More eggciting Easter music

Sarah Spicer.

Dammit Jim, I'm a columnist not a meteorologist!

This is proving eminently true after I happily predicted fine weather for Easter last week.

Now, a little closer to the event, there looks like a distinct likelihood of sogginess.

Fingers crossed.

I really hope it doesn't rain.

Because there is so much good music happening on stages along The Strand on both the Saturday and Sunday of Easter.

I looked at some of the Downtown Carnival acts last week – check it out at SunLive.

Now here's a few more that might be of interest.

Coming over from Melbourne are a very tight and punchy funk outfit called Karate Boogaloo, a four-piece – bass, drums, guitar, organ – who do indeed wear white karate suits on-stage, giving the whole thing a distinctly seventies vibe. They play very solid
instrumental funk.

More locally, you might want to check out Sarah Spicer from Waihi, who appeared on ‘The X Factor' television show a couple of years back. Sarah's a terrific singer and equally interesting is her band, including Jazz Society president Wayne Melville on bass and Liam Ryan on keyboards. Both are ex-Torch Songers and should provide quality backing.

Funking it up

Back on the funk train, guitarist Nick Granville is bringing his funk trio from Auckland. The other two in the band are drummer Lance Philip and organist Leonardo Coghini.

That's two funk organists, and while we're on keyboards I wanted to put in a little plug for my old mate Grant Winterburn. Sad not to see Grant fronting his own gig but it turns out that he's not just one of the musicians backing the four singers at Baycourt in the Alchemy show on Saturday night but is actually the musical director.

As one of the most prodigious musicians to have emerged from Tauranga in the last few decades it's a shame not to see him get the recognition he deserves, so I'm happy to mention it here. He did a stellar job leading the band at Richard O'Brien's recent Frock ‘n' Roll show and here he's accompanied by the cream of Auckland players. It will be a sensational band. Of course, it's entirely possible that you hate jazz and everything connected with it. Fair enough. No shame in that.

Frank Zappa once opined that “Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny” and there are many for whom the music is an anathema. Don't despair! There is more than jazz happening downtown during Easter.

Indeed the weekend sees the latest incarnation of what has to be one of the biggest free line-ups of alternative bands in Tauranga history.

The ‘other' festival

Organised by the good folk at Tauranga Music Sux, on Saturday, April 15, the Settlers Bar on Wharf St plays host to the Fifty Fifth National Jizz Fest. They even have a poster entertainingly parodying the official Jazz Festival poster.

And the music? Well there's a helluva lot of it. Kicking off at midday and running through till midnight there are a grand total of 16 bands mostly from here with a few Hamiltonians for good measure. Bear with me now because I'm going to list them all.

I've only seen three of them so I'll skip attempting any descriptions, though the event's Facebook page describes them as “16 free form, improvisatory, arythmic Jizz explorators”.

Here we go: Waspinator, Liberated Squid, M.A Williamson, Eugine Funigma, Juan Los Bastardos, Super Narco Man, Irritabill Paxton Syndrome, Greg Malcolm, The Biscuits, The Dicks, All Hail the Funkillers, Edward Gains and the Human Remains, Wheatbags Anonymous, Diehards of Deep Dish, Here Lies the Homunculi, and Verdant Exudate.

There is also music in the odd bar along The Strand after the jazz finishes at 6pm.
At Brew Bar, for instance, Mike Garner is playing on Saturday night and John Michaelz on Sunday. Once again there is no charge.

In fact, what with the many bands at the Downtown Carnival for a mere gold coin donation and 16 more for free at Settlers, and the various free evening music in bars, Saturday must be the single most economical day of the year to listen to music. Assuming we're not all underwater, I recommend you take advantage of it.

Nick Granville.


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