31 August 2018
This year's Others Way was bigger than ever, and with a huge array of bands, spanning exciting new arrivals to the treasured folklore. For me, it was the best one yet and a fitting way to conclude the 52 gigs challenge - but definitely not the end of the road.
The Beths are first up at the Studio and they're a rollicking good thrashy pop band, blending sounds of Fazerdaze, the Undertones and Courtney Barnett, with some underlying cool harmonies. My legal friend Paddy would call this set #52, saying that my wife's choir doesn't count, so for the absolute avoidance of doubt, this gig definitively crosses the 52nd threshold on the last day of the challenge.
From there it's on to the steamy heat of the Whammy Backroom for some soulful groove from Bene. There's a bit of Sylvan Esso in this group, and their act is well polished and delivered to a crowd that is substantially older than the performers, and totally in the appreciation zone.
Collision began in the 70s as a funk band from Tokoroa who played with Dalvanius Prime. They perform to a packed out Samoa House who are having a wild night on the dance floor beneath the fale roof. History in the re-making.
There's a constant ebb and flow of people at all the venues, especially at Superette's gig where many of us are getting a quick dose before heading across the road to see the Headless Chickens.
And it's an intense and uncompromising journey that Headless Chickens take us through, with a backdrop of their old videos. Driving rhythms, grungy and jangly intertwined and serious shit being delivered to a well-pumped audience. Gaskrankenstation was a song I thought I had missed ever seeing live, and now life feels a little bit more complete. This was followed by Fiona McDonald leading an anthemic rendition of George at the show's climax.
While there's much more to see, I'm happy to end the evening with a tempranillo and a glimpse of Laura Jean at the Wine Cellar. It's been a fab night, and equally fab last 12 months.
Well, not quite ending the evening. Had to leave via the Whammy Backroom and got captured by Death and the Maiden for a while... Just can't let go.