Thursday, January 31, 2008
A year and a bit ago I went back to my old hood (Christchurch bro) for a few weeks at Christmas time. A bunch of other expats were back too and naturally we spent a fair bit of time at old haunt and staple venue of the (tiny) music scene, the Dux De Lux. It was terrifically nostalgic gig because local favs Minisnap played, who, aside from not having main main Robert Scott, are pretty much Flying Nun legends The Bats. They're definitely the old faithful of the Christchurch scene but always a treat to see live, and on this night back then some French band called Ladybird played. They sounded like some Flying Nun band circa 1983 (this is a very good thing) and Victor, one of the four guys, had a badass French line bowl cut. So I asked them to come back to a party that at the time didn't actually exist and wasn't actually at my house but at my friends' house who were happy to oblige (though my friends' flatmates, by then asleep, were not so enthused). A week later they played a house show at the same house with more interested people than you would've thought Christchurch could contain all in the one amazingly kitschly kitted out living room with just one tiny amp and acoustic guitars. It was wonderful; so was seeing them a year later on Australia day at another (much hotter) house show. Seems kind of like the polar opposite of Australia day festitivies though; French twee guys playing Flying Nun inspired indie pop. What did the community think?
On the first song up there, 'West Coast', they're singing about NZ's West Coast which is about as Flying Nun as you can get. Maybe. At least I assume it's NZ's West Coast; it could be France's. But those slow jangly guitars sure make it sound like NZ if there is in fact a sound that can be evoked from the country. I've always found it just so right listening to someone like The Clean or The Verlaines in a flat in Chirstchurch when it's fairly cold and grey but it's so much better when driving around the countryside. It's nice thinking that somehow these guys are on the same vibe as you, growing up in a place like NZ. You search for that stuff, culture and all that, something to relate to, identity, and it's weird; a strange postcolonial country but amazing all the same.