#47 City Calm Down, Whammy Bar

6 July 2018 


It's a cold July night and the bus brings me into K'Rd that is getting into full swing. Bars, restaurants and vape shops are all cranking.

I grab a possie in one of the booths around the edge of Whammy to recharge with an IPA after a long day at the end of a long week.

A year ago I was commuting between home and Middlemore while Kate recovered from major surgery, so that our wedding vows would have a lot more life in them. It was a rough time, made easier by a lot of love and support from a lot of friends and family. It certainly put things in perspective, and while I haven't conquered the work life balance, it has made me connect with life much more, and this 52 gigs challenge probably had its origins there.

Tablefox open, they've got a rocking sound that's reminiscent of the Angels and INXS. A tight five piece unit playing original tracks. Bar is starting to fill and the support act are warming things up nicely. They pull out a rendition of Bowie's Heroes and it's pretty honourable. It's not their only tribute of the night, the last song, Born to Die Young slips into a bridge with The Dudes' Bliss, which gets quite a few singing along with it.

There's more than a bit of the National in City Calm Down, mixed with something of the Cure. Driving rhythms from drums and bass that make even the quietest songs pulse. Vocals that are morose and haunting, offset by a guitar that lifts the spirits, accompanied by keyboards and sax that add depth.

It's this Melbourne band's first trip to New Zealand, and Auckland, as always, gives them a warm welcome. They flew in today after a 3am start. When you're not coming on until after 10 that's a long day, but it doesn't show.

Rabbit Run, Opened my Eyes and This Modern Land were highlights in a strong night nearly concludes their tour. Thanks for stopping by.