Sunday, July 17, 2005

nova echo w/ the new originals // the phoenix foundation w/ thomas:parkes [live reviews]

a busy night of bands on saturday proved largely succesful. first stop was the dux, where the new originals were into the second half of their set. the local fanbase were at large and enjoying the danceable jangly indie pop of the christchurch four piece.

their sound itself was interesting. having only heard a couple of their tracks on rdu where the janglyness is exemplified by clear production, their live sound was quite different and a lot messier. while influences such as pavement might sound almost meticulously slack, the new originals sounded sludgey, in a similar way to dinosaur jr, particularly with the rhythm section. most of the time, this worked succesfully. at others, though, it sounded too messy - a lot of the jangly qualities were lost amidst a swamp of instrumentation, particulary by the over-active drumming. the keyboardist was pretty low in the mix - it would've been nicer if its sound was more prominent. lead singer tim moore cracked out the ole' theramin for the last song though, which was both novel and effective at crafting some nice melodies.

the energy was high throughout, which seemed to be the point of the set. it was all very danceable, so in a live setting, the loss of clarity was probably a good sacrifice.

a lot of the local fanbase seemed to drop off after the new originals set (prehaps to the phoenix foundation?). this was a shame, as nova echo were an extremely polished and also totally danceable young post-punk act.

the opening song was interesting - i was left asking whether it was an interpol cover or not. it wasn't, but the effect was the same. it was exactly like something off turn on the bright lights, which was just ok with me. as was what followed - jagged post-punk with great start/stop dynamics, taking pages from gang of four, the mint chicks, q and not u. the singer (pictured above) is the tallest man i've ever seen, and i thought it was fucking great that he could still spaz out as well as a singer of half his sature. it's hard to know how to describe them as being anything other than a post-punk band - they're pretty purist in that sense. it was all angular guitars and stunted basslines. they seemed to lack the intensity of other contemporary post-punkers, but it was hard to tell whether it was due to the empathy displayed by the audience or the band itself. it was probably both. either, it was a good show for any post-punk fan, but unfortunatley, the phoenix foundation beckoned - so we made our way to the jetset after only four or five songs.

i really wanted to stay for the rest of nova echo's set, but the phoenix foundation quickly made me forget any ideas like this. as has come to be expected, they were just terrific. they played pretty much every song from their two albums, traversing a wide and diverse variety while staying progressive. spectral and atmospheric tracks were matched with more uptempo rockers, to huge success.

the venue of the jetset left a lot to be desired, especially because of how fucking packed it was. the sound was really quiet - it's annoying when you can hear the people around you more than the band itself mid-way throuh a song. there was little room to move, and unfortunatly for me (who turned up late, and missed the support act, who were apprentley "ok"), it was impossible to get near enough to the front to take any photos. the six members were all having a great time, so the atmosphere of the jetset was actually pretty good (not to mention fun) for once. i think that their performance outdoors in the sun at the big day out earlier this year seemed to suit their sound a whole lot more than the jetset did.

but anyway, it's hard to complain with such a surplus of gigs in one weekend - now a rare happening in christchurch. let's hope it happens again soon.


gareth said...

Ya, the Phoenix Foundation was tops, but I agree that the venue left a little to be desired. Plus too many talkers and pushers in the audience ("lemme past man, my friend's up the front").

Some knob tried to push in front of me by saying he was playing drums on the next song. Dick.

Anyhow, forgetting the negative stuff that was out of the PF's hands, they put on a great show. Super encore!

richard said...

hah. that guy that was "playing drums in the next song" was a jerk, huh. lotsa nice people there too though.

i wonder how die! die! die! with the shocking pinks and house of dolls was. anyone know?