Tue 7 Jun 2011
Chickstock 2011 Review - Part One
It may sound clichéd to say that the youth is our future, but it is very true. On Saturday, May 28th, a variety of people gathered together in celebration of Dunedin’s future musical talents. Chickstock, which was impeccably organised by the Chicks Project’s Jessica Young and held at Chicks Hotel brought in a crowd of over 150, all of which left with a smile on their face. It was definitely a ‘feel good’ afternoon.
Excitement radiated throughout Chicks Hotel as both the younger and slightly older musicians appreciated each other’s work. The collaboration between Dunedin’s more established music scene and other young bands was extremely beneficial for both sides. Alizarin Lizard, Idiot Prayer and Mr Biscuits represented the more seasoned performers. Alizarin Lizard was happy to play an all-ages gig with lead singer Paul Cathro commenting that he hopes to play more of this type of event in the future. Idiot Prayer had quite a few fans in attendance as members of Gunslinger raved about their set. Richard Ley-Hamilton, of Mr Biscuits, spent some time talking to the younger generation and said that he wished a similar mentoring program was available while he was in high school. Mr Biscuits also had some admirers in the crowd as one kid informed his friend that he could not leave as he had to see Mr Biscuits perform. Mutual music love was in the air!
Starting at midday, the event began with a few thank-yous to the various people who made it all possible. A few of those included; Chicks Hotel for giving up their liquor license for the day and giving the kids a super venue to play at, Sarah from ALAC, DCC Creative Communities New Zealand, Chalmers Community Board, CAYAD, DCC Youth Action Committee, Volunteering Otago, Sam Brookland, drummer for Idiot Prayer, who was instrumental in the success of Chickstock doing the sound, and Logan Hampton as he worked the lighting for the event.
Kicking off the day, only five minutes behind schedule, with one of her first public performances was 16 year old, Bayfield High student, Bronwyn Halley. She began her set with a cover of ‘Out of this World’ by Carrie Underwood, making use of backing tracks. Bronwyn started off a little shaky but as she grew more accustomed to the stage and the eyes of her audience upon her, she warmed up and the nerves subsided a little. Her set consisted of two more covers; ‘Landslide’ by the Dixie Chicks and ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele. They are both big songs to sing especially for a young amateur performer. It may have been wiser to sing songs which are not as well known. Bronwyn also writes songs herself and has been singing since she was 11. We look forward to hearing some of these in the future as she comes into her own through the maturing of her voice and confidence gained through more public performances.
Up next was Aardvarkdapus, now known as Andy and the Straights. Their style is very different from Bronwyn’s, listing some of their influences as Silverstein, Senses Fail and Rise Against. This band is made up of students from Otago Boys including 15 year old Max Garden on drums, 16 year olds Andrew Randall on guitar and vocals, and Carl Domigan on bass. After only being together for about three months, they played their set with really good energy, slightly grungy sounding and a strong, present bass. For only being together for such a short period of time, they managed to pull together a solid set of short songs.
Bullet Bill was next on the docket, opening with their song ‘Pterodactyl’ which is an instrumental piece save for pauses in which the band members proceeded to make what we can only assume are the calls of a Pterodactyl. Some minor difficulties for this month-old band with instruments arose but nothing which seriously affected their sound. Max Garden also plays in this band, but this time on the guitar. The other members are from Bayfield including; Robbie Motion, age 15 on drums and Ashley Pentecost, age 16 on the bass. Their second song ‘Android 18’ had a wicked bass riff and, like their first track, minimal vocals. Max went on to introduce their song ‘Carnival Fun’ stating “come one, come all, to the Carnival Fun!” It very much felt like the audience was transported to some sort of creepy, nightmarish carnival. They are definitely a band to be known for their random quirky lyrics including “what colour five dollar Warehouse shoes do you have?” and “my rats tail’s like 10cm long now.”
Next, surprise guest Patrik Fitzgerald took the stage. While everyone wondered who exactly he was, his legendary past revealed itself as he casually mentioned playing with bands such as the Clash and the Buzzcocks. Known as the ‘punk poet,’ Fitzgerald performed his original songs with ease and comfort. His quirky lyrics and natural performance was a delightful experience. With a tribute album and a Raindance film made in his honour, he was a truly special addition to the Chickstock lineup! It was definitely a good experience for the young musicians to be audience members and hopefully they learned something from him.
Following Patrik and managing to keep to the schedule was 18 year old Angela Woodward in her solo act Angela from the Shrubbery. On stage with just herself and her acoustic electric guitar, she played some really polished self-written tracks. Angela started singing, writing and guitar at the age of 10 and began classical singing lessons about three years ago and is now studying at Otago University. With her friends sporting glittery signs in the audience, she played with confidence. There was a slight stumble at the beginning of the second song so Angela started again, and the second time she managed to successfully play the intro making her way through to the bridge, which was sung in French, adding a little something extra to the song. Angela finished up her set with a sweet Live cover; ‘Lightning Crashes.’ Ostrander Aardvark is next on stage, deriving their name from the combination of the comic book author John Ostrander and an aardvark. Made up of the Bayfield students 17 year olds Josh Hunter on guitar and vocals, David Jackson on drums and 16 year old Phil Brown on bass, began their set with good driving beats. For being together for only a month, they have a rather polished sound. One of their songs featured a clever almost question and answer between the guitar and bass riffs. Another had a steady gradual increase in tempo with all band members managing to keep up and maintain a clean sound.
To be continued...
Reviewed by Allyson Coff and Melissa Flett
Photos: Daniel Alexander