This turned out to be a great night of live music and the crowd turn-out was surprisingly good, all things considered. I had been telling people to get off their apathetic posterior’s and go along, so when the big night came around and I was feeling tired, I felt I couldn’t back out now.
I was really glad I went as the tiredness passed very quickly and the live music ended up being a real treat. I have to admit that I couldn’t stay the whole night, but was still able to catch 3 out of the 4 bands that were billed. Apologies to Ant Wars who were the lucky last band on the bill and whom I subsequently missed. I’ve heard some really good things about Antwars, so rest assured I will make a point of seeing them again in the near future.
Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple:
They were already on stage when I arrived at Brewers bar, but I managed to catch most of their set. There was no drummer or bass player on stage with the band for this gig, but they still had Glen on vocals/guitar, Storm on violin, Red on bongo drums, and a new comer on lead guitar. Glen was playing an acoustic for this gig instead of his electric but it suited the unplugged flavour, as did the violin and bongo’s. Last time I saw them, at the ARTbop alternative launch, they were more plugged-in with a full drummer and energetic bass player. But this more low key set was still very enjoyable and was the perfect opening act for what was to lie ahead. At one stage during the Jim Jones set I thought I heard a Didgeridoo, but couldn’t see a sign of one anywhere. Were my ears playing tricks on me or was this a clever manipulation of the sound-scape ? They played many of their usual songs which I recognised, including ‘The Charlie song’ which is one of their stand-out tracks. It’s a real gem of a song and flows effortlessly from start to finish. Apparently it was named after some words that were written on Charles Manson’s ceiling. Despite the source of the subject material, the song itself is actually quite uplifting and delightful. Glen gave a great vocal performance as frontman of Jim Jones. He also knows how to create a great stage image. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was in fact Glen up there because he had changed his stage image from the rockabilly look to more of a Frank Zappa look; both of which suit his image well. Storm also gave a great performance on violin, as did the other 2 guys. Another gig well performed by Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple.
This band turned the heat right up with their unique combination of metal and punk. I really enjoyed their fresh original style. I didn’t realise it at the time, but the band that they remind me most of is Sticky Filth; that great hybrid blend of metal with alternative punk. They are a 3 piece band made up of Shane Duncan on guitar and vocals, Jared Dykes on bass, and Mark Gedeye on drums. Together they have given birth to this awesome juggernaut of a style. I really love the way they mix it up in their songs with tempo changes, time signature changes, and short pauses or spaces between those changes. This execution of rhythms really helped keep the interest of the audience and made it damn entertaining. At first it sounded like the guitar was a bit quiet in the mix, but this seemed to get rectified as they plunged further into their set. They were also impressively tight, and each of their instruments (bass, guitar, drums and vocals) complimented each other well. I thought that they had really tapped into an original style here. There are so many metal bands out there and so many punk or post punk bands out there, but not so many that blend those styles together. And they do it in such an original way. ie: by celebrating the differences of each style and chopping between them in more of a Jekyll and Hyde fashion, rather than just stirring it all into a melting pot. This is reminiscent of Faith No More and is a musical approach that I really dig. A really great set form these guys, and I look forward to seeing them again in the future.
All Hail the Funkillers:
It seems that there are no limits to coming up with super creative band names, and this band is no exception. ‘All Hail the Funkillers’ is a very original band name and it took me a while to commit it to memory. Lucky for me I had also seen these guys a month earlier at the ARTbop alternative launch and so now the name definitely sticks. I’m guessing the band name is possibly a sarcastic reference to the authorities or people in society who try to stop everyone else having a good time. Like a statement against killjoys. Doug will probably correct me on that the next time I catch up with him, but maybe it’s a cool thing for a band name to be open to interpretation, the same way the lyrics in a song can be. Anyway, these guys were phenomenal. I was already looking forward to seeing them after catching them for the first time a month ago, but I had no idea they would step the level up another 3 or 4 notches. The whole band was on fire including vocalist Shannon, Guitarist Rob, drummer Willie, and bassist Doug Yeiter. Such amazing performances. They opened with an original that sounded like an intense flavour of music akin to punk/surf. Doug’s bass tone was epic and blended so well with Rob’s guitaring. Superb drumming from Willie and a great vocal performance from Shannon. I really love their intense punk rock sound with an energy that won’t quit. And they’re not just another punk-rock band. They most definitely have crafted their songs and sound into something different. It’s always hard to pin-point the unique differences of one band over another, but one thing that stood out to me was the quirky riffs and chord changes that you wouldn’t normally expect from your average punk rock band. And, just to point out, their style is much more than just punk rock. I mean, I use that genre to describe them only through lack of a better reference. The band is much more in regards to their song writing, their execution, and their high energy performance. This band could easily open for international acts and I fully got the impression from them on this night that they did not intend to take any prisoners. Make sure you don’t miss them next time. Well worth it !
By Kingsley Smith
Kingsley Smith cut his teeth in the Hamilton music scene 25 years ago and has since been in dozens of bands. Currently, he is the keyboardist for Knightshade and also continues to record music for his solo project, Audio Stom. He’s opened for Tania Donnelly, Anika Moa, Pluto, Renee Geyer, and The Black Seeds. Has 3 solo albums and recorded keyboards for other artists including Cassidy, Max Creepy, The D-Day Saints and Knightshade. Kingsley also produce’s and DJ’s the NZ Hard Rock Show which is played on 15 FM stations around NZ.
Photos By Baz Mantis: