For a rainy night in Auckland, this triple header lineup of mostly wizened kiwi hackers attracted a respectable and respectful crowd at erstwhile Whammy Bar in St Kevins Arcade on K’Rd. Being situated in the city’s traditional red light area nestled alongside surplus stores, adult video and novelty shops ethnic food stores, superettes and fast food outlets makes for an interesting blend of clientele, and tonite was no exception, with the stellar lineup projecting a beacon to young and old alike, and the eclectic range of music and projected imagery provided something for everyone.
The evening kicked of with Jed Town doing a short wistful solo acoustic set on 12-string including some old favourites and nice dynamics with great voice and playing. Next up ‘The Fetals’ played, probably the closest Generation Facebook will get to seeing a full-fledged Fetus Productions show, a kind of Plato’s Cave projection of the spectacle which became legend in the 80’s, a nice touch the event being so physically close to the original site of the Virus clothing label with which Fetus Productions were intrinsically intertwined with in those heady days. The Fetals rolled through a nice tight set with great versions of their kiwi classic back-catalogue, precision playing and vocalizing the line-up energized and seemingly enjoying themselves.
The Axemen performed next using the Fetals’ gear plus a nice Fender Mustang amp (thanks Mikey Weston – another FacebookTM deal 🙂 ). This was William’s first Auckland gig, and his parents who came over from the North Shore to watch their son strut his stuff could not have been prouder, rock’n’roll dancing to the band like extras from ‘Grease’ and beaming like the twin moons of Veldoor. The Axemen played a good sharp set and the congregation was appreciative, fogetting for 40 minutes the pelting pestering rain which continued to pound the pavements above, if i had seen a photo of the umbrella stand, an island in a subtropical lagoon-puddle of rainwater i would have sworn it was Wellington… Notably in the audience was film-maker and APRA silver scroll winner Fred Renata who was lined up to document the Axemen’s Australian tour but had to pull out as he had another project to complete. Renata expressed enthusiasm about the show and pledged keenness to work with the band in future with a cheery “See you in L.A.!”
Closing out the evening was I.C.U. , Jed’s current experimental Techno/Multimedia project. The show featured Kabuki/clown style masks, projected imagery and hundreds of collected samples, a kind of Dada-esque cobbling of ‘found’ objects in an audiovisual framework. The duo appeared to be enjoying themselves and played on thru the early hours to the delight of the bar staff, apparently big fans, as the Wednesday nite crowd slowly drifted out.
All in all a great way to end the NZ leg of the tour, a cosy and positive evening in the city that has been adopted home to several Axemen over the years.