Hard News by Russell Brown


Dancing is good for the soul ...

Keith's dispatch from Sri Lanka is the main event today, so I'll keep it brief. The Public Address Radio podcast items are up in numbers now, and they include a look at Christchurch's (probably) legal substance culture and Craig Ranapia's debut as a radio commentator. If you wish to subscribe to the podcast, the feed is here. Let us know what you think.

The Christchurch piece turned out to be quite timely, what with 60 Minutes running a story about the party pill issue that revolved around the near-death of a young man in Greymouth. The item was pretty good, although, inevitably, the producers found it necessary to play down the fact that the young man also took illegal drugs to keep their party pill angle afloat.

And there would have been a few youngsters on party pills amongst the unpretentious crowd at the Soulwax/2ManyDJs gig at the St James on Saturday night. The promoters got a bit panicky on Thursday about having only 500 pre-sales, and flicked out a few comps, which led to me and my compadres Andy 'n' Daz venturing out for a dance.

I liked Soulwax more than I thought I would and I liked them even more in their 2ManyDJs guise. The latter dropped in quite a few classic house music references for us oldsters - a bit of Todd Terry here, the intro to 'Your Love' there - before satisfying the kids with some indie-crowd-pleasing mash-ups. We ducked out for a breather and by the time we came back about a third of the crowd was actually onstage, where they remained for the duration.

Their take on Nirvana's 'Lithium' brought the house down (little bit of cellphone video here if you're curious, plus one captured earlier in the orchestra pit) - as you might expect from the crew who, as The Flying Dewaele Brothers, created the brilliant mash-up of Destiny's Child and Nirvana that was 'Smells Like Booty' - but the final number just sounded like they were playing a Smashing Pumpkins record and a dance record at the same time. Can't moan, though: dancing is good for the soul, even when it hurts your back a bit.

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