Last Sunday we went out to a concert at our favourite little venue in Port Chalmers, Chick’s Hotel. We don’t normally go out on Sunday nights because responsibility and waking up at 6:45 am tend to trump whatever might be happening on a Sunday night, especially when relying on Chick’s Magic Bus as a means of transport. It’s a fun ride, a bumpy ride, a free ride, but also a ride that doesn’t leave until the bar empties out and can spare a driver.
This was special, though. Adolescent dreams coming true. Lou Barlow bringing his band Sebadoh from America to New Zealand for the first time in 19 years sorta special. Lou Barlow founded Sebadoh after being kicked out of Dinosaur Jr. As legend has it, Jay Mascis told him the band was splitting up, then proceeded to continue touring with the band – same name, same lineup, just no Lou. I saw Dinosaur Jr when I was 16. Something sparked, and then faded. When I was 18, I discovered earlier Dinosaur Jr, as well as Lou Barlow’s entire catalogue. From solo recordings to Folk Implosion (to Deluxx Folk Implosion) to Sebadoh: I devoured it all.
Bad Sav are a three piece band from Dunedin. More correctly they are from Port Chalmers, a small decrepit port town on the harbour 15 minutes drive north of Dunedin City.
It’s a place that always reminds me of ‘Twin Peaks’ for some reason. Maybe it’s the people. Maybe it’s the laid back weirdness vibe going on. Lots of bars, maroon velvet curtains, odd people eyeing you up strange, familiar faces & good friends & that oversized container crane machinery at the port towering incongruously over the 19th century main street stone buildings like some mechanical praying mantis family. Oh & damn fine coffee too at The Port Royale Café on the main street.
For only having two sets, the gig was one of the most engaging, and satisfying events in recent memory. A cheeky drink set the tone before walking into town, and the wait for the Magic Bus always serves to build the anticipation. There’s always a good crowd at Chick’s. Often enthusiastic (one young man kept yelling, ‘believe in yourself!’ at the band, to their visible irritation), and always engaged.
Chick’s Hotel: I love you. Next up at Chick’s: BOOTS RILEY.