Seeing live music while standing in wet shoes, and wearing rain-sodden clothes might not make for the most open-minded of listening, but the promise of The Eversons on Saturday night drew a decent crowd, who were undeterred by sideways rain and packed out most of the slightly-mysterious Innermost Gardens. Despite its parochial appearance, the hall-come-venue, which is tucked away in the belly of Mt Vic, is proving a popular choice for gigs with a DIY flair.
Moses, a newish Wellington-based group that are currently working on their debut EP, began the evening. The band is made up of a large, talented collective featuring musicians from Love You To and The Blue Onesies, and their music is bursting with a variety of different stylistic references, from rock and psychedelia, to folk and jazz.
Moses were incredibly well-practiced and technical, but with a charming spontaneity. They featured an excellent range of vocal performances and an incredible saxophonist, Louisa Nicklin, who has recently been nominated for Young New Zealand Composer of the Year. Their performance had that refreshing, enthusiastic “new band” quality about it, and they exuded a humble, if not slightly reserved stage presence, compared to the band that followed them.
Kicking off with their fluro-clad drummer Jonty O'Connor conducting the crowd with energetic vocal warmups, Christchurch based Nakey brought the energy. Drawing their lineup from the likes of Doprah and Pieces of Molly, the band have recently released their debut EP, Live The Nakey Dream.
Musically, they produce polished pop-rock executed with a kicking, thrashing, clapping, growling passion and their ruckus stage presence demanded attention, but didn’t detract from their excellent musicianship and catchy songs.
Comical and charismatic, Nakey featured a reggae interlude, an inaudible, but dedicated pan pipe player, and what looked like a giant guitar-playing turnip, but was said to be “not a fucking turnip”. For all their wild bravado they put on a relentlessly professional performance.
And next came The Eversons, who put on a no holds barred show, executing their songs with confidence and finesse, and creating an explosive atmosphere. With beer and audience members alike spilling onto the stage, the band are masters at confidently handling chaos and getting the crowd amped. The only hitch of the show was when the band disappeared under layers of dry ice, which turned the stage more smokey then a Willie Nelson concert.
Frontman Mark Turner performed with ferocious energy, scrambling up the monitor amplifier, grabbing for the ceiling, and at one stage, the reason of which was drowned out for me by adoring crowd screams, donned red lipstick and a dangling earring.
It’s fair to say The Eversons, who are moving to London in August, feel like a different band from where they started almost five years ago. “They were always cool, but I’d never seen that crazy energy they unleashed tonight,” summed up one gig attendee. “I was blown away.”