original. acoustic. music.

Farewell September

We played a gig at The Adelaide, a re-vamped pub in my neck of the woods, as part of the Henrietta Ford Stagecoach Open-Mic Night that happens every Wednesday.

The gig is run by Tyree Robertson to whom we owe our current status in the Wellington music scene.

Last night's selection deviated slightly from the singer/songwriter acoustic guitar-fest one would expect. Quite considerably so, in fact. I admired the guy who got up in front of the drunks, music students, lesbians, and bluesmen, whipped out his axe and laid Rock Canon on us at full volume accompanied by a backing track from his iPod. Not only was it incongruous as hell, but also a strange a-temporal (in style and, at times literally "without tempo") performance: A long-haired guitar-nerd playing a triple-humbucker Gibson Les Paul Studio copy (a la Ace Frehley) noodling out a piece of music so firmly in the "spandex and umlaut" 80s hair-metal era yet accompanied by the icon of the 21st Century, the iPod. Rock on, whoever the hell you were! Anachrony in the NZ!

We were also treated to a bunch of Massey University Conservatorium of Music students playing their original compositions on traditional Maori musical instruments, or nga taonga puoro (literally, "singing treasures") and acoustic guitar. They had a koauau, a porotiti, and a putorino and, together with the mumbling drunks and the clinking of 1970s-style tall brown beer bottles it was like a scene from Once Were Warriors. Of course, you may not know what the hell I'm talking about, so look here for Once Were Warriors.

The more perceptive may have noticed I have not yet made mention of our performance. It's not that we were shit - Darrel had just turned off one too many dripping taps that day, we were playing two very new songs, and I'm generally crap at anything but singing when going up in front of people with new material. That's our excuse and we're sticking to it.

Darrel recorded the gig on his dictaphone and according to him it doesn't sound too bad. It felt like shit, but then we were under a bit of pressure, having not performed one of the songs in public before. Oh yeah, and we forgot to put the capo on for Release that night, which provided some interesting guitar moments but made it a little easier to sing! Song to Remember and Mary-ann take our repertoire up to 14 original tracks, and there's a 15th in the offing, recycling a very old chorus of Darrel's from not long after we started writing together. More news on that one as it comes to light.

The newest song, Mary-ann is about a man finding his way back from a dominating relationship. He takes a stand and claws back his mana while she loses some of hers in the eyes of her friends. Mana is the Maori word for spirit, power, gravitas, and since we're in te reo territory, why not? That's te reo territory, not to be confused with Te o Torriate which was a song Brian May wrote for Queen's Japanese fans in 1975 and appears on “A Day at the Races” - where the hell was I...?

Stay tuned and we will have a recording of the track up here. Kia ora koutou. Haere ra e hoa, haere ra. And with your foodbasket and my foodbasket... we will have two foodbaskets.