Saturday, March 26, 2011

Where there's a will...

I've had quite an uplifting week, and this is due, in part, to seeing some key areas of Christchurch gather the momentum to move forward. I talked earlier in the week about the serious lack of venues in the city - and particularly in the CBD. It has been incredibly sad to hear that some of my favourite venues - all huge supporters of local music - will never reopen their doors.

It's a sad farewell to Goodbye Blue Monday who in it's relatively short life had become one of the best venues in town. The iconic Dux-de-lux will be out of action for some time, possibly years. Jeez I hope not though. There is a call for the Arts Centre to restore the Dux, and I hope they have some success here. Al's Bar is also going to be closed for some time - although word is that their buildng is ok, it's the neighbouring buildings that pose a threat. Either way it's yet another live music venue that's not around.

Where does that leave musos and music fans? In a bit of a quandry really, but solutions are coming to fill the silence. The Loons has opened its doors and The Wunderbar is getting builders in today so they should be opening soon - all of which is great news for Lyttelton folk.  Sadly El Santo is in worse shape and it might take a while for that to get on it's feet again. Um... Sorry digressing a bit there. There is also a raft of events that are thinking outside the square (excuse the pun)  and getting creative in where and what they can offer. Gap Filler is back with a fair in Church Square, there 's The Great Sumner picnic, family fairs on beaches - all sorts of things. The CHART website is always a great place to see what's happening around the place.

And for all my talk earlier this week - well, where there's a will there's a way, and 'will' has never been something I've been short of. I've set up a couple of gigs a called Good Vibrations. I'm hiring the Canterbury Bowling Club to host a couple of nights of indie music right in the heart of the city. The response from bands wanting to play has been fantastic so I can now confirm Saturday 9 April will be 'Good Vibrations #1'. Several bands have confirmed but I'll wait until everyone has signed off before I post the event with bands. (The video is a big hint.) Rest assured it's a tasty line up that will relieve the silent void we've had of late.

The Canterbury Bowling Club host of Good Vibrations

Nix Pix:

Saturday 26 March
Unfaithful Ways, Runaround Sue, Al Parks @ Marine Club, Lyttelton

Friday 1 April
Gerry & the Pacemakers @ Aurora Centre, Burnside

Saturday 2 April 
Quake Raiser Music Festival @ The Venue, Hornby

Friday 8 April
Quakefest 2011 @ Sammys and Refuel (Dunedin)

Saturday 9 April
Good Vibrations #1 @ Canterbury Bowling Club

Saturday 16 April
UCSA presents The Official Volunteer Thank You Concert @ Ilam fields

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm picking up good vibrations

It's not news that Christchurch has suffered a horrific natural disaster, nor is it news that we Christchurch folk have had enough of the endless shaking, Mayor Bob's face everywhere, and the general sense of unease all around us. Those of us that got through February 22nd relatively unscathed are still counting our lucky stars - which is at least less depressing than counting the cracks in our walls. In some ways it doesn't matter what scale of destruction each of us has had to deal with because we are all feeling tired, grumpy, sad, and frightened to some degree. I believe most people, like me, have had enough and want to do some of the 'normal' things we were doing prior to Feb 22nd.

For me 'normal' means hanging out with my friends over a few quiet drinks, playing music with friends and/or going out to see bands with friends. The latter is bloody near impossible at present. With estimates of 80% of the CBD to be demolished there is simply nowhere for bands to play. Well... nowhere you would usually expect to see bands, especially indie/alt bands.

Manchester Street - CARYS MONTEATH/ The Press

I'm not known for my patience and I've been getting sick of having nowhere to go, so I've decided to try and put some gigs on to get some bands back doing what they love. The plan is very simple - find a venue and ask bands to play. So far I've had about 10 bands let me know they are keen and I'm starting to work through some venue ideas. It looks like I've got 4 serious contenders for a venue all of which have their pros and cons. Thankfully people are already getting used to the fact that you HAVE to travel more than you used to prior to Feb 22nd to do anything, so I'm hoping that a bit of extra travel won't put people off coming out for a good night. I'm also hoping I can swing some sort of subsidized travel if need be.

So... that's the bones of my idea. Oh and the gigs will be called GOOD VIBRATIONS. Coz it's cheesey and I like cheese! I'll post new developments as they come. I'm hoping to sign off on the venue by the end of this week and put the first gig on mid-late April.

Watch this space.

Nix Pix:

I have heard of a few gigs happening around the place, but very little (see below). There seems to be some good news in Lyttelton with the The Loons had been upgraded to a Yellow sticker and the Wunderbar talking of opening up in April - which is something.

Wednesday 23 March
Radius Kink Unplugged @ Silverback Cafe, 144 Cashmere Road

Thursday 24 March
MC Smooth & Dek Protektion @ The Venue-musicbar, Hornby

Friday 25 March
D'Sendantz Reggae The Venue-musicbar, Hornby

Saturday 26 March
Annual Fund Raiser for the SPCA @ The Nut Point Centre, 703 Old West Coast Road
MC Smooth & Dek Protektion @ The Venue-musicbar