6 May 2021

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Fighting The Shakes


"We've already achieved everything we set out to accomplish with this band" might seem like an audacious statement for a band that've only (in the current line-up) been together just over a year and played roughly 40 shows. Whilst said with tongue firmly in cheek, it's not a totally unfounded claim.

Inaugurating back in 2005 as a 4 piece around the core of Jayesh Ravla and Chetan Parbhu, Fighting the Shakes in their original form got off to, what you'd call a bit of a false start. Jayesh and Chet were unhappy with the dynamics in the group and decided to break things up and start back at square one, dropping the majority of their old material in the process. A year or so was spent working on new material before Hadley Donaldson (who was originally going to be a second guitarist many years ago) was brought in on bass. A few vocalists were auditioned but no one suitable came up, so it was concluded that vocal duties would be shared out amongst the three of them.

With the line up solidified, they settled into rehearsing and organising shows. During one rehearsal, a casual conversation about goals for the band came up, and they came to a conclusion, refreshingly free of any delusions of grandeur, that if they achieved anything with the band that "it'd be cool if we got to play with some of our favourite local bands." Six shows in, an invitation from This Night Creeps to support them and The Mint Chicks on their farewell tour (partially) ticked that goal off the list. TNC had been a major influence and inspiration on all three Shake Fighters, so being asked to play the final show of their final tour was an honour. This show also proved to be a fairly pivotal point in Fighting The Shakes lifespan. As a result of this show their demos were played on BFM's excellent Rock and Roll Wire, and they've gone on to share stages with some of New Zealands most popular and successful international acts. Including the aforementioned The Mint Chicks, bands such as Die! Die! Die!, Cut Off Your Hands, So So Modern, Pig Out, The Tutts and Motocade have all invited FTS to play support for them, as well as playing one Ian Jorgensens A Low Hum shows, Mole Music tours and a headline spot at BFM's 'Fancy New Band' showcase in May this year. All of which goes some way to justifying that opening quote.

Live; energetic, enthralling, entertaining and simultaneously acerbic and charming. On record they are equally so (from what we can tell by their demos); they walk the razors edge between infectious pop music and a more inaccessible hardcore punk. Mashing up influences in the ilk of the Blood Brothers, TV on the Radio, Fugazi, Bad Brains, David Bowie, and Motown style soul and pop, into an out-there-but-totally-in-here style of angular, discordant pop, which is as catchy as tetanus from a rusty nail.

Currently in the process of making the finishing touches on their self recorded EP 'All My Friends Are Electric', which is due for release in August this year. You could say that (in accordance with their own goals anyway) there's nothing really left for Fighting the Shakes to achieve. Apart from maybe setting themselves some loftier aspirations.

-John Randerson.

Band Members:
Jayesh Ravla (guitar, vocals)
Chetan Parbhu (drums, vocals)
Hadley Donaldson (bass, vocals)




  • Wellington

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