There are many stories revolving around '70s Hamilton band ‘Swellfoots Assembly’. As John Dix’s 1988 iconic book on New Zealand music 'Stranded in Paradise' stated, [singer, and later ‘The Red Hot Peppers’ member] “Marion Arts had spent much of the early-‘70s in another Waikato University band, Swellsfoot Assembly, which also included Garth Porter (founder-member of Australian group ‘Sherbet’)”. What could possibly go wrong with such a simple sentence? Find out -> HERE <-
Kia ora! When HUP started life, we didn't really know what we were doing in terms of laying out a site. We we blagged our way through and it worked to an extent. In recent times we have kicked around the idea of starting from scratch with a bespoke site, but the expense was prohibitive. In the end we decided to stay with what we have, and make a few improvements to the site. The main objective was to categorise posts a bit better, and to make it easier to navigate the site in general.
The first change was to add a 'Photos' tab, where shots from our shows can be posted and perused. They were previously hidden away in a few places, so we collated them and rehoused them into one place. If you have pics from shows in Hamilton - HUP shows or your own - we would be happy to upload them and share with our followers.
The second change was to make the 'Features' page a 'blog' page. This is where we post most of the articles we write ourselves, (mostly interviews and reviews), and from now on each post will have its own location. Not rocket science, and probably how it should've been from the off, but there you go!
If you have any helpful suggestions of things we can do to improve the site please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
It was two years ago yesterday that the first ever HUP shows took place. The very first was an afternoon show at Creative Waikato, which was followed hours later by the second show, at Nivara Lounge.
We published a short piece about the gig, on the Sunday that followed... click here to have a read.
The afternoon show was something of an odd affair. It probably speaks volumes that we haven't retried an afternoon show since, other than Future City which was a bit different. I look back on it fondly though, as a crowd of 8 year olds in ear muffs, their parents, and a selection of the more switched-on/able to attend Hamiltronians attended. Musically, it was outstanding, with Carb on Carb and I.E.Crazy playing captivating sets, Nicole Carb modifying the setlist before playing to make sure any songs containing swearing was eliminated. Ancient Tapes played that afternoon too, on what was thought to be their last day of existence.
Palmy's excellent Man In Rug joined the aforementioned three bands for the evening show, and a great time seemed to be had by all in attendance. I still have the Carb T Shirt bought that night, albeit with a very worn collar. The band has played two further HUP shows, as a late addition to Future City Festival in March of this year, and then back in April with Jess Locke.
HUP caught up with Jake from Hamilton's The Volume Collective to find out more about the 'In The Fridge' sessions that you may have seen appearing online of late. The sessions are recorded on campus at the University of Waikato, in the rooms of what used to be Contact FM many moons ago, one of which became known as 'The Fridge'. Skip on over to the ARTICLE to read more!
R E V I E W
The Bats, with Ancient Tapes and The Scones
Friday 19 May 2017, Nivara Lounge
The Bats returned to Hamilton for the first time in many years on Friday night. Hamilton made their return worth it, providing the band with a highly enthusiastic sold-out Nivara Lounge crowd.
The Scones kicked off the night around 8pm, with over half of the final crowd already present. The band played a diverse array of well-crafted pop songs. For many in attendance, this was likely their first introduction to The Scones, but the audience were very appreciative of what they heard; the conclusion of every song was met with very generous applause. Front-person Julian White pushed their ‘The Scones’ emblazoned pens in one song break, and by the time the set was over the crowd was buzzing.
Ancient Tapes followed, with at least one member stating they were worried about how they might follow the quality of The Scones performance. They needn’t have worried. The Tapes set was stronger than ever, with the band playing a mix of their best from 2015’s Hummingbird EP and some excellent new songs. Guitarist Gareth was more energetic than I had ever seen him previously, and Sam’s vocals were excellent, while the flailing arms and legs of recent addition Cam on drums is giving the band a greater drive (and noise) than they had previously. Between songs bassist Rob was his typical self-deprecating self, and managed to push their new release on an old-school format without resorting to using the word ‘tape’. Another great set!
The Bats focussed primarily on their recent songs, with a good chunk of their new album ‘The Deep Set’ getting an airing. Within a few seconds of starting, the floor was packed with a now full-capacity crowd, and it didn’t appear to thin out at any stage. In an extended set, the band threw in a few oldies, including Smoking her Wings and North by North. Of the old songs, the absolute highlight for me though was Block of Wood, which has always sounded so much better live than recorded. But then, pretty much every song tonight was a highlight. And this really emphasised the value of the band not falling for the temptation of relying too heavily on their excellent back-catalogue; the recent songs really are high quality, and the crowd loved them all. The Bats’ live sound was brilliant, and the addition of a ‘skeleton string section’ greatly augmented this. Overall, the band really seemed to be enjoying themselves, and the crowd most certainly was. We can only hope we don’t need to wait quite so long until they visit us again. An excellent night from start to finish! - Ian Duggan
To celebrate NZ Music Month (ha!), we thought we’d take a look – from our perspective - at the state of the original music scene here in Kirikiriroa, warts n all. In a city where the teaching of 'the arts' seems to be being compromised, it's easy to get down about how art and music in Hamilton are valued. It appears to some degree that there are a huge amount of people that are interested in having original live music in their city, but way fewer who actively support it or get involved. That's not necessarily a criticism, more of an observation, and of course there are often valid reasons why this is the case. Anyway...here goes with the good, the bad and the ugly.
Let’s open with the positives. Important this, because there are some, and that hasn’t always been the case.
Are these issues Hamilton specific? Who knows.
Again while some of these may not be only issues in Hamilton, they are real issues hindering the development of our local music scene.
Dunno really! Are we any worse off than other cities? We might be. Although for a city of 150,000 people I’m not sure. I can say from experience that it’s not a great place to be in a band or a lover of independent original live music, that’s for sure. Yes, we are only 80 minutes from Auckland and the neat shows and bands that they have. But it could be so much better. The big worry is where it is all heading, where will we be in five years’ time if the lack of new bands continues to be a thing. Ah well. What can you do eh?
Once regular visitors to Hamilton, The Bats are making their long-awaited return to Nivara Lounge on 19 May, as part of their ‘The Deep Set’ LP release tour. I caught up with Paul Kean a little under month out from the gig, and on the back of a slew of positive album reviews, to talk about what we might expect to hear at the gig, the enduring quality of their outputs, and we go way back to Paul’s move from Toy Love to The Bats. Read the interview on our -> Features <- page.
American performer David Liebe Hart played Nivara Lounge on Wednesday night.
Backed up by Jonah Mociun, on an instrument clearly derived from space technology, Hart kicked off with the fantastic 'I'm in Love with an Insect Woman'. Once, of course, he had made his way to Nivara Lounge from the moon. That set the mood for the rest of his set, with songs and banter that had me either laughing out loud or confused, but at the very least with a big grin on my face. It is hard to describe the David Liebe Hart experience; if you haven't seen him, you really need to check out his videos to get a feel for it. His puppets joined him on stage for the most part, and we learnt all about the Omegans, the Korendians, and many of Hart's family. The highlights of the night, besides the opening track, included the songs 'Teleportation Thru Space' and 'New Technology', as well his story about being "all churched up" by his grandparents.
An excellent night overall, and if he was ever to come back to New Zealand (or Australia, or New Hampshire; or wherever we are), I would definitely go again. But honestly... I have no idea what that instrument was that Mociun was playing... (ID)