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Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Shapeshifter with live orchestrizzle

Beforehand I was like "do I even like Shapeshifter? what songs do they sing, Sam?" for which I nearly got the smackdown but jokes aside, I hadn't yet heard any of their new album and was rather more looking forward to their warm up act, Ladi6.

She was fantastic, of course, accompanied by Parks on the decks, who did lots of singing too. Casually dressed, Ladi6 commented early on she was more used to a club setting. The Opera House was barely half full at this stage, with everyone firmly in their seats. But she visibly relaxed a couple of songs in and one of her last tracks will surely be a single from her debut solo album (due in April, so she said!). Intro-ing it with "Keeping it in the family, this is one I wrote with my cousin..." she launched into a funky song that was great hip hop but still very soulful too (what I like best about Ladi6). Of course it does help when your cousin is NZ's top hip hop artist AKA Scribe - they got their start together in a very cool group called Verse Two I think...?! I'm sure Sam Brown will correct me :P

yeah it sold out on the Monday FYIAnyhoo, then Shapeshifter were on. Woot.
Haha jokes! Their first half was performed with the Vector Wellington Orchestra. Two amazing live acts and it was incredible seeing them perform together. The Shapeshifter guys were all in ties and shirts too, which was very cute. Keeping up appearances! I would have loved to have seen more experimentation go on, though I guess they were on a limited time frame in terms of rehearsal. It just felt like none of their songs had been restructed to accomodate for these wonderfully talented funky classical musicians: you'd just be hearing a Shapeshifter song - yes, granted, a pretty damn exciting live version - but then there'd just be some strings going on in the background or whatever. I thought they'd at least do something like have a big symphonic opening and then go BOOM! and have a massive drop come in and bust out some crazy drum n bass stuff and fuse the two together...but... nah.
However the sold-out crowd was absolutely lovin it and i don't think a single person was sitting in their seat. Or if you were sitting, you could not sit still. From the bass vibrations if nothing else!! The second half was pure Shapeshifter and they brought out an MC called Electric Puha, a guy from Queenstown I think, who was just fantastic. Such great energy and a nice balance to P Diggss. (Also, they changed their outfits, into like, tee-shirts and caps and stuff. Well played). My favourite bit was when they did like a medley and sampled all sorts of tracks/lyrics - the obligatory FFD (he'd already done the shout-out to Dallas in the dress circle) and I got delirious when I heard them referencing the Roots -woot!!

My other favourite bit was bumping into this guy that I was sort of dating at the start of the year. It fizzled out for various reasons and the few times I have seen him round since he has studiously managed to avoid seeing me. However the last time we crossed paths, he was barrelling down Courtenay with a blonde in tow, their fingers entwined in a way that screamed coupledom. I was like "awwh" because I'd gotten the impression he was quite keen to suss something like that. And so then I saw him again at this gig as I arrived with Sam and finally I get a hullo out of him! And so I was telling Sam who he was (back story: he'd come to look at a spare room in our flat and I was like 'hmm you may be too cute to live here' ...I'd been left unsupervised to vet the new flatmates COMPLETE SHAMBLES) and Sam was all 'no morality' which he seems to say A LOT and then I was like 'oooh he so only said hi cause he thinks that I'm here with some boy and he's all awwh she found someone nice but actually UM NO just cause i didn't want to date you doesn't mean I've found someone else so HAH... yeah!!' and Sam was like 'you sure showed him'.

Ok I've just realised how insanely late it is and this may explain why I am writing so insanely. I also wanted to cover Hinepau, Coldcut and Toi Cabaret but perhaps not. One word summaries: Funny. Funky. Underdressed.
Also: Hinepau was in Upper Hutt and me and Melissa were cracking all these jokes on the way up and telling ourselves off for being such baiches and then the moment - literally the moment - we stepped out of the car, the first person that walked past, clearly a local, was not wearing shoes. I clutched my handbag closer to myself. Melissa tried to get back in the car and make a dash for it but I had an obligation to attend the performance and damn we were glad we did. One of the most entertaining shows I think I've ever seen - lucky kids having something like that aimed at them.

Will add some links tomorrow: [Taaah DAHH!!]
Shapeshifter Vector Wellington Orchestra Ladi6 Hinepau Coldcut Ninja Tune Toi Cabaret The Package [where I got that pic of Shapeshifter rockin the Opera House from]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't post the image directly, but this is what I think of you!


Thu Oct 05, 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

OMG, is that Bel's brothers?


So I have no opinion on Shapeshifter, but just wanted to say that barefootness rules. I never understood the whole "not go" barefoot thing that overseas folk have, but now that I am experiencing their footpaths I understand.

Go the Kiwi barefootness. Woo.

Thu Oct 05, 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Bel said...

I think I'd gotten Shapeshifter mixed up with Salmonella Dub...and P Diggs mixed up with Tiki - the former=YAY, the latter=you bore me. So it was sweet as :)

As for the barefoot styles...yes i hear what you're saying Lou -and wholeheartedly agree- but still... the Hutt... eww.

Thu Oct 05, 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

I don't know about the whole barefootness thing. My strongest association with barefoot-away-from-the-beach would be "Pondy", computer science lecturer who never wore shoes. Except to graduation. His real name was "Peter Andreae".

Yeah, he was really stange. His barefoot thing was more like "I have no connection with or conception of the real world whatsoever" rather than any kind of Aro St chic.

Good summary of the Shapeshifter gig - totally agree on the underwhelmingness of the whole "collaborative" aspect of it. Was a bit more like "let's drown out the orchestra sitting behind us". Still, I was there to see Shapeshifter so no disappointment there.

Fri Oct 06, 10:57:00 AM  

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