October 24, 2004

A Low Hum 13

I went into the gig last night with some pretty high expectations. I'd never before seen Cassette, but I am a huge fan of their Emo EP, and I'd spoken with singer Tom for this month's A Low Hum. I arrived just as Phelps & Munro was finishing. There was a buzz in the place, or was it just me? Undoubtedly I was well excited about the entertainment to come - much jumping up and down and grinning inanely at my companions.

Cassette eventually got started, and launched into some songs from Emo, and if I was a better reporter (which I'm clearly not) I would give a set list... anyhow they play lovely laid-back countrified indie rock, I danced and it made me happy. The guys were clearly loving playing in Wellington, their old stamping ground, and there were plenty of familiar faces from the scene a few years back. They all said hello to their mothers, who were in the audience - aww! And brought it back down to earth with a healthy dose of swearing, just cos they can. The only thing that marred the set was the lighting setup. Why oh why does Indigo have lights set up behind the stage shining on the audience?? I thought the idea was that we could see the band, not them see us? I was compelled to go and have a quiet word with the lighting man, who very kindly obliged me and reduced the glare factor.

Towards the end of the set, during an explosive guitar riff, the power blew. It didn't throw them for a second. Craig kept up the drumming, Tom did an impromptu dance around his guitar, and the crowd energy lifted a few more notches, with the cheering growing until a few minutes later the sound emerged yet again and Cassette finished their set in a triumphant blaze. Good times.

As for the Phoenix Foundation, I remain lost for words. All I can say is that their sound is truly beautiful, wonderful, enchanting... it was moving. The atmosphere was warm, happy, inclusive, sublime. Thank you so much to Sam, Luke, Conrad, Will, Richie, Warner. Y'all are lovely people. Lots of songs from the first album, lots of new songs from the soon-to-be-released new album... again I'm useless with the set list... The crowd insisted on an encore - I was hoping for the rarely-performed-live 'Sally'. They played the soft heartbreaking 'The Swarm', one of my favourites from the album Horsepower (which everyone should own at least two copies of, so that you are always in a position to be able to give one away when the need arises.) There was also a cool version of 'Bruiser (Miami 2000). I'd like to say more, but I can't do them justice! Read a review of Horsepower here, I wrote it before I'd met any of them so no accusations of bias, thank you.

To finish, Phelps & Munro played another set, including that wicked song which I think is called 'Live at the King's Arms' - has that fucked up Guns'n'Roses thing happening - rawk! He played a number of songs from Slowpoke, another album everyone should own, including the excellent 'Horse Winning Without Rider.' I dig Phelps & Munro, it was good to meet the man at last.

So, dear readers, I remain well content with my night's entertainment, still floating on it really, thanks to A Low Hum Issue 13/CD6 which I would recommend that you buy, if it wasn't entirely sold out. Thank you Blink you are a star!



Blogger supergood said...

He's certainly doing alright for himself isn't he.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey.. great review. Who needs setlists anyway. Apart from the band. I waz at the ALH show at anuther venue and had a similar reaction to both Cassette and Phoenix Foundation. Doubleplusgood. Cassette blew up Warner's bass amp at that show. What is it with those guys and electricty, eh?

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Was that in Dunedin? Cool.

1:43 PM  

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