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Golden Axe album release at High Seas Gallery

It was a dark and rainy night in central Auckland. It seems the roads have been wet and shinny-black for many days. After a long week getting my ears bashed by various amateur bands it was time to attend a show that possessed a certain amount of suspense and drama.

Daif and Chris are an odd couple. Although he's a kiwi Daif has a slight American accent due to the huge amount of TV he consumes. Chris is shy and thoughtful but when the duo put on their costumes and don their wigs Chris adopts a somewhat possessed robot persona who shouts, yells and sings through a mic strapped to his face like a gas mask. The act is called Golden Axe. They've owned the number 1 spot of bFM's top ten for the past few weeks with their single Free Time.

When I arrive the pair are busy packaging their latest album, Fantasy Footwork, on cassette! Daif has been hard at work dubbing the cassettes on a professional dubbing machine he came across in a skip, or has he says in his affected drawl, "a dumpster". The band use an array of found objects to decorate and adorn their bizarre installation. For the album launch they've created a huge construction that resembles an igloo smoking a pipe capped with a massive black top hat.

Golden Axe igloo.

Inside the "blobby face", as Chris calls it, the two musicians have set up seven keyboards and stack of effects. It's very cramped and has the feel of a sci-fi landing craft complete with sparkling holographic wall-paper and tin-foil decorations. The amps hiss and squelch as Daif heats up the various synths and delays.

Golden Axe detail 1.After one final check the guys dart back-stage as the crowd quickly assembles. Replete with wigs, make-up and boiler suits the duo return. The keyboards start to snarl and bleep. The audience whoops. Daif pain-stakingly cuts an aperture in the wall of the igloo so the crowd can see a little of the action going on inside. The air is heavy with smoke and anticipation. Sirens whirr into life and Chris begins vocalizing. "Hello, how's it going" becomes an other-worldly robotic reverberation. The crowd cheers. Daif drops the beat and the dancing and smiling begins.

Golden Axe detail 2.They're turning people away at the door. When I leave they let one person in from the crowd outside. The joint is crammed. It's been a great show but I've got to head to the Nesian Mystik album release on the other side of town. I stow the recording gear, coil my cables and hit the road, still glossy and dark from the continuous winter drizzle.

Tune into The Music Mix this Thursday evening after the 11 o'clock news to hear the full story....