With the Going Global Summit - a conference/event looking at all aspects of the music industry in NZ - on in the city last week, there were a number of showcase events taking place as part of that so my timing was pretty good ...
One of those gigs was a 14-act/band extravaganza on the Friday night at GalatosLive (just off Karangahape Road), a multi-room venue with stages on three levels.
The whole event had something of a festival feel about it (albeit indoor) and each act or band - all local - was given roughly 20 minutes or just a handful of tracks each to showcase their respective talents.
With so much going on simultaneously it was impossible to check them all out but of those I did manage to see, the best sets - bar one - occurred in the venue's main room, starting early on in the evening with the edgy rock n roll of Jesse Sheehan (and band), culminating a few hours later with a great set from the almost New Order-esque four-piece She's So Rad.
Also in the main room, immediately after Sheehan, a guy called Anthonie Tonnon (who I'd not seen before) was hugely impressive - as a solo act (man/guitar) to begin with, and then with a band during the second half of a short set.
The highlight of the night though occurred in the upstairs lounge midway through the night when the nerdy tech-geek figure of Race Banyon filled the room with an almost indescribable sense of fuzzy electronic warmth - a funky bass drone-meets-chopped-up-techno vibe which had the all-too-small crowd fully captivated throughout. Race Banyon's sole release - the Whatever Dreams Are Made Of EP - of some 14 months ago can be downloaded here (name your price).
Some of the more prominent acts also performing over the course of the night included Little Bark, Dictaphone Blues, Ha The Unclear, and Trip Pony (who I really should have made more effort to check out).Another bonus of the evening for me was meeting one of my colleagues/"boss" on the team at NZ Musician magazine - website editor and 95bFM DJ Silke Hartung, who was working the door. It was a pretty special night all around really.
The Saturday night threw up another new venue, but a couple of familiar old faces, and more on that shortly ...