Last night was a Flying Nun marathon of sorts. There was an event put on at Kings Arms for someone's birthday - invitation by word-of-mouth only. I met up with some local Anoraks before the gig at 9pm and I was out 'til 1am, if remember correctly. There were only four gigs, but it seemed to drag on endlessly. Probably because most of the artists don't get to play too often and insisted on playing every song they knew!
First out was Matthew Bannister (ex-Sneaky Feelings), accompanied by a woman (his wife I assume) on flute and harmonies. He didn't play any Sneaky Feelings songs, mostly new songs, some of which were from his first solo album under the moderately funny One Man Bannister moniker. If was a gentle and fairly countryish set, perhaps a bit too slow at times.
Next were Able Tasmans, one of few Auckland-based acts on Flying Nun (despite the Abel Tasman national park being located on the South Island). Now, I've heard A Cuppa Tea and a Lie Down and Store In a Cool Place but didn't actually remember many of the songs. So they didn't really get me going until they did "What Was That Thing" from 1987. Not my favourite band on Flying Nun, but definitely a good gig and very interesting to see. They also had the biggest crowd watching them, with plenty of people dancing and singing along!
The Puddle were on last and by that time most people had given in to fatigue, and the crowd persistently thinned out during their set. It was a long set, and quite tedious at times. I had somehow expected a 'professional' band now that Henderson had got a stable line-up with him at last, but that's not how I would describe them at all. It started out great, with some stand up drumming from George's brother Ian. But we soon got to hear some bad guitar sounds and they completely stopped three times to tune up. Still, there were moments of briliance in there, and I'm glad I (and about 20 other people) had the stamina to stay til the end! They did several songs off of their first album Into the Moon (1990) and quite a few off last year's The Shakespeare Monkey, which I picked up at the gig. It's definitely a lot better than I expected after what I'd heard.