19 Jun 2024

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Jim Beam Homegrown 2010
Reviewed by John Shearer for muzic.net.nz

Wellington city on Friday night was cold and wet. Was not looking good for Jim Beam Homegrown starting at 1pm the following day. Driving past the water front to get a sneak at what was in store for my Saturday. I let loose a gasp upon realizing the walk between the Rock / Indie and the Electronic / Dub n roots stages. Due to construction of new apartment buildings the stages were now placed one kilometre apart. Memories of the blisters endured from the previous year came flooding back into my mind. Time to get some sleep as there was a big day ahead of me.

Awaking to nothing but blue sky with a light breeze what not expected but a welcome relief. Once my ticked was cashed in I made my first of many walks past Te Papa to start my day.

First on the agenda was well known DJ Nick D, The C4 and George FM host was already getting the crowd heated with some hard thumping tunes. After 30 minutes of counting electric sheep I made my way over to the Dub and Roots stage to catch Opensouls, making my way through the crowds sitting outside the marquee enjoying the sun and sounds flowing though the site. The crowds were calm and I got the feeling this would be the theme for the day.

Following the set from the Opensouls set was Sunshine Sound System featuring the DJ from Shapeshifter [Paora 'P-Digsss' Apera].  The crowds were still enjoying the sun until the legends of NZ Reggae Katchafire. Just as they walked on stage the people came alive from everywhere. And within 30 seconds if you were not lucky enough to make it into the marquee then you were standing around the edges trying to catch a glimpse of the band through the haze of something familiar in the air. As to be expected they did not fail to entertain to the crowds expectations. Within the first 5 minutes of them playing I counted 5 people being escorted out of the crowd , hyperventilating due to their own inexperience with the mosh.

Next stop was to catch Tim Phin, back in the electronic tent complete with hype man pumping up the drones of people who had now set up for the day. Once again he filled the test which was the theme for the rest of the day, there was an unusual amount of fluoro shirts appearing, and I felt like I was in a bad Madonna video from the 80's. I must be getting old. Flowing straight in to the mix was Dick Johnston with a similar undertone of house beats which seems to be setting the feel for the tent. 

Next on the agenda was Wellingtons own Ladi 6, as always smooth as milk, unfortunately they only drew a mid size crowd but had plenty of dancing room. After a light lunch from one of the many venders on site, it was off to my all time favorite group, Antiform, a group that have been seen at the Crystal Method club in LA, among plenty of other locations. Once set up with a live guitarist on stage (yeah, I didn't believe it until I saw it as well). They unleashed everything the crowd was asking for and more, definitely well worth the wait.

A quick trip to Salmonella Dub who played a few old favourites and some new tracks from their album Freak Controller, which the crowd seemed to just go along with, until they played their next classic. With Aural Trash still on the electronic stage to fill the gaps until another crowd favourite The Black Seeds. Once again the Roots and Dub tent was packed to the rafters with a pulsing crowd.

Next on the list was a visit to Minuit, and as always they brought there A-game. Having seen them just a couple of months previously I only caught the last few songs but with the crowd singing along to Aotearoa they had everyone feeling patriotic.

The final act of the night was to dash over to the Jim Beam Rock stage for my first Shihad experience ever. I know that sounds really bad but I had never had the chance to catch them live before. Even more special was the fact that they were playing to a home crowd with their parents backstage to support them. The moment arrived when they came out on stage and the fans erupted into a sea of screaming bodies. Lead singer Jon Toogood was also so amped that when he attempted to stand on a monitor to be closer to the crowd he misjudged a step and fell backwards into the security area. After a quick fire set of seven songs they walked off with the fans asking for more, All of a sudden John called out as he had run out behind the crowd and was now standing at the mixing desk on a speaker leading a chant of Queen's "We Will Rock You", during this he made a mad dash back to centre stage for a brief encore performance to finish the night.

This year held better memories for me as I reminisced on the way home. The staff were still relaxed and easy going. The only issue was of course the distance between the two staging areas, but I could see this could not be helped.

Once again, Awesome.

Jim Beam Homegrown will be back in 2010 on February 20th with an even stronger line-up than this year’s sell out festival. The beautiful Wellington Waterfront will again be home to all 5 stages featuring 32 of New Zealand’s best bands and DJ’s.

The Rock Stage in the TSB Bank Arena boasts a line-up that includes local legends Shihad, The Feelers and The Datsuns, I Am Giant, the 6 x NZ music award nominated Midnight Youth, Luger Boa, Goodnight Nurse and ex Fast Crew front man Dane Rumble. The headline act is still to be announced in November and the winner of the Jim Beam Band Search will open the show.

The Dub and Roots Stage line-up is equally impressive with reggae legends Katchafire, the lovely Ladi 6 and Opensouls kicking things off before heavy hitters Salmonella Dub and The Black Seeds take the stage. The headline act will be announced in December.

This year’s Indie Stage oozes credibility with Collapsing CitiesThe Mint Chicks headlining ahead of Liam Finn, Cut Off Your Hands, The Checks, Pluto, Bang Bang Eche and Motocade with one act still to come.

The Smokefree Electronic Stage will be packed from start to finish with performances from live acts The Upbeats, Antiform and Minuit, plus some of New Zealand’s finest house and electro DJ’s including Aural Trash, Dick Johnson, Tim Phin and Nick D.

Once again the Wellington City Council is also sponsoring a Free to the Public stage with the ever popular 3 on 3 breakdancing and a selection of New Zealand’s finest DJs throughout the day.

Tickets are expected to sell quickly as the festival has sold out well in advance in both 2008 and 2009. Tickets are $90 (incl booking fee) from Ticketek. Visit www.homegrown.net.nz for more information and to join the database.

The Jim Beam Band Search

If you think your band has got what it takes, Jim Beam are giving you the chance to play alongside the country's premier acts on the Rock or Indie stages at Homegrown.

The Jim Beam Band Search competition prize is bigger and better this time around and will include $5,000 cash, music equipment from Music Works, a handy supply of Jim Beam to get you through the year, flights, accommodation, VIP access and guaranteed airplay for one of your vidoes on C4! (Conditions Apply).

Registrations for the Jim Beam Band Search will be taken in late November, so check out www.homegrown.net.nz and they'll have all the details on how to enter.

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