JAMES REALISES HE FORGOT HIS TICKETS
Having left town on Thursday evening, Nat, James and myself were travelling in Nat’s car, while Seth, Ruth and Kayte were in Seth’s car, and on the Brynderwyn hills we left them behind – eventually stopping on the North Shore at Wendy’s for some dinner (I had the Big Bacon Classic – absolute perfection). While we were there, James suddenly started grinning, and kind of laughing. Wondering what was up, Nat and I started questioning him – as it turns out, he had written himself a list of things to take with him, one of which was his tickets. When we asked where his tickets are now, he replied that they were on his chest of drawers in his room.
But the story doesn’t end there – he called up his flatmate Shane to check they were there (which they were), and then called up a friend of ours who was coming down the next day to organise for them to bring them down to him – which they did. But the funny thing was that he was speaking really loudly in the Wendy’s restaurant, and everyone was looking. I was trying hard to keep a straight face. And then the people at the next table blew the wrapper from their straw at us, and it hit me in the face. All in all, a memorable visit to the North Shore Wendy’s!
THE WORST SNORER EVER
For Thursday night, Nat booked us in at a place called J’s Backpackers, on Grey Street in Hamilton, where we arrived at around 10.30pm. Seth, James and myself were booked in to room 7 at the top of the stairs, and were sharing it with several other people – one of whom came in at some stage during the night. Cut a long story short, at 4.30am the next morning I was woken by possibly the loudest snoring I had ever come across – this guy’s snoring was not just loud, but disgusting as well, and it was inconsistent to boot – that is, he never kept the same rhythm, which meant you couldn’t get used to it. As James put it, it sounded like the guy had diarrhoea in his throat. I felt sick.
Anyways, I ended up getting out of bed at around 5am and walking down Grey Street in some kind of groggy haze – seriously, now I can’t really even remember most of the walk, except for the fact that I met a couple of homies walking back from a night on the town. I got back to the backpackers and tried to sleep in one of the other rooms, but that was a no-go, since I kept getting cold from having no blankets. So then I sat in the TV lounge, where I was joined around 6.15am by one of the other people in room 7, who was also woken by the snoring – this guy was good value – he was a Christian too, going to Parachute Festival, so we got talking about bands and stuff. He also played music, so we got talking about guitars too.
(By the way, none of this should reflect badly on J’s Backpackers, which was just a great place to stay. The beds were comfortable and the facilities were great – what more could you ask for?)
JAMES SITS OUTSIDE
Well, at around 11.30am, Nat and myself get to our tent site, and are soon joined by Kayte, Ruth and Seth. We put up the tents, start getting settled – even have a little bit of a walk around and stuff. Around 4pm James joined us, after sitting in the car all afternoon because he didn’t have his tickets. It was good to have him back though – and it meant we could get back to the real business of listening to some bands.
(Actually, a hidden bonus of this event was that Seth and I went out to the car just before James got his tickets, because there was quite a bit more gear to collect, and we ended up sitting listening to Rage Against The Machine for a while – did I ever mention what a good album Renegades is?)
(Actually, while we’re on the RatM topic, here are the list of times that I heard Rage throughout the weekend:
– in Nat’s car, while waiting for James’ tickets
– Late 80s Mercedes chucked some RatM lyrics in one of there songs
– Agent C did a cover of ‘New Millenium Homes’ from Rage’s third album,
– The Battle of Los Angeles
– Late 80s Mercedes chucked more RatM lyrics in another of their songs
– A guy at the site next to us was listening to them on a portable stereo)
The first band I saw all weekend, Mumsdollar were on the mainstage in the early part of Friday evening, and absolutely rocked. I’m not too familiar with their stuff, but I have heard them before, but not live. They certainly didn’t disappoint me – some great songs and a great stage presence. High in energy. The bass player is a living legend (for successfully managing to fling his bass around him without missing a note in the song he was playing at the time).
On top of all that, the singer was wearing a Boston Celtics singlet, which means he has taste. Mumsdollar were great, and definitely one I’ll be keeping an eye out for when they finally release a full length album. Highlight Track: ‘The Wedding Song’ (fast punk, but melodic and emotional at the same time – fantastic)
I wasn’t expecting much from Wash, since the last time I saw them was around 2000, and they weren’t really that good. But my, how things can change! Wash came on stage after Mumsdollar, and absolutely tore the place up – their music is reminiscent of the great nu-metal acts, like Lostprophets, Linkin Park and Audioslave, but they do almost a better job of putting it on live. The singer is unreal, flowing smoothly between screaming parts, and emotional melodies with ease. The music side of things is tight, and heavy, and simple – and at the end they had a guy from Mumsdollar and a guy from Steriogram get on stage for one of their older songs, which was awesome as well. Just a great band at a great time in their careers.
On a side note, Wash have an album coming out in the next couple of months, which they pre-released at Parachute (I almost bought it, but decided not to, in case they made any massive changes before they released it – but I will be buying it when it goes into wide release). Highlight Track: I don’t know the names, but most of their songs were above average – which is saying something.
Having seen Detour 180 just over a month ago (they were on the Christmas Hope Tour and launched some of their new material) I had a pretty good idea what to expect – and they certainly lived up to what I was expecting. Detour 180 just seem to be getting better with every passing day, and on this night they were absolutely fantastic. Some highlights included their cover of U2’s hit ‘All I Want Is You’, and Brad Dring, of Rapture Ruckus, came out and did a rap in the middle of one of the songs. That was cool. Highlight Track: ‘Back to the Cross’ – an awesome melody and a great song about reliance on God. Just beautiful music.
(On a side note, is anyone else noticing that Brad Dring is becoming the NZ Christian version of Fred Durst? At the moment, it just seems like everywhere you look, Brad Dring is there – like, on the weekend, I saw him with Rapture Ruckus, with Detour 180, with Magnify … he did more appearances than Ben Lummis!)
(Later in the weekend I went to the Parachute Music store and bought their new album Fighting For You – so far (after only a handful of listens) its pretty cool, and I got a pleasant surprise to find that their cover of ‘All I Want Is You’ is actually on the album – excellent! Oh, and ‘Back to the Cross’ is on here too – making it doubly-excellent)
I’m not a hip-hop fan. I haven’t ever been one. Probably, I will never fully be one. I mean, there are hip-hop songs that I enjoy, and certain bands that I enjoy – namely, Wu Tang Clan, Outkast and Grits – so you can imagine how excited I was when Grits were announced in the lineup for P05. Having made my mind up to see as many of the international acts as I could, I made a point of going to see Grits. I positioned myself front and centre, and then watched.
What I saw was one of the most entertaining shows I have ever seen. The music they did was absolutely awesome, and they did my favourite song of theirs (‘Ooh Aah’). What you have to understand about Grits is that there are 2 of them on the CD, but live, there’s 3 of them – Stacy ‘Coffee’ Jones and Teron ‘Bonafide’ Carter, the main guys, and also DJ Manuel, the guy who runs the turntables and provides all the sounds for them to perform to. Whats even better is that Coffee and Bonafide fully give credit to DJ Manuel for being as important as they are in making Grits what it is. Whats even better than that is that they give every bit of credit for everything they do to God. Its awesome.
Grits’ live show didn’t leave too much to chance – they did all their best tracks (‘Ooh Aah’, ‘Tennessee Bwoyz’, ‘Here We Go’, ‘Hittin Curves’ and ‘Bobbin Bouncin’ to name a few), and in the middle of the show, DJ Manuel was given the floor to do a solo on the turntables, after a rousing speech from Bonafide on the importance of the turntables in any hip-hop band. What followed was one of the most impressive displays of musicianship I have ever seen – my opinion on DJing is forever changed. Overall, Grits were probably one of the 3 or 4 best acts of the weekend. Highlight Track: ‘Ooh Aah’ – I just love this song, and they did a pretty awesome job of it.