Blog Roddus

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Great North - Blue Smoke - Christchurch - 8th July 2018


Great North are a New Zealand Husband and Wife duo playing folksy/americana indi pop of quality.
 They had been based in the UK and Europe for several years where they recorded their "The Golden Age" Album, released last year, a record I have really enjoyed. They have several more earlier CD's on their Bandcamp page.
 They returned to New Zealand and have decided to put the band on indefinate hold and so have gone out on the road for this final tour so I needed to catch their set.
 This was one of Blue Smokes Sunday sit downs although I was a little late to secure a table and was on my own so wasn't to bothered. It was a modest crowd but enough to look reasonably busy.
 The support act was another Husband and Wife duo of Brendon & Alison Turner whom they had brought down from the far north. Brendon played acoustic guitar and they sang harmony as they presented us their old style  blues tinged country music. Their male female harmonies were pretty good(I do like that style) and their songs interesting and pretty good. They didn't really capture the audiences attention though with most of them chatting loudly through the set apart from us near the front.

 Great North hit the stage soon after 5PM, Hayden and Rachel Donell joined by a peddle steel player and another fella on electric piano. Hayden was pretty chatty throughout ther set and told stories about some of the songs with plenty of dry humour. At one point announcing "This song is about my ex girlfriend, sang by my wife". Their live set followed closely what I knew from their record with most of the material being from their "Golden Age" album and a new CD called "The Caravan Recordings I" which maybe some older unrleaserd material and the title suggest more in the pipeline. I picked up the CD and played it on the way home and noticed at least three songs from their live set.
 I really enjoyed their set, Hayden has a strong distinct voice that reminds me a little of Don McGlashan and he combines very well with his wife. Great gig and sad that it may be their last tour.





Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fis and Rob Thorn - Christchurch Arts Center Auditorium - 13 June 2018


Rob Thorn presents traditional Maori instruments and with the aid of Fis( Oliver Peryman) creates sonic soundscapes with electronics and taonga pūoro. I scored the album Clear Stones that the pair released last year and it is a very interesting and unique presentation of indigenous instruments and electronic manipulations of Rob's instruments.

 This presentation had nearly a full house at the Christchurch Arts Center on a cool and damp evening. After everyone finally took their seats, Rob gave a short introduction to what they would be doing and a warning as to the extreme volumes we were about to experience during their presentation. The venue staff then handed out earplugs to all who wished them, I don't usually bother but I took a pair just to be safe.

 Rob started the show on his own with the acoustic taonga pūoro instruments and feed them through a loop playback machine, building subtle layers of traditional sounds, this part of the presentation needed no earplugs. After a while Rob gave Fis the nod and he chimed in with his electronic sound oscillators and laptops building in volume until the sound became quite physical with the low end rumblings causing the floor and chairs to vibrate. Earplugs were definitely needed at this time. The pair played for just under an hour I think and it is difficult for me to describe the sonic art they produced except it was very loud and there was a lot of low end noise.

 There was a break for drinks and leg stretching before the show recommenced with just Fis solo with his boxes of knobs and buttons. Again it got very loud and physical but it was a very interesting and enjoyable soundscape he created while furiously fiddling with knobs and buttons and leavers etc on his boxes. Overall a very interesting, intense and enjoyable experience.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Evil Kid - Salad Boys - Dogfish - PGX - Darkroom - Christchurch - 9th June 2018



Two nights in a row I get to see some great live music, this time it is back to a regular venue, the Darkroom for the first time this year. Evil Kid hail from Dunedin and the bass player is someone I know from one of the music related Facebook groups I belong to and also he runs a local record label, Monkey Killer Records, and I have bought some records from him, so I hoped to meet him and have a chat.
  They had enlisted support from three local Christchurch bands, two I had not heard of and the third being the Salad Boys, who I have a couple of their records and had seen them play live before and liked their music.
 I arrived just as the doors opened at 9pm, bought a drink and waited for the bands to get set up. Dave from Galaxy Records soon arrived and opened his shop and I had a quick browse through his selections and a chat untill the first band was ready to go on.
 PGX were unfamiliar to me, an all girl band playing a great post punky music that really impressed and had some really cool guitar riffs going on in their bouncy music. Some of he other musos who knew them commented on how far they had come in their playing and songwriting. Look forward to some recordings soon.

Here is a short Video I posted to Facebook during their set.

https://www.facebook.com/Roddus1/videos/10156434267244731/UzpfSTcwNjMxNDczMDoxMDE1NjQzNTYzMzI3NDczMQ/

 Dogfish were next and they too are new to me. Guitar, Drums Keyboard and a sort of electric violin of some sort, they played long jammy instrumentals that I really liked and they appeared a little disorganized but it was a lot of fun.

https://www.facebook.com/Roddus1/videos/10156434327129731/UzpfSTcwNjMxNDczMDoxMDE1NjQzNTYzMjg3NDczMQ/

Evil Kid played next as they decided to let Salad Boys go last they are the best known band of the four. A four piece playing punky indie rock, their songs were all pretty good and catchy and had some great guitar licks that I enjoyed. The singer sounded familiar to me and I confirmed with David, the Bass played after their set that he had in fact been the vocalist of a band called Onanon of whom I have the records they put out on David's monkey killer Records.

https://www.facebook.com/Roddus1/videos/10156434384359731/UzpfSTcwNjMxNDczMDoxMDE1NjQzNTYzMjQ2NDczMQ/

Last up was Salad Boys, playing pretty fast tempo versions of the songs from their last LP, they really punked it up and were full of energy and played a good and enjoyable set. I heard Dave from Galaxy Records mention that the bass and drum players in the band keep changing every time he sees them play and I thought the bass playing was different from the last time I saw them play late last year. I though the Drummer missed a couple of beats also. They were the loudest band of the night and thinks did get a little more distorted, especially the vocals as both the leader and bass player were really screaming the lyrics sometimes and it was a little too much, but overall it was a great and energetic set.

https://www.facebook.com/Roddus1/videos/10156434452409731/UzpfSTcwNjMxNDczMDoxMDE1NjQzNTYzMTk2OTczMQ/

Not sure if you can access these videos links on facebook that I posted and unfortunately the videos are rather jumpy from my phone for some reason.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Miltones and Emily Fairlight - Blue Smoke - Christchurch 8th June 2018



Been quite a while since I went to see any live music and not through lack of great bands coming through but mainly lack of funds to support my habit. Most spare cash has been used trying to keep up with all the great New Zealand vinyl records being released so far this year and good grief, how did the first half of the year disappear so fast.
 The Miltones the Wife and I saw last year at the same venue(a review of which I seemed to have forgotten to post) and most enjoyable they were on that occasion. As well as their wonderful debut record(which won a Tui for debut of the year) which has impressed me no end since getting hold of a copy.
 Also Emily Fairlight has her first record out and after having a listen on bandcamp, figured I would score a copy at the gig. She whom must be obeyed and myself duly arrived early enough to get a table near the stage and settled in with drinks in anticipation of of Emily taking the stage at 8:30.
 Being a support act I actually expected Emily Fairlight to be flying solo for this gig and so was pleasantly surprised to see a band join her on stage. She mentioned that the band being her southern band, in that they were a group of local musos, collected togeather for this gig. Overall it was a nice set. I was still quite unfamiliar with Emily's music but she has a good voice although her singing did not come through the PA all that clear or her speaking for that matter. There was one piece they did called The Desert, which was an instrumental number and quite experimental and different from the rest of her set and it impressed me the most. Overall both Mrs Roddus and myself  enjoyed her set and I did indeed purchase her record.
  The break between bands was kept reasonably short and soon the Miltones hit the stage and let rip into their rockin' set. The Miltones record is a combination of 70's Fleetwood Mac and modern Americana with their lead singer sounding a lot like Stevie Nicks sometimes. The last time we saw them at Blue Smoke, it was one of their Sunday Sit Down Gigs and the band was purposely restrained but still impressed me considerably with their well constructed and played music. This time they played with much more energy and it was evident from the first song that this band play together so well. The set consisted of several songs from the album, a couple or three new ones including the one that the tour was supporting and a couple of older songs that were not on the album. All that they played was great and the newer stuff bodes very well for the next album. The keyboard player was really getting into his stuff this night and his long hair was flying all over the place as he let rip with some impressive playing as well as a couple of cool trumpet solos. The Guitarist is also very skilled and on their rockier songs played some pretty cool and rocking solos as well. Another most enjoyable set from the Miltones and although their music is a bit more commercial than a lot of what I  usually listen to, I do really like and respect this band and they should be getting much more attention than they appear to be getting at present.

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Dead Forest Index - All That Drifts From Summit Down - Sargent House SH51 - 2016 - New Zealand (vinyl)



Probably not really a review but more of a rave in regards to this record. Two brothers, Adam and Sam Sherry are the core of this band with a few friends helping out. Their first full album after some hard to find EP's we are presented here with a bunch of shoegazy dreamy pop songs of ethereal ambience and outstanding quality. The music is great, the poetic lyrics somewhat impenetrable but of quality, but the vocal harmonies are just phenomenal. I think Adam handles most of the singing with Sam occasionally backing, but it also sounds like Adam harmonizes with himself a lot of the time. I just can't express just how astonishing this record is, one of the best New Zealand albums I have ever heard and definitely a desert island disc. Rating 5+/5



Steve Abel - Luck/Hope - Arcade Recordings AMR 006 - New Zealand - 2016 (Vinyl)




I had heard Steve's song "Sidewalk Doves" several times from a podcast I listen to regularly, which I enjoy, but although I had seen his record about, I had not got around to securing myself a copy, until I actually saw him play live last year, a gig I thoroughly enjoyed. I picked up this record there.
 A singer/songwriter with a pleasant and laid back almost lazy voice, which I like a lot, this album has quite a lineup of musicians that play on it from across the 6 year odd gestation period of this record. Steve just played solo with his acoustic guitar when I saw him play and he was great, but I always enjoy the music more when filled out with a full band and this music is no exception. This is a pretty sparse record, very laid back and understated but really well presented with plenty of strong tunes and nice subtle playing, especially from the talented Jolie Holland who has a strong presence on this set. A very nice record which get a rating of 4/5.





Sunday, January 7, 2018

Milt Jackson & John Coltrane - Bags & Trane - Atlantic USA 1961 - CD Reissue 1988




I was pretty slow coming to jazz, it was a music I really struggled to connect with until probably well into my 30's, but before that I did slowly add some jazz titles to my collection. John Coltrane and Miles Davis mainly. With the discovery of John Zorn and Sun Ra in the early 90's I started to take more of a notice, although both stayed on the outer periphery of my music listening until much later.
 But the first jazz record I actually bought back in the late 80's while I still was in my early 20's was a vinyl copy of this album. I obtained it well before I started buying CDs and I have no idea which vinyl version I had at the time but I do remember really liking what I heard, especially the fast tempo tracks with their fast bass lines holding the tunes together. It was always the faster paced tunes that really captured my attention back in the day and this album certainly had some of that uptempo stuff for me to relish. As much as I liked this record at the time it still remained my only foray into jazz for quite a while. This CD reissue was released in 1988 according to the back cover and has 3 additional bonus tracks. I didn't actually buy this again till recently after I saw it really cheap in some shop and remembered my fondness for it. My enjoyment of this record has not diminished over the last 30 years since I first heard it and indeed I can appreciate the sheer quality of this great session from two jazz greats even more now. A wonderful record and the additional tracks all stand up well with the original record. Rating 4/5.

Triumphs - Computer Man - Self Released TRI001 - New Zealand 2017 - (Limited Edition Vinyl)




So I have had 8 new slabs of vinyl arrive so far for the first week of 2018, four I have already reviewed below, but this one is the pick of the new arrivals so far.
 Triumphs are a two piece with just guitar and drums, hailing from the southern metropolis of Dunedin, New Zealand. They play what is usually termed "Post Rock" and they stick to the formula of quiet/loud which seems to be quite common for this style of music. The scene seems to be pretty busy here in NZ and with this album Triumphs have pushed them selves to the top of the heap here up with the likes of Jacob, Karretta and Into Orbit.
 Four Sides of awesome riffing backed with excellent drumming, over all four sides it never gets dull, even though they never stray from the usual formula. Their first album, "Beekeeper/Bastardknocker" was a great record but suffered from low volume and was quite Lofi sounding on vinyl. This record supersedes that record in every aspic, the sound is incredible, the volume is excellent, the music is fantastic and the vinyl is quiet as a mouse. Perfect. What a great record to start off the year. Rating 5/5.

Roy Irwin - Some Other Dumb Asshole - 1:12 Records - LP 004 - 2016 - New Zealand (Vinyl)


The last of the 1:12 Records new arrivals and I believe this is Roy's first album. A little harder to pigeonhole, this record with a couple of instrumental tracks,  a solo guitar song, some slightly weird stuff in some track and some  nice non commercial pop tracks like the familiar and very good"Metal Breath", which I already knew and the excellent bass led "Deth Trip"that opens side two. Maybe a little patchy in places but plenty interesting stuff happening and I feel most of it will grow on me. Rating 3.5/5.


The Echo Ohs - Hot Pocket - 1:12 Records - LP 006 - 2017 - New Zealand (Vinyl)

Next new arrival is another of the three I got from 1:12 Records, a small independent record company(like so many here) in the North Island of new Zealand. This is The Echo Ohs first album, after a split EP and a 7 inch single both on vinyl. The band has four members with  female vocalist/bassist and drummer and guitar with trumpet and trombone, and sax on one track.
 Lifo garage/surf/riot girrl is the order of the day, plenty of distortion but not enough to obscure what is going on in the songs. plenty of cool bass and screeching guitar fleshed out with the brass, this is a really sound record and most enjoyable. A great effort. Rating 4/5



Full Moon Fiasco - Summer Eyes - Fantasy Fiction Records - FF 001 - 2017 - New Zealand (Vinyl)


So, this is the second review of the four first arrivals of 2018 and is the second album from this expat Kiwi band now resident in Germany. The brainchild of one Will Rattray, who recorded, mixed and produced this album as well as sharing writing credits with the rest of the band. Been a long wait between albums with their debut being possibly digital only release from 2010.
 Electronic tinged, off kilter psychedelic indie pop make up the contents of this record, pretty catchy in places and somewhat dreamy and shoegazy. Overall, a pleasant enough bunch of songs that I have enjoyed listening to but probably not a record that will end up on my best of lists. Still a worthwhile addition to my New Zealand Collection, with some quite interesting moments. Sounds better on the floor stand speakers than the headphones though, sounded a bit murky on the headphones. Rating 3/5.


Magic Factory - Working With Gold - 1:12 Records - LP 007 - 2017 - New Zealand (vinyl)


Apparently, sometime perhaps back in the early 70's, The Rolling Stones somehow discovered or got access to a time machine and came forward 45 odd years in time and ended up in New Zealand where they recorded an album for a small independent record label called 1:12 Records under the pseudonym The Magic Factory.
  All joking aside, yes this record certainly does have a very strong early 70's Rolling Stones sound perhaps with a hint of those other Rolling Stones copyists, The New York Dolls. This is not at all a bad thing, with some great songs and plenty of classic guitar sounds on what is a very accomplished and pretty cool record. I am enjoying it to the max, nothing wrong with old school rock. Rating 4.5/5.




Tom Cunliffe - Lyttelton Records - Christchurch - 6 January 2018



Tom Cunliffe is an Auckland resident of Irish descent who plays a lovely blend of folksy Americana, has a really good debut album out on Lyttelton Records out of Christchurch and another album due out in April. This short tour is in promotion of that new record.
  This was my first gig at the new Lyttelton Records Cafe/Bar/record shop/music venue. It is a pretty small venue with a capacity of only about 80 people and it was not full for this date. I found the setup a bit of a let down with the stage in the center of the long narrow venue and seating limited but also taking up a lot of the standing room in front  of the stage. The bar was off to the side of the sage with a brick wall separating but there was a window looking from the end of the bar into the stage area and a speaker to project the music into this area. It was at the far end of the bar I found a perch with my drink as I waited for the first act of the night. This was another Tom, although I did not get to hear his last name. This Tom played just solo guitar and some piano and did some really good tunes although lyrically a little on the dark side and the guitar playing was cool and slightly heavy in places. Who ever he was I enjoyed his set.
 After he finished. I snuck into a gap in the seating up against a wall where I got a much better view of the stage and waited for Tom Cunliffe to mount the stage.
  This Tom also played solo, mostly electric and later some acoustic guitar. I had a re listen to his first album earlier to reacquaint myself with his songs, but actually most of the show was at first all the new stuff, I believe, from his up coming album and so I didn't know any of it, but it sounded promising and sometimes whimsical, as apposed to the more melancholy stuff on the first record. Towards the end of his set a lady at the front asked if he would play Old Moon, a great song off the first album(which I just now discovered was not his first album, as he has an earlier one on Bandcamp), He duly obliged as she enthusiastically sung along to every word. He played two more songs off that record to which he got more reaction from the audience as they all knew the songs and all are great songs. It was a most enjoyable evening and Tom is a bloody great singer, an impressive lyricist and a strong entertainer. Great night, really glad I went.



Thursday, January 4, 2018

Godsmack - Awake - Republic/Universal Records 159 688-2- USA 2000 (CD)



Really heavy alt rock with gruff but good vocals, this album really kicks arse, has great riffs is as heavy as fuck with out becoming outright metal and sells in truckloads( God Smack have world wide album sales in excess if 10 000 000 units) I really like this one, good sounds. Rating 4/5.


Various Artists - Hallelujah, Anyway- Remembering Tom Cora - Tzadik TZ7602 - USA 1999 (CD)



I knew Nothing of Tom Cora when i bought this album. I bought it as part of my collecting of the catalog of John Zorn's Tzadik Label.
 Released in 1999, soon after Tom's passing from cancer at the age of 44, this tribute to Tom consists of two 70 minute CDs of music from Tom and many of the bands Tom played in over his career as well as other musicians that Tom had played with and influenced, doing pieces that Tom wrote or that they recorded especially for this compilation.
 I could be here a month of Sundays trying to describe the music on this release and at over 140 minutes there is a hell of a lot to take in and this sort of stuff does not get pulled off the shelf very often.
 Tom played in many bands over the years as well as releasing solo stuff, like some of his solo cello improvisations, an impressive example of which graces this album, along with recordings he did with some familiar names, such as, John Zorn, Fred Frith, Leo Smith and Chris Cutler. There are also tracks from bands that Tom graced such as, Curlew, Oriental Fusion, Third Person, The Ex, Pidgen Combo, Nimal and I believe his most well known outfit, Skeleton Crew with Fred Frith and Zeena Parkins.
Oh what a roller coaster of a musical journey is this project but it is very well worth the ride. Some really mind bending and creative music resides on these two discs, from free improvisations, plenty of NYC Downtown madness, Brass Bands, electronic noise, off kilter pop and plenty of other almost indescribable weirdness, there is nothing I don't like and plenty that I really am enjoying very much. It would be worth tracking down some of the recordings Tom did with the various bands he played in that I mentioned above. A wonderful tribute to Tom and musically get a massive thumbs up from me.
 I highly recommend this album for those who like challenging music, go on, dive in I dare you. Rating 5/5.



Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I May See - Capitol Records 0777 7 98253 2 5 - USA 1993 (CD)



Mazzy Star are another of those bands where I just have the one album, not because I didn't get into them at the time but usually because there are always so many other albums always begging for my attention and some times because an album is just so fucking good that one feels nothing else they could do would ever touch it and this is one of those. Not that Mazzy Star actually put out many albums anyhow.
 I know I didn't actually buy this album upon initial release, but much later on. I did finally buy a copy, of course, on the strength of "Fade Into You", the opening track and I sure most who know it will agree, a masterful classic of  slow dreamy atmospheric pop, A beautiful song.
 Although this album is not pure commercial pop, this music is much deeper than that, stunning alternative pop, with slow organ melodies, acoustic guitar and sometimes screeching electric guitar, nicely mixed in the background so not to overpower the rest of the music. This is such a well balanced mix, awesomely recorded but not super Hifi.
  Not only are the songs brilliant but some of the titles are really cool as well, "Mary of Silence", "Unreflected", "Into Dust", just all magnificent songs.
 I really can't gush enough about just how good this record is, it might be nigh on perfect. so I'll just conclude that this album is a very strong contender for a desert Island disc. Rating 5+/5.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sun Ra - Cosmo Earth Fantasy(Sub Underground Vol 1&2) (USA 1974/5) ( CD) Reissue 2012





This Art Yard release combines two ultra rare Ra Saturn LPs from 74'and 75', "Cosmo Earth Fantasy" and "What's New", although the recordings themselves are dated somewhat earlier, from 1962 Choreographers Workshop reheasrsal recordings to a live recording from 1975. Quite a mix of styles on offer here with the set kicking off with the mammoth 22 minute improvised title track which will challenge but reveals some quite interesting passages. It does get pretty noodly at times though. The rest is a bit more conventional sounding in a fashion(if you could ever call any of Sun Ra's muisc conventional) with some nice piano from Ra in places and reasonable remastering to give a fairly listenable release. A very worthwhile Sun Ra set and gets my rating of 4/5.

https://www.discogs.com/Sun-Ra-And-His-Astro-Infinity-Arkestra-Cosmo-Earth-Fantasy-Sub-Underground-Series-Vol-1-2/release/4085654

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers - Rolling Stones Records - UK 1971 (CD) Reissue 1994



What more can I say about an album like this, bugger all really. I am not a really big Stones fan but I do have some of their best albums in my collection. Of course this kicks off with one of those unavoidable classics which you would have to be living in a cave in Mongolia for the last 40 years, not to be familiar with. This album also has an real Americana vibe through it with it's shades of country as well as the excellent delta blues of " We Gotta Move" Consistently brilliant across its whole 46 minutes, but it's the center piece of the album that really blows my mind. The seven minute "Can You Hear Me Knocking" could possibly be the best things the Stones ever recorded with the great riff and the awesome extended atmospheric sax and guitar breaks. Although "Sister Morphine" slightly disappoints after being so familiar with Marianne Faithful's sublime version for so long, it still won't stop me giving this album 5/5.


https://www.discogs.com/The-Rolling-Stones-Sticky-Fingers/release/9792158

The Cure - Disintergration - Fiction Records 839353-2 - UK 1989 (CD)


So this is apparently The Cure's biggest selling album, with over three million units sold worldwide. I never knew they got quite so big. I guess I still think of them as a sort of cult band from their early 80's output. This reissue on CD of this album ended up in my collection god knows when and really has received almost no attention since. This CD version has some additional tracks and clocks in over 72 minutes. As you would expect from The Cure, the music is dark and drony and a bit long winded and I do find these very long records difficult to stay with for their full length. I was slightly familiar with one or two songs on this, and good songs they are. There is a lot happening throughout the record, with some interesting string arrangements fleshing out the tracks I do actually find this to be a pretty strong set, although still way too long. Another of those albums that I couldn't really sit down with and listen to intently but I am really appreciating it as it plays loudly while doing other not too distracting jobs around the house. Rating 3/5.


The Nudge - Big Nudge Pie - Self Released KEEN001 - New Zealand 2011 (CD)


Since my almost total immersion into New Zealand music over the last two and a half years and re immersion into the cult of vinyl, I made the decision that most of the NZ music I buy was going to be vinyl only, but that is not an absolute. I had picked up The Nudge - Dark Arts album earlier in the year and was most impressed with the result and didn't hesitate to catch them live back in September when they played here. The gig was excellent and they played a lot of songs from their more unfamiliar first album sand witched between a full live rendition of the Dark Arts album. I was totally blown away by their playing and their music and so had to get my hands on this CD, seeing as it didn't have a vinyl release.
 This whole album, all 60 odd minutes, is just wall to wall Blues/Psych rock with all killer and no filler. Stunning arrangements and brilliant guitar pyrotechnics, this record is an absolute New Zealand Classic, pure raw unadulterated bliss. Rating 5/5.




McCoy Tyner - Time for Tyner - Blue Note BST84307 - USA 1969 (LP) 75th Anniversary Reissue



The second Blue Note of the evening was this quartet session from 1968, lead by Tyner on the piano, it opens three of his own compositions and concludes with three musical pieces from Rogers and Hammerstein and A.J Learner. It was difficult for me not to make too many comparisons with the previous fantastic Grant Green album I had just listened to before this. The Idle Moments record was a wonderful sparce, clear and excellent all round record which just impressed me incredibly. On the headphones straight after, this album struck me as more dense and frenetic and maybe not quite as clear as a recording as the other record, I wasn't feeling it anywhere near as much. On next listen I didn't use the headphones, played through the Focals, and it definitely fitted much better like this. I found it to be one of those records I can appreciate more if I am not solely focused on intent listening and indeed this morning I am appreciating the excellent piano work of Tyner on this fast paced record. One that was highly rated in the Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, it was included as one of their Core Recordings, but I don't find it quite as satisfying but am appreciating the playing much more than I did last night. It is a grower, rating 3.5/5

Grant Green - Idle Moments - Blue Note ST-84154 - USA 1964 (LP) 75th Anniversary Reissue.



Getting into my Blue Notes for a couple of records on a lazy New Years Day and first one I pulled off the rack is this fantastic record. A quintet session from late '62 lead by Green but with the two best compositions by the pianist, Duke Pearson. Pearson's Album title track is the center piece of the set, and extremely laid back slow number that sounds like it is going to stall at times but is chocked full of stunning solos from Henderson, Green and Pearsom. Jean De Fluer is a faster tempo with some wonderful playing from Green, who penned this number, it is a real toe tapper. Side two opens with the Modern Jazz Quartets Djando, a mid tempo affair to which the group does great justice, and lastly Pearson's second composition, Nomad signs off an excellent record. I usually prefer my jazz more up tempo and freer but this is such a Strong record wonderfully recorded and the 75th Anniversary vinyl reissue sounds great. A classic Blue Note. Rating 5/5.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Band of Horses - Everything All The Time - Sub Pop SPCD 690 - USA 2006 (CD)



I just dragged this CD off the rack and blew off the dust and give it a spin  or two. This was a record that I brought on  the strength of the excellent "The Funeral" which I heard on one of the UNCUT Magazine's  Sampler CDs. Another of those bands that I only ever picked up the one Album from but never followed the rest of their career, not that they don't deserve more of my attention, but time, you know. I am not usually a great fan of jangly indi-pop, but these guys are at the top of the heap with this, their first album, a laid back, slightly acoustic affair with some lovely quiet moments like  "Augustine" and the banjo led "Monsters" and some great alternative pop with "Our Swords, "The Great Salt Lake " and of course the "Funeral". Not overly commercial, which I like, but in an ideal world they would get a lot more radio play than they properly do(not that I listen to the radio much nowadays). A strong album from start to finish. and at 36 minutes of seventies sensibility,another one that doesn't overstay its welcome. My Rating 4.5/5





Into Orbit - Caverns - Self Released IOR001 - New Zealand 2014 (Vinyl)


The first album from this duo of guitar and drums, playing what is termed "Post Rock". Rock based instrumental songs with most of them having a quiet almost atmospheric intro before kicking into heavy riffs and solos. Into Orbit hail from Wellington and are just one of many "Post Rock" type bands from around the country. Good musicians writing pretty strong material, I actually prefer the album more than when I saw them play live last year(I bought the LP from them at that gig). This album is definitely a grower as I get more familiar with the tunes and is a pretty good effort for what is probably only a semi pro band. I think they may be one of the more higher profile bands of this type in New Zealand and deservedly so. Rating 3.5/5




3 Voices - 3 Voices - Unsung UN 1 - New Zealand 1983 (vinyl)


I thought it was time to start reviewing records again as I haven't done any for quite some time and I can't go tramping at the moment due to my disc prolapse in my back and also since I stopped reviewing on this blog I have jumped back on the vinyl bandwagon after 20 years of CDs and downloads. Also my main vinyl focus had been collecting New Zealand music both old and new after many years of only partially supporting the local music scene. My rediscovery of the local scene has unveiled to me a fantastic array of awesome New Zealand Music of which I had no idea of it's existence and also reminded me of how good a lot of the older stuff from my youth actually was. Also, of course I wish to continue supporting the live scene here as I have been, the scene is as healthy and as vibrant as ever, even though the audience is not big.
 Unsung Music was an apparently short lived record label out of Auckland from 1982 to 1983, according to what is listed on Discogs. 3 Voices was the first release on the label. This appears to be their only album and there are 10 members listed on the jacket, of which only one name is familiar to me. There is very little information on either 3 Voices or Unsung on the net and nothing at all on Audioculture, the preeminent NZ music web site.
 The record was a bit of a blind buy for me. I found it in the NZ music bins at my local second hand record shop, the price was pretty good and it looked interesting and I was buying up just about anything NZ that I could afford. As I will probably mention a lot in the future, these New Zealand vinyl pressings from when we still had a local pressing plant are very good and this 35 year old record sounds very impressive both vinyl wise and sonically for the music it's self. It was well looked after by it's previous owner(s).
 Musically, this record is a great addition to my NZ music collection and I am most impressed with the contents. The music is a complex amalgamation of pop, reggae and jazz and reminds me of a more commercial, poppy variant of the Braille music that was coming out of Wellington around the same time although it is not something you would likely hear in radio. There were other bands mining this style of music in NZ around the time also. The album is Strong throughout and reveals a lot of depth on careful listen. A most enjoyable record. Rating 3.5/5.




Monday, December 25, 2017

The Darkroom Holiday Special - The Darkroom - Christchurch - 23 December 2017.


25 Bands in one night, across two stages in a tiny venue. Didn't know about this till the last minute, almost, but there were several bands that I was quite keen to see and some of them I have records of their music. Others I had seen before and was quite impressed, so there was plenty of interest, the rest I had never heard of. I believe all were local bands.


  So things were suppose to kick off about 5:20pm, all the first 8 bands I had never heard of and it wasn't until Motte at 8pm that I was interested in seeing. I had had a very busy day in my garden and didn't leave home until just after 6pm.
Arriving at the venue about 7:30pm, I soon found that already they were just under an hour behind the schedule. I just caught the end of The Teasers, I think, a duo of acoustic guitar and drums and sounded not too bad from what I heard, although I didn't pay too much attention as I was getting a drink and checking out the set up of the venue. The north stage, is the usual stage they use most of the time, the south stage was set up in the back part of the venue. Each band had a 20 minute set while the next band set up on the other stage and there were almost no breaks between sets.
 Next I caught the full set of Butterflies Welcoming Spring, another duo with drums and electric guitar. This band was pretty ferocious with some quite impressive guitar pyrotechnics and the guitarist throwing himself about all over the place while he thrashed away at his axe. I liked it quite a bit. 
 Dave from Galaxy records turned up soon after this and opened his shop, so I really didn't see anything I can remember from the next two bands as I was browsing his shop and chatting with Dave.
 Motte was next and I was very keen to see her preform again. I first saw her at the start of the year supporting Jay Clarkson's Breathing Cage and then purchased her album later on which has been a highlight of the years releases.
 This time she had a dude on drums lightly improvising behind her as she set up her violin loops and played over the top of them. The first piece had quite a drone going which I didn't recognize, although I think the playing over the top sounded familiar, but the rest of the stuff she played sounded unfamiliar to me and also she didn't preform and vocals like she did on her album, so I was slightly disappointed but still enjoyed her set.
  Big  Beach I am a bit vague on but I think they were doing some quite enjoyable surf rock and the crowd was getting into them, but I was back in the record shop for some of their set.
 Dark Matter was the band I most wanted to see this night with Steve Cogle of the Terminals leading this project, I have their lone album which is really good and I really enjoy Steve's distinctive voice. Their music is not all that far removed from The Terminals but with slightly different instruments, one being this very cool electric string instrument that the player bowed, making a wonderful noise that slightly dominated the bands sound. Their set was excellent.
 No Broadcast I had seen before and they played a catchy almost commercial sounding heavy rock and I like their music. I found a seat and sat off to the side to ease the tension in my back from standing for so long. Their set was pretty good but they had it cranked way too loud, probably the loudest of the night.
  Jim Nothing/Wurld series were next and I had seen Wurld Series before and had really enjoyed their Flying Nun pop but this was a different set up with Motte on Violin supporting guitar and drums. Nice acoustic music and an enjoyable set.
 Salad Boys have a new record out soon and although I have their first LP, I haven't had it long and am not yet all that familiar with it. They played a great indie pop set with the bass lines of their songs particularly catchy, another highlight set of the night and I asked the singer/guitarist if all the songs were from their new album which he confirmed they were, so really looking forward to getting that.
 I think Piha Rescue played next instead of the listed band, who played later. They were another kinda surf rock band although I don't recall much about their set.
 Ruling Elite I sat out their set again to relieve my back but their set sounded quite interesting.
 Prodigies were up next and I had never heard of them but it turned out that Dave from Galaxy was playing guitar along with a second guitar, bass and drums backing the singer. They played a fantastic kinda 80's rock and I just loved their set, maybe the best of the night.
 The next band that I really focused on, and I had heard of them, was Opawa 45's. They also played a kinds surf/rockabilly/punk hybrid and had a really cool sound, great dirty bass, really enjoyed their set also.
 Log Horn Breed were the last band I was really interested in seeing this night and it was now well past midnight when they hit the stage. They also have a great record out that I have and had been wanting to see them live for a while. They played a dark industrial electronic noise with this the big bloke screaming into his treated mike, whichy made it pretty difficult to hear anything he sang.
 I was really getting into their noise when this bloke went right up into the singers face and started saying something to him, the singer, who already looked pretty antagonistic, was not impressed and told him to fuck off a couple of times, then not long after in the middle of the piece everything went dead, like the power was cut off and the band just started packing up. It was a pretty short set and I'm not sure if the abrupt termination was actually part of their act, quite probably.
 At 1am, I still had an hours drive to get home and did not know any of the last bands so I hit the road. It was a great night of music and I didn't hear anything all night that I didn't like.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Blazed and Confused - The Great Southern Doom Fest - New City Hotel - Christchurch - 9 December 2017



The title will inform most as to the sort of music presented on this night of noisy mayhem. I was most interested in seeing Triumphs again and hopefully picking up their latest slab of vinyl and Arc Of Ascent of whom I also have a couple of records and was keen to meet their leader, Craig, whom I kinda knew through a Facebook Group, Also Bloodnut was one I had heard a little via Bandcamp and liked enough to bee keen on seeing them live.
 The stage was split into two halves with a band playing on one half of the stage while the next band set up behind curtains on the other half of the stage. Each band played an approx 30 minute set.
 The first three sets were from Old Haven, Shetland and Yarnspinner. I knew nothing about any of them, enjoyed the first with just guitar and drums with some vocals and also enjoyed the second band with a larger line up. A week later as I right this, my memory of their sets is already fading, but I do remember liking what I heard. YarnSpinner seemed to be somewhat louder than the first two bands who I thought played at just the right volume but I was actually struggling with the loudness of Yarnspinner and so went out to get some ear plugs from my car for the rest of their set. I don't recall much about what they played.
 Triumphs were up next and unlike last time I saw them, I believe they played more material from the earlier album than the new one as I seemed to recognize more of the tunes, although I had listened to the new record on Bandcamp a couple of times. Their music is all instrumental, so no vocal melodies to help identify their tunes but I definitely knew all they played. Their set was blood excellent and I would have loved them to play longer. I had removed my earplugs for their set as I didn't enjoy the muffled sound with them in.
  The next two bands, Opium Eater and Enfire, I can't sat too much about as I got distracted by checking out the growing crowd, moving to the back of the room for a drink and a respite from the earsplitting volume and also got into a shot conversation with the guitarist from Triumphs as to what had happened to their new album, which I was intending to buy a copy of while at this gig. Unfortunately the album had been delayed from the pressing plant for an unknown time.
 Next up was Bloodnut and I was pretty close to the stage for this ferocious 3 piece who played some excellent bass lines, some great guitar  and thundering drums, I really enjoyed their high octane set although there was a fair bit of distortion that muddied the sound and I couldn't understand much of what the singer said or sang.
 Then Arc of Ascent hit the stage, their first gig in Christchurch for many years, and perhaps the band I was most looking forward to. I already had their first two records and picked up their latest from the merch table earlier in the night. I also sorta knew the band leader from Facebook so was keen to say hello at some stage. Anyhow their set was as good as I expected, the band was tight and the riffs awesome, with I think a majority coming off the latest record(which I think is their strongest). There was a tall, quite old looking gentleman with a beer in hand and conservatively dressed next ot me as they played their last track. He just stood there looking straight ahead and not moving as the wall of great noise hit us. as they finished, he turned to me, cracked a big and slightly drunken smile and said"that was fucking awesome! What are they called?"
  I managed to catch Craig's attention before he left the stage and introduced myself and he said he will catch me after he packed up. I caught some of the next band, Stonehurst, but spent the rest of their set in conversation with Craig. The last band was from Australia and called Hobo Magic, but it was already 12.30am and I had an hours drive home so I excused myself from Craig and left.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Aldous Harding - Issac Theater Royal - Chriatchurch - 30 November 2017



Regular readers(if indeed such persons exist) may recall me seeing Aldous back in early February, not long before she released the album for which this tour is supporting. The Album went on to get many positive reviews and much support in certain circles with one song even getting nominated for a Silver Scroll award here in New Zealand. In between times from the previous gig I attended, Aldous had been touring extensively The  USA and Europe and even had an appearance on Later with Jools Holland. The last gig at which I saw Aldous was preformed in an intimate small pub venue at which I have seen several great gigs over the course of the year and so after the year of touring and the fact that the Issac Theater Royal is a much larger venue than Blue Smoke, it was going to be interesting to see how she preformed in such a different venue.
 I had purchased the tickets for this concert way back in July and yet even that far back I was unable to secure seats down on the ground floor, so we had to settle for second row center on the second level of the theater. From what we could see, the gig was a near sell out in the 1300 seat venue, so a great testament to how far Aldous has come this year.
 Support was from Chills front man Martin Philips, who preformed some old and some new Chills songs, mentioning there was a new album out next year. He just played his electric guitar solo and it was nice to hear him doing Pink Frost and the other songs, the later ones I was not familiar with so much. I would prefer to see these preformed with the full Chills lineup, but it was still enjoyable and went down well with the crowd.
 There was a good 40+ minute wait before Aldous quietly took the stage in her white trousers and grey coat, seated herself on a stool center stage and with out a word started in on her first song of the night, singing something from her first LP I think(I should be more familiar with all her stuff by now). She did play a few other tracks from her first album, singing in that pixie/Irish voice she uses and which I think sound actually better on the record than live. Still not having spoken, but now with the rest of her band in support, the third song she did was my favourite, Horizon, from the Party Album, and although it was a good performance of a very good song, it failed to reach the heights of goosebump inducing jawdropping awe which was induced in me the previous time I saw her preform it. Also, I believe it is the sort of song to either open the show with a powerful statement or as the final number like at the previous show I attended.
 She finally spoke to the audience about half way into the show in response to some cat calls from the audience, but she was much more detached and less out spoken to us than the loquaciousness she displayed at the previous gig I mentioned. She played two new songs that she had recently written that were both impressive and aided in building excitement for the next album, bith songs she sung in the lower register voice she uses which recall Joni Mitchell to a drgree and that is not a bad thing.
 Overall, the show didn't have the same impact as the Blue Smoke gig, which didn't surprise me as I think her music and style of preformance suits more intimate venues, but still it was a great show and I love her music and it is great to see her doing so well.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Master Blaster - Darkroom - Christchurch 23 September 2017



As usual, I heard a great track from the new 7" EP on the "Counting The Beat" Podcast and liked what I heard, checked them out via Bandcamp and decided I needed to buy both their available records. Before I got the chance to do that, I found out they were actually playing a gig near me in support of the aforementioned 7" record, pictured above, and it was decided to go and check them out and pick up the records on the night(saving postage costs).
  It was election night as I arrived at the Darkroom just past the 9PM door opening time and so I settled down with a drink and my phone to check up on the vote counting while waiting for the first of the three punk bands to hit the stage.
 First band, Tyrannosaurus Wreck, a three piece, thrashing out their fast punky  songs, creating an enjoyable noise that begs the question where does it stop being punk and become Metal. It can be a fine line. I did enjoy their set.
  Nervous Jerk were next and this three piece was definitely firmly in the punk genre although the vocals were in that pop punk style, the music was a bit heavier. The Guitar in this band didn't really stand out much, so it becomes a bit of a wall of sound making it difficult to actually hear the tunes clearly. I enjoyed them the least of the night.
  Finally Master Blaster hit the stage, a four piece, with the vocalist being the non instrument playing member. Their set was full on punk energy, with the singer all over the place, knocking over mike stands and kicking over one of the monitor speakers before descending into the small audience, where he spent much of the rest of the gig screaming into his mic. They were bloody good and I enjoyed their set plenty but again the guitar was to low down in the mix and so didn't stand out above the thundering drums and bass so it was difficult to actually identify the songs I already knew because the whole was just a super fast wall of noise. It was a bit of a shame really because the guitarist has some great riffs as confirmed on the records. Here are a couple of vids of their recorded songs.




Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Nudge - The Wunderbar - Lyttelton - 16 September 2017


I picked up The Nudge's second LP earlier this year and was immediately impressed with their wonderful music and so was very keen to catch them on this tour in support of the same record.
I had been playing Dark Arts in the lead up to the gig and also checked out their first album on Bandcamp, which is also an excellent album. They had supported Midnight Oil earlier in the week but I did not attend that show.
  I arrived at The Wunderbar around 9pm with the support supposed to start at 9:45pm. The place was filling up fast and was almost a sell out in this small venue. They opened the doors to the Backroom eventually and fortunately, as my back was hurting, I got in the room early enough to grab one of the stools and table along the walls of the room. The stool was very high, so I was actually able to sit on it and still see the bands playing on the stage.
  The support was a dude named Fraser Ross with band(The 04's). Never heard of him but his set was OK, enjoyable enough, a kinda folk and country tinged indie pop blend. One song they did had some impressive guitar lines and it was his standout number. Good to see the two women playing Drums and Bass, Kiwi chicks are very prevalent in the local music scene.Fraser wasn't a great singer but passable to my ears.
  The Nudge are a three piece with guitar/vocals supported by a drummer and keyboards. They kicked off the set with three tracks from their earlier record( I assume, not being familiar enough with that album yet) The tracks had a real blues feel with the guitarist really letting loose with some great lines, the keyboardist providing the bass lines, I was a little surprised by the bluseynest of it as the new album is much different.
  The next section of the show was them playing the new album in it's entirety. There are only three numbers on Dark Arts but two of them are rather long drawn out pieces. The first track is the shortest but with a catchy guitar riff and vocals, closest thing to a pop song on the record. The guitarist had swapped guitars and I noticed that the guitar was a bit quieter than it had been on the earlier songs but it sang out when required.This is noticeable on the record too so it is part of the design of the tracks. The highlight of the first of the long pieces was the sustained guitar frenzy towards the end of the piece and the other extended track had a fucking awesome drum solo, the drummer impressed no end.
  They continued playing older stuff after The Dark Arts set and just rocked out awesomely. What a fantastic live band and both records are really great. Another premium NZ act with the guitarist channeling the ghost of Hendrix at times.





Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bill Direen - Darkroom - Christchurch - 20 August 2017



No sooner had we got back from our trip to Dunedin, unpacked the car, had some dinner and a shower and I'm back out the door and off into the city to catch NZ underground music legend Bill Direen at the Darkroom. There had been a documentary on Bill playing at the NZ film festival(I haven't yet seen it) and he had just had an LP reissue of a 2008 cassette release arrive in the country so I guess this gig was in support of those things. He did have copies of the record for sale at the gig.
 This time he was mostly flying solo playing songs from theatre productions and "operas" that he had written over the years. The night started with a film showing Bill preforming a bunch of songs live at various venues and at various time over the years that was a pretty cool montage. Then after a break he played the Theater Songs for about an hour or so, it was an interesting if idiosyncratic set and I enjoyed seeing this legend at play. Later he had his bass played join him for a few numbers including his most well known song from the mid 80's, The Alligator, and then finally and best of all, he was joined on stage by Steve Cogal from The Terminals for the impassive last song.




Mermaidens - Bennessere Studio - Dunedin - 19 August 2017



Had been keen to get back down to Dunedin for some time for another record shopping expedition and the wife was also keen to head down for the weekend to check out some of the multitude of large secondhand book stores down there, as well as doing the Cadbury tour while there.
 Arrived in town lunchtime Friday and visited a couple of required shops before booking in to our accommodation. Saturday was much of the same after the Cadbury tour with us having a busy day before tea and back to the accommodation. The wife was feeling a bit under the weather by this time, had apparently picked up a bit of a bug during the day so decided to go to bed early.
 I knew The Mermaidens had played Christchurch on Friday night and with Mrs Roddus drifting off to sleep, I decided I would take the opportunity to go check out this band on their Debut album release tour. I had actually listened to their record on Bandcamp a few days before and liked enough of what I heard.
 The gig was advertised door opening at 8pm, so I found a park near the Octagon and walked around to the venue to find a sign on the sidewalk stating that doors wouldn't open till 9pm. Headed over to The Dog With Two Tails cafe for a sit down and a coffee to find that they actually had some live music happening there so filled in the time watching this duo playing bass and ukulele and letting rip with some interesting sounds.
  The Mermaidens gig was on the fifth floor of an old building on Princess St, in a small room with a wooden floor and large glass wall and partial glass roof, there was no stage, with the bands gear just set up on the floor at one end of the room, it was an intimate space and the young folks of Dunedin filled the place pretty full.
  There were three band playing on this evening, the first being a very young local Dunedin band apparently described as a kind of surf band. Koizilla, I thought were a lot more than that, starting off their set with a jangly guitar intro to their first song before the bass and drums kicked in with a very impressive and powerful groove that really got my attention straight off the bat. This three piece had some awesome clout and great songs with the bass player and the awesome bass lines he played knocking my sox off. What an impressive little band and the drummer also impressed as he kept time so well with the bass player even though he was actually a stand in for the sick regular drummer.
 The second band was called Earth Tongue and actually consisted of the Singer/Guitarist from the Mermaidens with just a drummer. They proceeded to make a pretty dark noise that had an almost Swans like feel and a touch of a black metal vibe, although not quite that heavy. The Drummer did quite a bit of the singing which was actually more screaming but I thought their set really interesting and was pretty impressed.
  And so finally Mermaidens kick off their set, mostly playing the songs on their new album and overall playing a pretty enjoyable set. I was getting tired and to be honest lost interest a bit in what they played, it all sort of blurred together a bit. Their music is a good blend of slightly more adventurous indie rock and they played well but after the other bands I wasn't quite so won over. I did pick up their record though and on first listen it is a really good album.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Shayne P Carter and Band - Blue Smoke - Christchurch - 11 August 2017

Mr Carter has hit the road in part to support the vinyl release of his last album which came out very early this year. I had ordered a copy of said LP from Flying Out, and was still waiting for it to be shipped when this gig happened. Carter is a bit of an NZ music legend nowadays having fronted several seminal local band from the late 70's onward, mostly  Board Games, Doublehappys, Straightjacket Fits and Dimmer. I had seen Shayne last year at an excellent gig he did with another NZ legend, Don McGlashan.
  The support act for this gig was Christchurch's Les Baxters, whom I had also seen recently supporting The Terminals. Dave, from Galaxy Records is in this band and I had a chat with him and some of the band just before they went on. I like their sounds, slightly weird, slightly industrial,  slightly Techno, with one member playing a theremin can you believe.  I think about half the audience showed some appreciation of their set but I definitely look forward to hearing their record when they get it out.
  Carter hit the stage with his three piece band, counting himself, and proceeded to play a mostly rock type set of his music, as opposed to last years gig with Don which was more esoteric. Because I am actually not greatly familiar with a lot of his music, I didn't really know a lot of what he played but I certainly enjoyed what I heard, the man is vastly experienced and a great musician, played some mean guitar. He did a couple of songs on the Keys off his latest record that impressed even though it was quite different from his older material and then got back into the more rock stuff. It was a really good show even though I hardly knew any of the music, but for the encore he let rip on an old Doublehappys song that I knew especially from the recent Counting The Beat Podcast that I had been listening to , and they wrapped it all up with a blistering version of the first Dimmer single "Crystalator" a brilliant instrumental track that I knew but didn't know it was a Dimmer track, it was a fantastic finish to a fabulous show. The video below is of the aforementioned song live in 2009.




Thursday, August 10, 2017

NZ Trio- -Spiral - Live at The Piano - Christchurch - 9 August 2017


The NZ Trio is a classical music trio on Piano, Violin and Cello. I had got their last CD and their collaboration CD with Mike Nock, both on the excellent Rattle Records. I generally am interested in these type of things only if they are preforming New Zealand composed music, or something more contemporary, that might be familiar to me. This recital had works by two NZ composers, McLeod and Holloway, and Bax was a 20th Century composer. The Beethoven didn't really interest me but I would listen as part of the overall experience.
 The Piano is a brand new Music and arts complex built in the center of the earthquake ravished central city and is a wonderful venue for this sort of thing, the city is starting to get more and more first class auditoriums since the destruction of so many buildings back in 2011.
  Mrs Roddus attended this presentation with me and I was hoping that the modern stuff was not to outlandish for her, although the Beethoven would be more her cup of tea.
 We seated three rows back and center and waited for the show to commence. Just past 7PM the Trio emerged, took their places and proceeded to play the three movements of Arnold Bax's Trio in B flat Major, c.21'. As a fairly modern piece it was fairly melodic and it I find it so much easier to listen to this sort of music in a live setting and watching the musicians playing. I enjoyed the first presentation and was intrigued as to what the NZ section was to be like.
  Jenny McLeod has been around the NZ scene for many many years and I had one of her compositions on an early Kiwi/Pacific record from the 70's and also her latest CD on Rattle Records. Her piece, Seascapes, was composed in 2015 and was an interesting and enjoyable piece of music.
 The third piece was a world Premier commissioned by the NZ Trio and composed buy a young fellow called Samuel Holloway.  They warned us before preforming the piece that it would be a little different. The composition was broken up into three parts with a long pause between each, the piece was a bit avant garde and reminded me of the excellent Besser and Prosser recording I have from Kiwi/Pacific from 1986, but I found it a bit harder to stay with this piece and also struggled to hear the differences between each section, still this more challenging music is what I am into and it was so cool to be at a world premier of a piece of serious music.
  I have quite a collection of older classical music from the 18th and 19th centenary that had been given to us from various sources but I honestly find it difficult to actually sit down and listen to it, but it has been an interesting contradiction in that I noticed that in all the classical/compositional  concerts I have so far been too, it is the oldest pieces that  have enjoyed the most and this presentation of Beethoven's Piano Trio in E flat Opus 70, No.2, c.35' did it again for me. The Trio played the piece with much gusto and it showed me just how effortless it appears for Beethoven to have written music so complex but with so much melody.