On Friday I met with an English friend whom I met in Brisbane when I first arrived in Aus, he’s been in Auckland a short while and has already slipped himself into the NZ music scene, inviting us to a gig his friends were playing at we found ourselves in the heart of the Auckland underground music culture, the venue was literally underground, it was called Whammy Bar and it felt grunge and gritty, the way every good music venue should feel.
Out here, artists support artists, one of the band members from Bakers Eddy asked if I wanted to sell him some photos that I took of their band. I was taken aback, typically people expect you to send them images for free, simply because they have asked. They were pretty insistent, saying “We’re artists, and you’re an artist, we want to pay you for your work.” The problem was that I didn’t see this coming so didn’t really get any great images of them playing, even if I did I wouldn’t have accepted their money, I was taking pictures for fun, if they asked me before they started playing if I would capture their gig for them, I would have accepted payment. Food for thought next time.
The bands playing were relatively small in fandom but the energy in the room felt special, the appreciation and dedication the audience members were showing was awe inspiring. When I first arrived in Auckland I was disappointed, it might have been the fact that I had been in Thailand for two months prior and Auckland turned out to be cold as fuck, but it was also that there seemed to be no heart to the city, it felt corporate and mature. Fortunately the depressing rug was pulled from under my feet when I was shown the alternative music scene and it took little time for me to fall in love with both the city and the people. I’m definitely going to more local gigs and soaking up the energy they have for their music.
After the show we jumped into a taxi to Ding Dong Lounge where I met some cool young 80’s hair metal guys from the band Black Alpine (pictured above), they were quite the juxtaposition to the fans at Whammy Bar who appeared to want to fit in with the average millennial rather than stand out and frankly I appreciated their effort.