line of the first song is Fuck You, you know you’re not exactly about to experience a night of gentle reverie, quietly contemplating the nature of existence! Lead singer Cherry channels a vocal style with echoes of some of the greatest female voices of the punk genre, e.g. Siouxsie, Patti Smith , Poly Styrene, etc, filtered through the Riot Grrl era via the likes of L7 and Shonen Knife, while prowling the stage with leonine grace and a sense of potential danger. Boys, she just might cut something off, but she’ll smile at ya while she does it! Meanwhile guitarist Emily pumps out a constant stream of beautiful noise, unfussily supplying strong Stooges-via-grunge vibes to the enterprise, without ever being too dramatic about it. Drummer Nate and bassist Cody were similarly business-like (in a very good way), all of the instrumentalists doing their thing in support of the powerhouse that is Cherry! It’s no surprise to me that the band performed a support slot to the Schizophonics on their recent tour, both bands sharing a similarly hyperactive and mesmerising presence. And they’re all really lovely people too!

After such a rowdy scene-setting, it was time for the BUMs to show us their stuff. The audience had dwindled even further by this stage, but that was their loss, quite frankly! Wisely eschewing any attempt to match physically the amount of energy unleashed thus far, they let their instruments do the talking-just one loud, chunky and upside-down guitar and a drum kit! While it might seem, given such a set-up, that The White Stripes would be a lazy and obvious comparison point, at the same time they’re not a bad place to start. A similarly back-to-basics, blues-inflected style is on display here, and there’s nothing wrong with that! A drummer pounding the shit out of the skins, a guitarist cranking out the blues-many a great combo has sprung from such a source! This is a band that is less than a year old, but such is the quality and power of their playing that you’d be forgiven for thinking they'd been together for years.

After a tantalisingly brief set, which seemed almost to be over before it started (the players citing the need to travel to Gisborne the next day), that was it for the night. 3 powerful bands, 2 of which will be moving on from here and could well be playing at a venue near you-thoroughly worth the price of admission indeed, and well worth catching if High Voltage rock ’n’ roll is what you seek! (If quiet reverie is what you’re after, best look elsewhere-far be it from me to suggest any names though...)


About The Bravo Uniform Mikes

After forming late 2022, Manawatu/Wellington based band, The Bravo Uniform Mikes have been playing regularly across the country.

The band is fronted by Nick Potts (Guitar and Vocals).
Nick has extensive live performance experience playing with touring bands since 2011.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Bravo Uniform Mikes


Other Reviews By Rob Harbers

Gig Review: Devilskin @ ToiToi Opera House, Hastings - 15/06/2024
18 Jun 2024 // by Rob Harbers
On a chilly Te-Matau-A-Maui evening, Devilskin brought the warmth to a capacity crowd at Hastings’ ToiToi, with the help of a few friends. Probably the loudest the old girl’s been for some time, as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the release of debut album We Rise.
Gig Review: Bitta Batta @ Paisley Stage, Napier - 14/06/2024
16 Jun 2024 // by Rob Harbers
The weather outside was frightful, but inside the coolest little venue in Ahuriri, things were anything but, as the soulful Bitta Batta were making their debut on the Te-Matau-A-Maui stage! Such ventures require a supportive hand in their genesis, and tonight that fell to the amorphous collective that is Willsy and Friends.
Gig Review: Tower of Flints @ Paisley Stage, Napier - 4/05/2024
08 May 2024 // by Rob Harbers
On a Saturday night with many entertainment options for the people of Te-Matau-A-Maui, a select audience was treated to a triple bill of quality artists at the sweet little spot that is the Paisley Stage.First up was Te Whanganui-a-Tara’s Spinning Lights, making their East Coast debut.
Sam Higham - Album Review: Jam Fish
20 Nov 2023 // by Rob Harbers
Poneke’s Sam Higham has just released his debut solo album Jam Fish. With an audacious precocity belying his mere 26 years, this one-man production threatens to smash many preconceptions, and burrow its way into your head with its multi-faceted attack, one that would fall, for want of a better position, into the arena of ‘progressive’.
Ryan Fisherman - Album Review: Country EMO
13 Oct 2023 // by Rob Harbers
When initially asked if I could do a review of this album, to be perfectly honest I’d never heard of Ryan Fisherman. But having had its silky charms beguiling my ears for the past few weeks, his is definitely a name I want to hear more from!
Album Review: Mana Mushroom
30 Aug 2023 // by Rob Harbers
Poneke’s Mana Mushroom’s eponymous self-titled debut EP has emerged into the world, and it’s a banger! Showing the benefit of a long period of gestation in the live arena, this impressive instrumental collection has its aim stated as “to stimulate listeners' senses in a way which evokes a sense of wonder about the world and our place in it", and it achieves this aim.
Bazurka - Album Review: Novi Grad All Stars
06 Jul 2023 // by Rob Harbers
Te-Whanganui-a-Tara’s Bazurka back up their cool-as-fuck name with a refreshingly distinct sound, one that brings the spirit of the Balkans alive in contemporary Aotearoa.Their new album, Novi Grad All Stars, opens with a flourish of brass, leading in to a delicate violin threnody, which then segues into a syncopated groove, in which all the players are given their opportunity to shine.
Guardian Singles - Album Review: Feed Me To The Doves
03 Jul 2023 // by Rob Harbers
Tamaki Makaurau’s Guardian Singles are keeping the spirit of punk alive and kicking with their sophomore album, Feed Me To The Doves.From the first minute of opener Chad and Stacey, with its references to the peculiar blend of bitterness and displaced envy that is the incel hallmark, it’s clear that here is a band with much to say, and they’re going to make damn sure you can’t ignore them!
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