Spent last night at The Viaduct Harbour, Downtown Auckland, watching three Kiwi bands from 3 different generations.
First up was " Op Shop " who are one of the current crop of bands doing the rounds. They have a tight melodic sound that is a little too tame for my liking, Very Snow Patrol.They played well but seemed to be missing that vital factor when playing live: Rapport. They have a reasonable repertoire but I wished that they had paced the running order a little better to allow the audience the chance to build its momentum with them.
Next on & for my money the act I had made this pilgrimage to see was The Exponents.These days they do not exist apart from as lead singer & legend Jordan Luck explained, " annual comebacks". From the off they provided what Op Shop had been missing, connecting with the audience in the same way that 70's UK act The Faces used to. Virtually every song is a Kiwi party icon & we were treated to versions of Victoria, Erotic, Sex & agriculture, Whatever happened to Tracy, along with a rousing version of Why does love do this to me. Jordan is a master at his craft in a slipshod ambling fashion, he comes across as everyones best mate. Which he is.Almost as if you were having a party at his house,which makes for a great atmosphere.
The stage was then cleared for the arrival of a reformed Th'Dudes who were apparently huge in the seventies. Their set was crisp,well played but for me ruined by their choice of playing 3 covers when they clearly should have enough of their own material. I don't mind covers, but bring something new to the table when you do one. Their versions of Spirit in the sky, Spanish stroll & Hello I love you were note perfect, any kiwi bar band could have done that.Which left me feeling cheated. Although as I do not know their entire catalogue the stuff they left out may not have been up to scratch.
The Good the Bad & the Queen