I was a bit late to the Dalmatian hall, so I missed William Cooper’s interview, but I was in time to enjoy the funny MrBrown from Singapore give a presentation of his video and audio podcasts. He specialises in political satire, which is a rather bold thing in a country like Singapore.
The panel discussion, which centred around the future of public broadcasting in New Zealand, was interesting, but I found it kind of hard to concentrate on things. You see, I was really excited about the L.E.D.s, who’d come all the way from Christchurch to play. Eventually the panel finished and the L.E.D.s took to the stage and all was good.
Their music seemed more energetic and powerful live than it does on their album. It added another dimension to their songs, and made it hard not to want to dance, dance, dance.
When I was in Nelson, I read the Christchurch Press so became au fait with the goings on in the Christchurch mayoral campaign. This meant that when Blair L.E.D.s introduced “Rumba” with the question “Do you need a beard to be the mayor of Christchurch?” I laughed.
It’s kind of common at Great Blends for the geekier folks to leave the room when the band comes on, but I hope that at least some of the geeks stuck around to experience the L.E.D.s.
And a big thank you to the other Mr Brown, Russell, for organising yet another great Great Blend.
After the Blend, I ended up going along with the hardcore stragglers to the PR Bar on Ponsonby Road to see Bill Direen play. He’s one of those Flying Nun musicians who I’ve heard about for years, but I’d never actually heard any of his music or seen him play. All the lads were excited and for good reason – he was brilliant. He just got up on stage and sang songs, sometimes just him and his guitar, sometimes accompanied by another singer, other times with a bass and drums. He’s such a good song writer, and it was cool to see the guys in the audience yelling out requests (“Monsieur Le President!”) and having Bill play them. I feel really lucky to have been there.
Then the group ended up going to this guy’s place, where we sat around and listened to records, man. “‘Bee Thousand’ is like the indie ‘Sergeant Pepper'”. Yeah, one of those gatherings.
What an excellent night.