Saving lives at Loserpalooza

Cootie Cuties

It’s official – John Key has moved to town; no, not that one, the other one...

I mentioned this a couple of weeks back and promised further information; consider this that call-back, albeit brief.

Because this column is about Loserpalooza 2021 - the city’s biggest alternative music festival, happening at Totara Street on Saturday, August 21. Before that, though, a couple of gigs this weekend, the first by the aforementioned non-political John Key.

Actually, I don’t know if he is non-political. He could well be. But more relevant is the fact that he’s a jazz pianist and a very good one, having been part of the Rodger Fox Band, released albums and played at numerous jazz festivals, as well as editing and publishing two volumes of New Zealand jazz compositions.

John is playing this Saturday, August 14, at the Barrel Room, where they have monthly jazz. Accompanying him will be Mike Booth (Auckland Jazz Orchestra) and in-demand local bass player Wayne Melville. Things happen at 7pm, and there is no charge.

That same night, The After are playing at Mount Maunganui dive bar Voodoo Lounge. They’re riding high on the success of their latest single, Clear To Me, which has charted in various places around the world. This 8:30pm show is part of an Asia/Pacific tour and will see them supported by Dead Empire and My Enemy’s Friend. Tickets are $10 from:


Okay. On to Loserpalooza 2021, of which I must confess to being a big fan. There’s 25 bands over 12 hours, with all proceeds going to Lifeline Aotearoa to aid in their important efforts to prevent and decrease suicide in New Zealand. What’s not to like? Especially since I suspect there will be more imagination, originality and passion on display than at 25 of the city’s more staid gigs.

There will be two stages running from midday ‘til midnight, with bands congregating from all over the country. If jazz fans can rightly be proud of Tauranga’s Jazz Festival, then fans of indie, hardcore and other varieties of strange, exciting, obnoxious and otherwise challenging music can justly celebrate this annual bash.

In a way it is a follow-up to the No Future Festival, which took place in February at the Historic Village and has a fair crossover of bands. The promoter – going under the name Your Enabler Presents or Slob Saget – has organised a series of shows since then at The Hop House. I’ll list all the bands at the end of the column, but not being familiar with many, I asked him for recommendations. These were the notes I got...

The bands

Dartz: “Sing along, you all know the lyrics!” Well you probably don’t. But you soon will as those catchy Dartz ditties get stuck in your head. More addictive than their namesake. May cause impotence.

Lizard Prom: Come to the Lizard Prom, with your favourite shoe-gaze grunge band playing all the hits to dance the night out with that special someone. Let those blood-curdling screams carry you away.

DAHTM: Wellington weed witches boiling the cauldron and evoking the spirits of doom punk with menacing guitars and thunderous drums. Beware the banshees before they take your soul.

Cootie Cuties: Stand on a chair for cootie immunity ‘cause these cuties are coming to infect you with pop-punk riffs and songs that are like Sandy from Grease trading up and hanging with some 90s skater punks instead of John Travolta’s lame rockabilly crew.

Diehards of Deep Dish: Using only the finest locally-sourced beats, served on a thin base of crispy drum riffs, drizzled with a layer of fresh vocals. Available for a limited time only.

Grown Downz: Bringing the rock, the roll and the brother/sister/husband?/wife?/White Stripes two-piece garage skater punk aesthetic.

And I promised a full list of the bands playing. Here are the rest: Eddie and the Dreamers; Polaroids of Polar Bears; Bloodbags; Arsehuffer; YdoubleR; Dykeslut; Stress Ghetto; Hemordroid; Hoick; Dateless; Verdant Exudate; POP OD; Two Skinner; TOOMS; Stunt Clown; Tactical Chunny; Deadman6; Yer Maw’s 5g Meatsuit; Flabberbastard; and Badjuju.

There is a timetable on Facebook; entry is $40, with door sales only.

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