Went to Homegrown ’09 yesterday. Second year in a row (and the second year they’ve run it). And once again, a super-fantastic day.
For those that don’t know, Homegrown is a celebration of NZ music. 11 hours of sounds by excellent Kiwi musicians, down around the Wellington waterfront. This year, with four stages with continuous music in multiple genres. Everything from HLAH to Evermore, Kora, Concord Dawn, and Katchafire, amongst others.
Went along at the start of the day (coz last year I went late afternoon and regretted missing out on so many hours of fine Kiwi music beforehand) and caught a bit of Katchafire’s act, before the noise and the loud teenagers got to me. Then wandered around for a while, to see what else was there. Lots of great artwork around Frank Kitts park – giant picture frames hanging from a tree; a huge rope of French knitting lying in the grass; Oamaru stone sculptures; shapes and images made of orange netting hanging from another tree. Lots of fun things to do and see! (Although sadly I never quite got around to playing Rockband at one of the tents that were set up….)
Went along to the Indie stage, and caught the first part of Tiger Tones set. They had a few technical issues,which was a bit of a shame as their sound seemed kinda promising although a bit uncertain. Gave up on them after a couple of tracks, and wandered over to the Rock stage and saw the last track of Streetwise Scarlett, which sounded rather awesome. May have to keep an eye out for them in the future and see what a full set by them would be like.
Then rambled off to the Electronica stage, and caught the last half of Clarke Gayford’s set. Not bad – fun to dance to. Yay! (And extra-yay for the yummy packet of Smokefree peppermints they were giving out!)
Next up, headed back to the Indie stage to try and catch the last half of Bang Bang Eche, only to find that that stage was now running rather early so we got there just as they finished. Drat. Back to the Rock stage, for the last couple of tracks of Goodnight Nurse. Then back to the Indie Stage for Fur Patrol, who were lovely as usual. (Julia Deans nearly had a Janet Jackson moment, but managed to catch her top just in time. Which probably disappointed many of the boys in the audience. Oh well.)
Left there around 5, to go and get an autograph by Supergroove (or one member of the band, anyway) as my first-ever experience of standing around at a signing tent. Felt like such a teenager, haha. After that, hung out at the outdoor ampitheatre, eating pakora’s from the Hare Krishna food stand and watching the break dancing contests. I so wanna be able to breakdance! Somehow I don’t think it’s ever gonna happen, though. *sigh* Oh well. *shrug*
Post-dinner, headed back to the Rock stage and saw the full set (first full set of the day that I made it to!) of Evermore. Fun – sang along to Dreams and that “I can see the light” song that I don’t know the title of. (Thanks Singstar, for helping me learn lyrics!) Completely surrounded by (mostly male) teens singing along and jumping up and down, and in the cases of a few, having air-guitar rock-outs with inflatable guitars one of the advertisers was handing out all over the place. Funny.
Next up, off to the Indie stage for Dimmer. Nice, atmospheric set by Shane Carter and crew. Nearly got a bit boring at times, but kinda trance-like, and generally pretty. Especially the bit with the little stick of bells being turned slowly next to a microphone. Pretty really is the only word I can use to describe it.
Stuck around the Indie stage after that for the next two acts – Weta and HLAH. Both of which were super-awesome-fantastic!!! Yay!!! *bounce*
Was the first time I have seen Weta live, and I must admit to not knowing overly much of their music beforehand either, aside from the classic ‘Got The Ju’ track that I have on some compilation album somewhere. They announced it was their last-ever set, though, so glad I hung around! Was an excellent set as well. Solid tracks, and full of energy. They hauled a couple of extra people up on stage to help sing ‘Got the Ju’ as well – not too sure, but I think they may have been parents of a couple of the band members, or the like….?
After Weta, and while we were all waiting for HLAH, we were treated to an onstage burlesque strip tease by Eva Strangelove. Not what I was expecting to see at Homegrown, but was fun times! Lovely lass prancing around on stage in a purple feather boa and pink sparkley pasties. Made for a novel and good between-acts filler.
HLAH (aka Head Like A Hole) were even more fantastic than all the acts that had come before them, rolled into one. Massive quantities of energy, bouncing around on stage, stupendous drumming, guitarist and bassist clashing instruments together, the crowd going wild, jumping up and down to their last track ‘Hootananny’, a brilliant cover of Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’ (which I’ve had going through my head ever since), and finishing with the guitarist launching himself backwards through the drum kit. Bloody marvellous. Truly. Just wish it could have gone on for a couple of hours longer!
(Also wish I could have met the drummer, as he was rather hot. Haha.)
Since the Indie stage was running well ahead of time (although that sadly didn’t affect the length of time HLAH played for, as far as I am aware) I then raced over to the Rock stage and got there just in time for the final Supergroove song of the day – the always-marvelous ‘Scorpio Girls’. (Although was slightly disturbed to find that when I went to jump up-and-down, my feet were firmly stuck to the floor with all the spilt beer and bourbon. Eew.)
After that, grinning like a loony due to the sheer musical goodness I had experienced over the last couple of hours, I headed outside. Wandered semi-aimlessly, admired the clowns in black-and-white from afar, smiling at the prettiness of the huge white helium balloons they were each carrying, each of which had a white paper lantern floating underneath, all lit up and ghostly in the near-midnight sky. Made for an absolutely gorgeous and serene sight. Killing time while waiting to meet Steve, I wandered closer to the balloons and ended up briefly chatting with a rather deboniar clown with a walking stick, before wandering to the ‘Cadbury Moro’ stage where Shapeshifter were still playing and were Steve was. So I managed to also catch the last 10 mins of Shapeshifter. Yay for so many great bands all in one place!
All-in-all, an absolutely marvelous day, and I can’t wait to do it again next year.
(And in the meantime, I need to hunt out a bit more of the HLAH back catalogue, as I now feel I don’t own enough of their music. Yes indeed.)