Another day, another level change, another cancellation. Don’t you just love 2021?
I must confess that, like pretty much everyone else, I didn’t really heed the experts last year when told that this wasn’t going to end any time soon.
We burned huge cardboard lettering saying “2020” on December 31 – in homage to John Oliver’s final show of the year – and all thought we were getting somewhere. Now it seems we were just kids in a car yelling “are we there yet?”
On the bright side, there is new music being released all the time, and there seems to have been a bit of a late rally in the Bay. I don’t know whether it’s people wanting to get albums out before Christmas or just signing off on projects before the end of the year.
I have so far only heard one of these at any length, but I’ll fill you in on them all and then review them after letting the music percolate in my brain for a week or so.
First though, a cancellation of something I mentioned a month ago: Davie Beige will now not be playing at the Jam Factory on December 4. Like others, he has postponed ‘til next year.
However, another concert that same night is still on – at the time of writing this column. The Tauranga Sports Rugby Club, at 31 Cameron Road, are hosting three bands uniting under the banner ‘Local Legends’.
The legends in question are Tryptofunk, Apollo SteamTrain and The Dead Man 6, who are pleased to announce that since this is a “private event” even the dancefloor will be open (no, I don't know how that works either).
The Dead Man 6 emerged from punk band Liberated Squid, and describe their music as “Post-Punk-Noise-Rock”. They comprise six men (and one woman): Michael Baxter, John Baxter, Jason Fawcett, Brett Williams, Nigel Gregory, Dean Crossley and Corinne Rutherford. The brief snippets I’ve heard reveal fairly straight-ahead enjoyably melodic hi-energy rock.
More challenging is Tryptofunk, who are an extremely prolific, often loud and aggressive hip-hop/Nu-metal duo. They have a number of releases on Spotify, including this year’s five-track Inverse Reality EP, which I rather like.
The third act is Apollo SteamTrain, singer/songwriter/guitarist Brendan McCarthy, who recently released a very good album, Generation Overload, and who I assume will open the night, which starts at 7pm. Tickets are $22 from the Ticket Fairy.
Also on December 4 is the release of Celeste Music’s Let’s Go album. Celeste Music is Amanda Sloane of Mount Maunganui. She is having a launch concert at the Mount Community Hall, which will feature her music along with live dancing by her dance students from Celeste Dance.
While Amanda describes her musical style as “rock, jazzy ballads”, I could find no trace of that on the actual album, which is on Spotify now along with previous releases. It’s sort of affirmational chanting, multiple voices accompanied by very do-it-yourself lo-fi instruments. I guess you could call it avant-garde, though I suspect many would not be so kind. It is certainly very strange.
There are two concerts at the Community Hall, at 2:30pm and 6pm. Door sales are $10, $5 for children/seniors, and $20 per family.
Now let’s welcome more new music. Both Liam Ryan (ex Narc and Torch Songer) and Tim Julian (Colourfield Studio head honcho) have new keyboard-centred albums available.
Liam’s is modern, dance-groove oriented, and features the likes of Rodger Fox, Midge Marsden, Mike Booth, Steve Garden and a bunch of other heavy-hitters. It has the great title Woven Not Stranded.
Tim’s is under the band name Fragile Colours, is a bit more “song” oriented, and the whole album features the singing of Kamaea Harry. You can hear both those albums on the digital platform of your choice.
Also just out is a new version of (Lover) You Don’t Treat Me Good, featuring the fantastic voice of local bluesman Grant Haua. The song is a duet from a new international album by American singer Natalia M King and is sensational. I’ll check in with Grant and report back as to how it came about.