Borderline

Last Thursday I went along to the Whammy Bar, deep beneath St Kevin’s Arcade, for day one of the Borderline Music Festival. I hadn’t slept well the night before and I was pretty tired, so I tried to keep myself alert by doing a live review via Twitter.

Old bar lights

They were actually called Double Barrelled, and were young and rockin’. But when you’re young, it’s really really hard to pull off playing a song called “Loose Women”. Like that’s ever actually been an issue in their lives. They reminded me of Prime Devastation.

Growl

This was The Transistors, who sooner or later will have to change their name because a) it’s utterly forgettable and b) there are other bands (plural) with that name. They did punk, pop and punk/pop, and I detected a bit of a Replacements influence in there (which their MySpace page agrees with). They did a cover of the Ramones’ “Judy is a punk”, and it was nothing more than an adequate, workmanlike cover of a Ramones song. Yeah, give me a call in five years and show me what you’re up to then, lads.

Fertility Festival

Fertility Festival are from Wellington and play this crazy kind of rambling voodoo jazz music. Oh, you know what other adjective needs to be in there? Minimalist. Yeah.

So, they entered the stage via a parade down from K Road. They reminded me of legendary Hamilton five-piece band Dean, who’d play variations on the same chord sequence for as long as was necessary. Fertility Festival also played along with just a basic, repeated pattern, but with rich variety within that repetition. In a way, Fertility Festival are the sort of band I’d always dreamed of seeing in a dark K Road cellar.

I’d like to see them again when I’m not so tired, cos eventually they provoked this reaction:

Mountain scene

Storehouse

And finally was the main reason for me being there in the first place – Storehouse. They’re a two-piece, with Tom Rodwell on guitar and vocals, Joe Pineapple on bass and percussion, but they were also joined by the mysterious Shadow on harmonica.

Storehouse do blues and gospel. Now, Mr Rodwell is an Englishman, and it takes a bit of talent to be able to be English and sing blues and gospel and slave spirituals and not sound all vaudeville. But he pulls it off cos he’s got an excellent voice and lets the slide guitar sing as much as he does.

It was too late – too early, in fact – by the time I got home. The sky was turning dark blue and I was ready to sleep for hours. Good music.

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