23 December 2010
Live music highlights of 2010: Eru Dangerspiel live at The Auckland Town Hall
It was the night after the Music Awards and media and musicians alike were feeling the strain. Gin Wigmore blew out a couple of shows in the immediate aftermath as she'd rarked it up a little too hard during the post-ceremony festivities, loosing her voice in the process. She did take out best album so perhaps she can be forgiven. You're brave music correspondent had another all-night assignment to capture the following night however. It was Friday October 8. Aotea square had just been re-opened after a comprehensive refit and it's freshly buffed paving blushed with a rich salmon complementing the pale stone-work of the Auckland Town Hall.
Inside 52 musicians had toiled all day building an elaborate construction of musical instruments that filled the entire stage to bursting. I managed to collar Trinity Roots drummer and Eru visionary, Riki Gooch just before he transformed himself into a pasha-like figure replete with turban and satin drapery. Gooch guided me round the stage showing off his new "gold-sparkle" drum-kit that'd reportedly belonged to George Harrison at one point. Gooch beamed as he told the story of finding the kit and purchasing it off a genial and pastoral sort on the outskirts of Huntly. He then went on to explain that My Sharona was recorded using these very same drums
But talking about the kit was not enough. Gooch hurriedly nestled himself in behind the drums and immediately started flamming out a jazz-funk pattern that echoed in the most pleasing fashion throughout the hall swept empty for the show to come. Then, like a kid bounding outside in the morning Jonathan Crayford leapt up the terraced staging toward the epic Town Hall organ. Within seconds he fired the colossal keyboard up. After a few more moments he was laying down a Jimmy Smith-esque riposte to Gooch rolling, funky rhythm. Needless to say my recorder was rolling.
Wild Bill Ricketts smiled like a cat as the mischief grew in volume. Crayford then gave a demonstration of the parallels between the pedals and drones of the Eru song Maia, and the cascading piano crescendos of famous Coltrane side-man McCoy Tyner. But the doors were opening in 35 short minutes so the impromptu jam-session was eventually curtailed.
At one minute before 8pm I nabbed Loop Recordings boss Mikee Tucker who was grabbing the quickest of cigarettes outside. He was happy and thoroughly at ease as the doors to the venue swung open. The city had supported the show during it's first major outing the previous year and while it was not a hugely profitable enterprise the concert was vastly satisfying for cast and crew alike.
Tune into The Music Mix, Thursday evening after the 11 o'clock news to hear the whole story.
Left: Riki's kit. Right: Miguel Fuentes' station.
Left: Lake sound-surface hardware. Right: A bass drum with a Native American painted on it.