Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lucid 3 @ 4:20

There is a certain difficulty when a venue uses its street number as its name. On Friday, I had trouble working out where Whammy Bar is, but if I hadn't found it by myself (under the St Kevins arcade, as it happens), I could have asked "Where's the Whammy". But how do you ask when you've managed to forget the number? I knew it was in the four hundreds on K Road, but after finding myself in one two many adult themed bars and shops, I had to resort to the internet. No wonder I couldn't find it: 4:20 is not at #420 at all, is in fact in the old Rising Sun Hotel, a place I spent many many hours when I lived in Auckland.

In those days, it was the #2 venue, after the legendary Gluepot, but the Rising Sun had many more gigs. I learnt a lot about music hanging out there, heard a multitude of bands where the vocals could not be heard, fell in love with 1.5 women (the other half of that process really happened elsewhere), even got laid for the first time there (well, after a night there). It was never the most charming of places, pretty grotty really, but it had a fantastic view of an evening out over the spaghetti of motorways (they virtually run underneath it) and a bit of a harbour view. In the intervening 20+ years, it has a bit of a makeover, it is quite sleek and stylish, with a pair of chandaliers gracing the back part of the bar. In my day, I'm pretty sure the big cans of Double Brown where the favoured drink: today, the only NZ beer available is Steinlager Pure. I think I even saw cocktails being made.

At various times tonight, these old memories nearly overwhelmed me: in some ways, it was the most successful stage in my life, in that I was living and working with people who also shared my interests. We'd have a great time at the Rising Sun, and then sometimes go into the new nightlcub which had opened in the Plaza (I think that's what it was called) and experience another new phenomenon: Japanese girls in high socks and short skirts. Not many of them in rural New Zealand, and I'd find them enchanting.

But none of that tonight. As I went into 4:20, Chanelle Davis was playing: a singer-songwriter singing largely about disasters with boys. I see she's on tour, including to Whangamata, which should be interesting, as she sings one song about somefellow who broke up with her and two weeks later moved to Whangamata with Amanda. Wierd singing accent, hard to place, almost Australian at times, yet she grew up in Tauranga and when she speaks is clearly a Kiwi.

For me, the main event was Lucid 3, it has been a long time between gigs, there has even been a new album out which I have yet to hear. Naturally, a lot of what they played tonight was from that album yet there's no significant change in direction. They put on a fantastic show: within about half a song, I had to move from my seat and spent most of the time they played being a happy dancing fool. Of course, they played a.m radio, but in a way I have never heard it, with far more trickery on the bass guitar than I recall.

Oh yeah, and Odessa played - apparently they were the headliners and it was their CD release party (not that I actually saw one). I'd never seen them before: I was impressed with Matthew Pender's dancing skillz and singing but at times they didn't hold my attention.

And another "oh yeah", the reason I was at Whammy on Friday was to see Cassette, which is always a good thing to do. Surprisingly few people seemed to agree with me; only about 30 people turned out, but then it was the night of the B-Nets.



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