Queenstown Cartel

In Kiwi, out and about, travelling, tunnnneeeee! on April 18, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Standing watching another covers band, this one is called the cartel, they occasionally play their own songs in between the kings of leon and the clash – did the clash do I fought the law, if so the clash, if not someone else who did do that song. But they take so long between songs, there’s the obligatory sip of drink, move to the amp, fiddle with guitar, speak to crowd before they play the next song. Where’s the seemless blurring of one song and the next? Have I been spoiled by the breakestra and will no other band live upto their well oiled skill and musicianship. Maybe it’s too much to ask for a local band to be better than average. Maybe they need more rehearsal time? I on the other hand need to stop being in bars where they are playing rock on the real… It’s just depressing, no offense Allan, Rich, Lucy, Vikki and my other rock loving friends.

And this place called world bar, which is usually a euphemism for black music, just like urban has become, is playing host to the aforementioned rock covers band.

So I bounce, too old to stand around watching chunky, square girls flirting hard in their too tight short red dresses, and their knock knees. And head to a place called tardis, which is at the end of cow lane, when I arrive they are playing brickhouse by the commodores, followed in short order by a dangerdoom track which has Talib kweli on and then a mash up of welcome to jamrock and hip hop by dead prez which I find extremely exciting…

But it is populated by the dj, barman, and two mans dem sitting at the bar, plus me when i join them. But despite the lack of eye candy I find myself happier straight away…

The dj is a young guy called ned, who dj’s under the name mr feet, he’s good, nice smooth mixes, a knowledge of tunes before his birth, working off a laptop so i’m assuming he’s using ableton or some other equivalent, but I’m not being a purist, I don’t even dj so what can I say, but he makes my evening/morning a happy one and puts me in a good frame of mind for the jaunt across the pacific and my month in new York when it’ll be all good music all the time and not a hint of rock at fucking t’all…

So I head out from tardis to another place called subculture downstairs from a bar called monty’s, as head down the stairs he’s playing brickhouse as well, is this song following me. I lean over the bar to get served and the dreadlocked bar man gives me a bottle of monteiths cider for free. Result! Subculture has more bods in it, more people playing at hip hop, and as the dj mashes up i know you got soul and I don’t love reggae I’m thinking I should bail. How comes those songs that I believe have been confined to cultural obscurity inevitably come back to haunt me around the world, where they are revered as floor fillers. The dj isn’t as good as ned, his tune selection is about keeping the crowd involved rather than serving the cognoscenti, ned was pretty much playing to himself and me and the barman, this dj has the responsibility of keeping a crowd dancing, whether they know what they are dancing to or not. Got to love how about to be lovers will bump and grind to any song at any tempo! Doesn’t that make a mockery of the club your in and the music your listening to? Just dry hump on your seat, this also relates to those who feel the need to salsa to all music’s outside of Latin, yeah I can see you can salsa, and your girl is excited to be wriggling her hips in a rhythmic fashion but your dancing to electric relaxation, nod your head and two step like the rest of us. Taking up too much space for no good reason, find a room for your extended foreplay you muppets!

So the dj has managed to empty the dancefloor with his electro stylings and I’m sitting here waiting to see what he plays to bring the people back into the fold, is he a good shepherd or will he let his flock wander away to an interesting night somewhere else? I’m giving him ten minutes to play something interesting then I’m bailing…

He’s playing some non descript drum and bass, I nod my head because I love drum and bass, but it’s not a big tune, I should note that I haven’t listened to drum and bass properly for like five years and I have no idea what the prevailing sound is, but this just sounds like identikit drum and bass, nothing original about it, and just like one of the dragons I’m out!!!

I step from left to right there’s nothing that he’s playing that surpasses the big tunes from ten years previous, nothing that touches, Leviticus, or warhead, or share the fall, it feels like dnb has stood still.

I head back to tardis and become adopted by the drunk man at the bar who plays rugby, not sure whether it’s professional, he looks a bit chunky round the middle to me, or is a happy amateur, more than likely, who is drinking in this bar and enjoys being here because no one knows who he is, he regales me with how he can dance and has rhythm except when he’s drunk, this is all good as tardis has now captured a lively late night crowd and it’s two going on three. Drunk rugby man has a conversation with the manager of the bar, to ascertain how drunk he is, as in New Zealand as in Australia, your not allowed to serve anyone who is visibly drunk, drunk man does a passable impression of someone sober and is given a pass, however when a police car rolls down twenty mins later and there are long conversations between barman whose from Rochdale and is mightily happy they are top of division two (anyone know who their manager is by the way) and policewoman about drunk man. Finally after much communication police woman rolls away and drunk man who has been absent makes an appearance, gives me some money to buy him a drink and is promptly thrown out, and I am accused of being his friend. I feel aggrieved for all of a minute then drink the rum and coke that drunk rugby man had purchased me and wind my way the five mins back to my hostel. Good first night in Queenstown.

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