Earlier in the week, I was part of a conversation where someone asks what everyone’s plans for the weekend are. I responded, “I’m going to see Blam Blam Blam play at the King’s Arms!” And everyone looked at me with blank stares.
I tried to explain, “They’re a band. They were first around in the early ’80s. Their best known song is “There Is No Depression In New Zealand“. Don McGlashan was in the band. He’s that guy from the Mutton Birds. Uh, you know “Nature” and “Dominion Road”. And Blam Blam Blam have got back together for a one-off reunion gig.” There were still a few blank stares.
So it was not all that surprising to find a distinct lack of young ‘uns at the King’s Arms last night. Indeed the crowd had a large number of people who looked like they probably had to arrange a babysitter before they could have gone out.
While I waited for the band to start, I noticed a difference between the older audience there and the typical younger gig-going audiences of today – lack of cellphones and cameras. People were just sitting around talking with their friends. They weren’t texting, nor were they posing seductively for photos, which would later be uploaded to Bebo, MySpace or Facebook.
Finally the gentlemen Blams took to the stage and started with their version of the Doctor Who theme, and then worked through choice songs from their 22-month life.
Now, I’m not all that familiar with Blam Blam Blam’s body of work, but I really really enjoyed the show. None of their songs sounded like relics from early ’80s. They are the sort of songs that could easily be played today and still sound contemporary.
And it was interesting how many of the lyrical themes were still relevant. Police corruption, paranoia about the SIS, struggles with national identity – ripped from 2007’s headlines, man.
The show finally ended with “There Is No Depression In New Zealand” (and how could it not?) which just set the crowd on fire. I like that it’s such a cynical and political song with a really cheerful shout-along chorus. Living in a city where politicians speak of the need for “world-class” footpaths, I reckon this song is still relevant.