Tuesday, 18 February 2014

She'll Rev You Up

“She’ll rev you up
Give me some, she said love
Don’t waste your time on me
I’ll have you and be on my way
You’re gonna waste it all away”

She’ll Rev You Up – Fire at Will

If you’re in were in New Zealand the weekend just gone you had an array of events to choose to go to, and I, in typical fashion, headed down to the annual Jim Beam Homegrown festival with my bestie Zena. It was my second time going to the event, and it delivered quality to the same level as last year. Oh yes, Wellington Waterfront came alive and there was dozens of musical acts pumping, revving and rocking across eight stages. I’m going to review it right now, a la awards style, based on the my thoughts and feelings of the acts I saw*.

Best Act: Villainy. No contest whatsoever. Every time I’ve seen them play, and I’ve seen them about five times, they deliver an amazing live show. They sound good, they banter good, and they make the crowd feel good, and Homegrown was no exception. Absolute class.

Emerging Talent: Fire at Will. These guys are relatively new on the scene but they can rock the stage, and they were the perfect way to kick off my Homegrown experience. While I will concede I will never marry any of the members, I refuse to accept I have seen the best of their musical talent. I’ve helped you all out here by dedicating this blog to them so click on the video below to hear one of their tracks, and next year at Homegrown we can rock to Fire at Will together.

Pleasant Surprise: PleasePlease. This is the award goes to that act you kind of know some of their songs and think they are worth a go, and when you get to their stage they absolutely blow you socks off and the crowd is going nuts for them. Last year it was Kids of 88, this year PleasePlease. 

Appropriate Farewell: Opshop. I didn’t know until I got to Homegrown that it would be their last gig, but they went out in style playing all their hits in chronological order, and the there was an air of appreciation about the crowd. Opshop may not be the best, but they are respected in the New Zealand music industry. And maybe one day we will see them again, but for now I was glad I was a part of their farewell show.

Cutest Charisma: Benny Tipene. What a delight; he sounds adorable, is nice to look at, and I wish he could be the boy I take home to meet my mum.

Musical Appreciation: A tie between Gin Wigmore and Fat Freddy’s Drop. Both of these acts make great music but there is only so much I can handle of either; Gin because her voice makes me shudder after a while and Fat Freddy’s Drop because they get a bit too mellow if I listen too long. Bonus points go to Gin Wigmore for being so excited to play in New Zealand again.

Last Dance: Dane Rumble. He was the last act my friend and I saw, and as we didn’t have the energy for Blacklistt and Six60 we gave Dane a go. He’s one of those guys who has a number of hits you hear on the radio and can easily dance to and kudos to him for getting Jupiter Project on stage to sing Not Alone. A great way to end Homegrown.

Best Overheard: Deceptikonz (on the way to Fat Freddy’s Drop). STOP DROP AND ROLL. Enough said.

Missed Act (disappointed): Cairo Knife Fight. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them and I wish I could go to their show.

Missed Act (not disappointed): The Feelers. I will see them some other time, because as long as there is music to make and shows to play, New Zealand’s version of Nickelback will be there.

Needed in 2015: Black River Drive for the rock stage, Hurricane Kids for the pop stage. Both would be awesome.

2013 confusion: Luger Boa. Because, seriously guys, WHERE THE FUCK WAS JOE?

And so, Homegrown 2014 had me and went on its way, leaving some great memories and a thirst for seeing more New Zealand music live. It is the celebration of the best of New Zealand music and the heavyweights of the industry bought their best performances. I had no qualms about the price of tickets, flights and accommodation given the talent I saw. A congratulations to the acts on their performances and their Musical Musings awards.

Best T-Shirts. My friend and I. Obviously.

*Acts I saw (in order) Fire at Will, Weird Together, PleasePlease, Benny Tipene, Villainy, Opshop, Gin Wigmore, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Dane Rumble. 

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