I went to Raggiz for the weekend and got a lift back to Auckland with my Dad. From Ngaruawahia to Rangariri we drove along the other road, the one that runs along the other side of the Waikato River. It’s really nice and scenic without any of the usual mad SH1 traffic.

Dad asked me if I missed having a car. I said I didn’t really, that Auckland’s semi-decent public transport system usually got me where I needed to go, but that occasionally a car would be really useful.

Then just as I got back to Auckland, I had one of those moments. I needed to get from Mt Eden to the Grey Lynn Bowling Club for Public Address’ Great Blend 2 shindig. I got the bus up to Symonds Street, but it was Sunday and connecting buses to Surrey Crescent didn’t appear to be frequent, so I power walked the rest of the way.

Righto, GB2 was cool. I arrived as one of the Def Poetry Jam guys was performing. It’s pity that in order to internationally tour a bunch of performance poets, they have to be given the awful awful name “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam”. But I suppose it gets a bigger audience than “A Bunch Of Performance Poets” ever would.

I grabbed an organic sausage from the barbecue and ate it with a somewhat non-organic slice of white bread and tomato sauce. Mr Slack read a funny excerpt from his new book, a wry of observation of a service at Destiny Church, and then it was time to mingle.

Lin accosted me and seated me with her posse up the front of the room. We talked for a bit and then the Checks started to play and my entire life changed. One of the reason I’d gone to GB2 was to see the Checks. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding them at the moment, so I wanted to see them live. Let me list what is good about the Checks:

  • They have Strokes-like bandwide hotness (even though they look like they’re all 12 years old.)
  • They dress really well without looking styled.
  • They have really awesome on-stage energy.
  • They are competent musicians.
  • They play really good, surprisingly well-structured, rock n roll songs.
  • And (this is the most important part) even though they were playing in the early evening to a half-empty bowling club, to an audience that didn’t necessarily care, they put on a brilliant show.

I would also like to note that I was sitting so close to the stage that I was able to observe that the lead singer’s fly was undone by about an inch. How ’bout that, huh?

Then there was a panel where Noelle McCarthy, Gemma Gracewood, Russell Brown, Damian Christie and the head of news at TV3 (standing in for John Campbell) talked about the media. It was interesting and a few cool anecdotes were revealed, but I wanted it to go on for longer.

I got a free bag of coffee beans (What? I don’t have a coffee grinder), chatted with various people, then went home. And, as I realised yesterday, it’s nice to now be able to go to an event where people meet off the internet and be surrounded by really interesting people and not the kind of geeks who showed up to such things in the olden days.

Leave a Reply