When I first wandered into the Vic Bar of the Art School, I thought perhaps I’d gotten the wrong room. Granted, I was there not long after the doors opened, but there was only a handful of other people in the room, including the bar staff. There was a woman tinkering about on the stage, and a tech guy (later to be revealed as being named Bret) fiddling with the lights and such. A smattering of further folk ambled in, the background music was silenced, and the woman on stage announced “I’m Bachelorette” and ploughed straight into her first song.
Bachelorette is the recording name of New Zealander Annabel Alpers, and the set consisted of her using various instruments to create computerised sounds. This was nothing like my usual genre of music, but I quite enjoyed it, and the sometimes Tron like projections that were going on in the background. My favourite tracks were Her Rotating Head with its heavy bassline, and Mind Warp.
Whilst Bachelorette got on with playing her music, Phoenix Foundation were full of chat. Six guys, also from New Zealand, they took to the stage and quickly had the audience laughing with their easy banter. After one of the first songs, one of the guys revealed that his guitar hadn’t been working the whole time, but he’d continued to strum along regardless “for the look”. This attitude to technical hitches contrasted sharply with the band I’d seen a few weeks previously, who’d walked off early and refused to return after similar sound issues. The fact that they had to call on the sound guy to fix it only amused me more, hearing the name Bret spoken in a New Zealand accent being a welcome reminder of Flight of the Conchords.
The band played a mixture of old and new material, with the song of the night for me (and last song of the set) being Buffalo, taken from their current album of the same name. Orange and Mango, described by the band as “a song about fruit juice” from the same album, and Morning Pages, from the album Pegasus, with its surprisingly raucous ending are also both well worth a listen.