So obviously the plan was to review the bands that played at the Cherry Bomb Comics fourth birthday party last month…but unfortunately my memory of what went on is slightly hazy, not cos I was particularly drunk (thank god, that’s one way to really piss myself off, get too drunk to appreciate my favourite bands or even remember the show – one day I’ll tell the Lynee Breedlove in Rome story), but mainly it’s cos I then moved to the UK a few days later so a lot has happened in between to make me forget all but the most salient of details, so please forgive the very vague review!
I had never seen the Wind Ups before, but had heard heaps about this Wellington band from ardent fans, they’re the kind of band you hear about long before you see them I guess (unless you live in Welly) – their reputation precedes them. Apparently this was the first time they’d played in Auckland, and Cherry Bomb was lucky enough to be able to combine our party with their gig at the Wine Cellar. Rumours of their awesomeness were not wrong, and I guess this is why music reviewers write stuff down at the actual show so that they remember what to write beyond “they were cool” when it comes time for the review. Er, I didn’t do that, so here’s a link to their myspace page anyway, so you can have a listen . I never really trust my first impressions of a band enough to describe their sound anyway as I tend to initially get distracted by other aspects before I can really get a handle on what the music “is”, but I remember thinking the lead singer Beth was refreshingly strange in her vocal delivery, lending the garage-y sound a psycho edge, and plus that there’s nothing better than having a group of boys-with-good-taste dance adoringly to music made by a girls in an amazing band that you’ve never seen before. I missed Tank Black after that, but heard good things…Following them was Newtown, a Cherry Bomb favourite who have just made an album. Featuring two women who swap jobs on guitar and drums and vocals throughout, Newtown are the kind of band that inspires you, makes you remember you can DIY, and that love and punk combined is a beautiful thing (particularly in the song “Fetus Infetu”, which is the term given to when a fetus grows inside another one – that’s how close they wanna be to each other). Both members of Newtown have been in multiple bands (which is how it seems to be for most Wellingtonian musicians), but this band strikes a special chord in Cherry Bomb’s heart, harking back to bygone riot grrrl days we were too young to actually experience, mixed with the shambolic, anarchic excitement of sadly missed Auckland bands such as the Sound Laydee and the other Misfit Theatre-related projects. The gig ended with the Curfew Girls, another much talked about band who I hadn’t seen before (this was the 3rd time they’d played). The rumours surrounding Curfew Girls mainly related to people’s apprehension at the possible chaos that could ensue given certain members of the band (haha, I’m sure they know who they are), followed by 100% positive reviews of the previous two shows. I caught the last two songs (which I was told by some of the band were their best), and there was no chaos (wasn’t sure if I should be disappointed) but the music was great, and the make up of the band so – I want to use the word refreshing again, but I’m against using a word like that twice – but you get the idea. They weren’t 4 boys in tight pants or whatever, thank you god, and you couldn’t take your eyes off of them. Pity I probably won’t see any of these bands play again, now that I’m over in the dirty old UK, but if you get the chance, you should because afterwards I’m sure you’ll agree that you’ve actually seen something, for a change, and heard music that was new and not some fascimilied crap designed to reassure the audience they’re listening to something “good”.
So I guess the next instalment from me is probably gonna be something that happens in London, where I live now…X Ray Spex in September!!!