Random Play by Graham Reid

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Random Play: It’s Only Rock’n’Roll

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  • Juha Saarinen,

    How's your hearing after all these years?

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    On your first point there....

    I once saw Gate at the Cave in Auckland. First band started at midnight, Gate we on at about 4 and by the time we left the sun was rising. Fortunately it was a Friday night...

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Bol,

    I heard about the M. Ward gig - sweat dripping down from the ceiling etc. On the plus side, the Twilight Singers gig at the Studio thankfully featured some large fans onstage. And two bars - both of them open.
    Does anyone else remember the horror stories about dance gigs earlier in the decade?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    totally agree with your comments about mt smart and the logan campbell centre.

    on a positive note, i always quite enjoy seeing gigs at the st james. and i'm going to kasabian at studio on thursday. i haven't been there before but it looks great on the website. two bars you say?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Bol,

    Yes, there are two bars at Studio. I had never been there before and was pleasantly surprised. There's one in the lobby, and one in the actual gig space itself.
    I don't know whether the one at the lobby was actually open during the concert (Sorry, should have made that clear). Can't say about booze prices either, unfortunately.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    The St James gives me the heeby jeebies. When we saw Shapeshifter most people in the mezzanine were dancing and it *shook*.

    I abhor the trend to later and later gigs. It's not just my impending old fartiness, I hope - it was a rare gig in the 80s and early 90s that started much after 10. I blame publicans who want people to drink as much as possible beforehand...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    sounds like the m.ward gig in wellingtown was much more civilised. there was some seating for the majority 30+ crowd, not too packed in etc.

    we had seats at a leaner just behind the sound-stage. couldn't see the guitar on account of the unnaturally tall audience, but figured "hey, this isn't about the light-show".

    best gig for years though would have to be the Mint Chicks and the Kings Arms with RB and Mr. Slack. speakers spontaneouly combusting are v.rare indeed.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Sam,

    I completley agree with the sentiment expressed here - the Logan Campbell Centre is a terribly dismal place. Although we really enjoyed Tenacious D last week, paying $71 each for seated tickets (as we feel to old to face a mosh pit full of pimply teenagers and 'emus' as my mother calls them!) ... felt a little excessive, the lack of functioning air conditioning probably didnt help. I was also confused by the removal of the sipper tops to the Pump Water purchased at the bar...can anyone explain this?

    I too will be interested to see whether the movement of people is better at this years BDO....having never thought of a logical solution except for less people.

    Central Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Reid,

    some further comments from me to fuel this one
    my hearing is fine thank you, just a little muffled in the left ear but i blame using an ear-piece microphone to tranbscribe tapes of Famous People.
    Re: Dogs Bollix -- i have been told the capacity there (according to View Auckland) is 250, on the night they had 280. this is what i am told but cannot verify.
    Re: late gigs? God I recall the late 80s and early 90s with horror, that is when Flying Nun bands had left home so could stay out late and mum wouldn't know. 11pm - midnight was customary. As anyone who has been in London, New York, Paris knows most bands have to play before "the last tube home".
    And what was with the tuning up on stage? Then going off to find the drummer. It's rock'n'roll folks: wham-bang! Go! Noise!
    Re costs: $71 for Tenacious D? Joking, surely?? To see what I described in a review as Anti-Christ Superstyar meets Rocky Horror. It was okay fun, but $71 worth?.
    Re Venues: anyone see Carole King struggle to present her Living Room Tour show (by design an intimate thing) in that cavern that is the Waitakere basketball stadium? Just wrong.
    And finally -- nice to hear Gate get a mention after all these years. Why weren't Wrecks Small Speakers huge??
    g

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    $71 for Tenacious D was an absolute rort (I got my tickets for free, a-hem)...I'll admit it was an amusing show, but the venue is hardly ideal. It made me laugh when the support act's singer very proudly said he'd seen Iron Maiden play there in his younger days...I can only imagine the abomination THAT would've been.

    Auckland suffers from a dismal lack of venues...I've been to shows at Stages (Video Game) Arcade on Queen Street. Imagine travelling half way around the world, and turning up to play at spacie arcade! Sure, they were cheap gigs, but there's something not quite right about watching Hot Water Music rip it up on stage while Puzzle Bobble is staring at you.

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The Studio has three bars - one along the side of the main hall, one in the foyer, one upstairs. If it's an all ages gig though, all but upstairs has to be closed.

    One reason I'm not to fussed to miss out on BDO this year is the whole checkpoint/barrier/drinking area thing. It's like going to a gig in pre-1989 Eastern Europe. I think the steps licensees are meant to go to in NZ to stop a 17-year old having a sneaky Tui are ridiculous.

    (At all the UK festivals I've been to The Workers Beer Company do an excellent range of drinks, served quickly and efficiently - you can then go and enjoy your drink anywhere you want. I didn't notice too many pissed, rioting 15-year olds).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Bol,

    Apologies for this self-indulgence.

    It can't compete with Stages Spacies Parlour in the most bizarre venue stakes, but I have good memories of the now probably defunct Old City Markets. Perched on Auckland's scungey waterfront, it possessed all the rock 'n' roll glamour of a disused freezing works. Which it closely resembled.

    But at age 15, I saw my first big gig there - the 1998 95bFM b-card holders' concert. The D4, Voom, Lost Tribe, Dark Tower, Kog Transmissions All-Stars... What a line-up. As I recall, Kog Transmissions livened up their stage show by projecting images on to white sheets (when they played the 2000 bFM gig at the Auckland Town Hall they were much more high tech).

    Unfortunately, my attendance was all too brief. I had a School Cert. Science exam on the Monday, and being a diligent student, wanted to get as much study as possible. I left at midnight.

    Sorry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • JP Hansen,

    So, how about that Vector Arena...

    Waitakere • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    have to wade in about Logan Campbell Centre; concrete bunker it may be but with a full crowd it worked. I am able to recall Thin Lizzy, B52s, Police, Madness, Tom Petty & Heartbreakers concerts there but my ears weren't ringing afterwards anything like they did after nights at Western Springs, so the sound can't have been that bad.
    I guess tickets were more affordable back then so perhaps expectations re amenities were not high. I definately can't recall there being bars there, perhaps in those days I was happy enough to find a decent loo when needed . . .

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Reid,

    okay i'm up for this.
    help me out there: what was that thing down in a shed on the wharf in Auckland in the mid/late 90s with Massive Attack? Or did i just imnagine that one?
    And the "venue" upstairs in an arcade just off Queen St on the right going down, in the block before Queens Arcade? I saw my oldest son's band play there a few times, the guy who booked the place was really nice but whose name I can't remenmber.
    The bar on Victoria St just up from Queen St on the right where punk and skinhead bands used play -- where i had a jug thrown at my head?
    The name of that place in the late 80s below that famous TVNZ hangout across from their building (downstairs, that's where I saw the Plague).
    Memory fails, but what were all those great local bands I saw at Armadillo on Upper Symonds St (where I interposed my body between big cops and young frail vegan rock-kids, to my cos)t.
    And what was the great small sweaty place down the road a bit where bands like Rainy Daze played. And opposite was that cafe with the big window where bands sometimes played??
    Venue historians might want to check out this:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/search/story.cfm?storyid=3B606E06-39DF-11DA-8E1B-A5B353C55561

    Thin Lizzy at Logan Campbell: one of the best shows ever -- and what a fantastic fight in the crowd just before they went on! I watched a guy do a round-house punch to the jaw of a guy who was looking the other way. Decked him unconscious in the blink of an eye. Gee, kids in those days, huh?

    Going to see Black Slate and Herbs at the Town Hall and being one of maybe 20 white guys in the place. Standing in the foyer when a Black Power guy came in an announced "This is our night, brothers!"

    Most menacing gig I went to: Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.
    I sold t-shirts on the gate and Mongrel Mob guys kept cominn up and asking 'how much' and when i told them they said 'fug you' and watched me as i pocketed tens of dollars from paying customers. At one point I remember standing between three Mob members with about $1000 in my wee pinny and knowing I had to say 'excuse me' and walk past them through an outfield and then a crowded stadium to deliver my swag to the bankers.
    I was sober and they weren't. They were self-assured and I was scared shitwitless.
    Memories are made of this.
    Yours are welcome, keep 'em coming.

    Keep 'em coming.

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Scungo,

    yeap - Massive Attack in an old railways workshed - the bar area was an internal cage, but there was some sort of ice scuplture!
    BFM gig in the old turners and growers market mentioned above - I think PumpkinHead played as well, but the live KOG thing was great.
    The old Twelve Tribes gigs in Williamson Ave in the late 80s- turntables on a platform suspended by chains from the roof, a wood fire in the middle of the dance floor, no beer but you could buy apples and pot at the counter!
    Seeing The Church at one of the last gigs at Mainstreet - thats was loud and sweaty.

    Morningside • Since Jan 2007 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    Was it Massive Attack or Radiohead that did a gig mid-90's at Alexandra Park Racecourse?

    I remember it mainly because all the lighting was on the floor - nothing was hung in the ceiling - being an aspiring roadie type I thought that was pretty cool. It worked very well though.

    There were several dire dance parties in that same period at race course venues....

    Auckland has a dearth of quality venues - places with much soul at any rate. That statement could possibly be extended to include NZ - but that's another debate. I still do wonder what criteria promoters use to pick locations for artists.

    To my eternal shame - as it was the worst show we did - one band out of the UK I ended up touring with - played the North Shore Event Centre - on a Sunday evening.... one show only.

    Which even the crew knew was rubbish - a basketball court with as much ambience as a badly lit lunchbox. But worse was the gig being on a Sunday night - as it meant many wouldn't bother coming, having work the next morning.

    What confused us most, was that we'd arrived in Auckland on the Friday, and had Saturday off, enjoying Piha ....

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • tim kong,

    Was it Massive Attack or Radiohead that did a gig mid-90's at Alexandra Park Racecourse?

    I remember it mainly because all the lighting was on the floor - nothing was hung in the ceiling - being an aspiring roadie type I thought that was pretty cool. It worked very well though.

    There were several dire dance parties in that same period at race course venues....

    Auckland has a dearth of quality venues - places with much soul at any rate. That statement could possibly be extended to include NZ - but that's another debate. I still do wonder what criteria promoters use to pick locations for artists.

    To my eternal shame - as it was the worst show we did - one band out of the UK I ended up touring with - played the North Shore Event Centre - on a Sunday evening.... one show only.

    Which even the crew knew was rubbish - a basketball court with as much ambience as a badly lit lunchbox. But worse was the gig being on a Sunday night - as it meant many wouldn't bother coming, having work the next morning.

    What confused us most, was that we'd arrived in Auckland on the Friday, and had Saturday off, enjoying Piha ....

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    Was it Massive Attack or Radiohead that did a gig mid-90's at Alexandra Park Racecourse?

    in 1998 i saw radiohead at the greenlane expo centre (read: big tin shed). i was expecting it to sound like a tin shed but it was actually really good.

    oh yeah, ben harper and brad, at the auckland town hall in 1998. that was great. damn, shawn smith can sing

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • tillakaratne,

    And the "venue" upstairs in an arcade just off Queen St on the right going down, in the block before Queens Arcade? I saw my oldest son's band play there a few

    Graham, I think it was called the 'Pod' among other names. It might have been a strip bar before being used for early 90's thrash bands such as 'Anigma' [sic] before evolving into a alternative music venue. I don't know what happened to it.

    My absolute favourite Auckland venue ever is the sadly demised Gluepot (early 90's period) . A long, warm corridor with plenty of faclities, easy access to liquor, a UFO like entrance, and all of this away from the stage. It was cosy in a beer soaked, stark, 70's kinda way.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Howells,

    I abhor the trend to later and later gigs.

    I think punters cause this (as well as the venues/promoters) by turning up so late - in the dance scene anyhow. Clubs don't seem to fill up until 1 or so.

    I remember shortly after I was 18 and finally old enough to go to clubs/bars I turned up naively early (maybe 10pm) to see Ed Rush and was the only person there other than the opening dj for the first hour or so. Ed Rush finally started his set around 2am.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Going to see Black Slate and Herbs at the Town Hall and being one of maybe 20 white guys in the place. Standing in the foyer when a Black Power guy came in an announced "This is our night, brothers!"

    I saw Public Enemy play the Electric Ballroom in Camden - a low-ceilinged basement venue, after they'd been banned from the Hammersmith Odeon in the midst of a media panic.

    At one point, Professor Griff stepped forward to do a rant that revolved around the idea that "white people are wicked". You could have cut the air with a knife, which was actually what made it so memorable.

    Meanwhile, a Maori friend of mine, who was well into the PE empowerment message, got mugged at the gig by three young black guys. He was pretty upset about that.

    Funny thing is, I saw PE a couple of times in the interim, but the best gig was their one at the Power Station, when they were older and wiser and no longer in the headlines. It was such fun, and such a contrast to the first time I saw them. I also got to see Jonah Lomu meet Chuck D and them have a man-hug afterwards.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    I saw Public Enemy play the Electric Ballroom in Camden - a low-ceilinged basement venue, after they'd been banned from the Hammersmith Odeon in the midst of a media panic.

    Was that the tour where Pop Will Eat Itself were opening for them, but most gigs got booed off for being white & using guitars?

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Bol,

    These are the Gigs Of Our Lives...

    Graham and Russell's reminiscences remind me of a constant theme in Simon Reynolds's amazing Rip It Up And Start Again - the level of violence in gigs from the '70s and '80s. Something much less common today?
    The most unpleasant things I've encountered are either (a) a hopelessly overcrowded and crap venue; and/or (b) drunk munters who won't shut up during a quiet performance (like when I went to see Bonnie Prince Billy at the Dog's Bollix).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    Graham Reid wrote:
    The bar on Victoria St just up from Queen St on the right where punk and skinhead bands used play -- where i had a jug thrown at my head?

    upstairs ? Rumba Bar or Reverb Room? Both were upstairs, one was in Upper Symonds St but I can't recall which. Not the old glass jug I hope.

    Thin Lizzy at Logan Campbell: one of the best shows ever -- and what a fantastic fight in the crowd just before they went on! I watched a guy do a round-house punch to the jaw of a guy who was looking the other way. Decked him unconscious in the blink of an eye.
    Had completely forgotten about that fight, maybe because it wasn't close enough, I was upstairs.
    Most memorable and shocking smackdown at a gig I saw was at Bob Marley, Western Springs. Down near the stage Mobsters attacked people with a Black Power banner only a few metres in front of us. The packed crowd stepped right back giving them plenty of space. Was fast and furious, lasted a few minutes, and Bob sure noticed it.

    Gee, kids in those days, huh?
    Not like kids these days ? Zwines could be pretty hard core - didn't go there many times - but on the whole most other venues seemed only very randomly violent, directly related to alcohol consumption. (hmm, or was I in cuckooland) Seems more kids have fewer inhibitions these days ?
    Must say that Auckland in mid-late 70s was a blast, whereas jolly old 1982 Chch was a bit of a morgue by comparison.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

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