Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Auckland City Nights

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  • James Butler,

    I got to hear The Checks play their new album from beginning to end at Galatos – it’s all languid Exile on Mainstreet grooves polished up with dance music inflections, and I liked it a lot

    I didn't think that much of it - the highlights at Galatos for me were the Mean Girls, who didn't hold anything back from the 20 or so of us who were there that early (who knew a bass could make noises like that?), and Beastwars metalling it up at the end. But the evening was slightly marred by the bar running out of beer - except Mac's Light, which they happily substituted, us not noticing until we were back in the crowd and drinking (maybe they tried to mention it to us at the bar, but who can hear a bartender at a gig?).

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Bell,

    when we went to pay up, the bar had overcharged us $140 for things we’d never ordered.

    Things you'd also never drunk, I take it? :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Oh, Russell. No bstreet love for Beastwars?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2393 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    I was happily surprised by the tone of the editorial too. Clearly not a typical John Roughan piece, extolling the virtues of sprawl.

    Perhaps Auckland's truly starting to realise it's a real city, and not just an overgrown town?

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    “It kinda needs a StarMart,” observed Nigel from The Down Low.

    It’s a shocking thing to say, but … yeah, it kinda does.

    There are actually few things more vexing than being in a town - or part of a town - and not being able to find a dairy when you need one. They can be fiendishly difficult to locate if they're not in a prominent place or you're not familiar with the area - or you don't know that there isn't one at all.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes,

    I think they have the wi-fi news wrong: it’s not “discounted”, it’s free for eight weeks, thanks to the sponsorship of Localist and the network of Tomizone.

    It is not free and it is not discounted...It is free in certain hotspots for up to 30 minutes per device per day. If you ask me this is just weird. You use data, not time so why not limit it to say 100MB a day like they do in other free wifi spots (I think Wellington's Trade Me WiFi works like this).

    Apparently there were a lot of debates inside council about whether the WiFi should be made completely free for the duration of the cup but they decided to spend the money elsewhere. In my opinion this was the wrong thing to do - Free WiFi would have done more to give the city a great name with the tourists than the equivilent money spent on advertising. The flow on effect in word of mouth advertising would have been great.

    In any case it was good to hear they had the debate and it was looked at seriously and not as an afterthought.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Butler,

    I didn't think that much of it - the highlights at Galatos for me were the Mean Girls, who didn't hold anything back from the 20 or so of us who were there that early (who knew a bass could make noises like that?),

    Heh. Didn't like them at all. Where was the happy?

    and Beastwars metalling it up at the end.

    I would have liked to have seen Beastwars -- their album certainly rocks -- but it was rammed and my friends wanted to see Street Chant. That's okay. I was fading a little bit by then ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18807 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    It is not free and it is not discounted…It is free in certain hotspots for up to 30 minutes per device per day.

    It’s a bit better than that: Users will be able to get free access for up to three 30 minute sessions a day per Wi-Fi device. So they’re trying to limit it to reasonable use, and I supposed you could argue that it’s easier for people to keep track of their time than their data usage.

    Hotspots will be at:

    - Britomart station and adjourning area
    - Newmarket railway station
    - Kingsland railway station
    - Morningside railway station
    - Devonport wharf
    - Matiatia wharf Waiheke
    - Ferry terminal

    As well as Queens Wharf, Eden Park, Aotea Square and North Wharf.

    But your point about the relative benefits of free and comprehensive wi-fi versus more money for marketing is well made.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18807 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Clearly, the pool of experienced hospitality staff is not all that deep.

    No it isn’t, but FFS that pool’s never going to deepen unless more restaurateurs put as much time and effort into recruiting, training (and rewarding good) staff as they do into the fit-out. It really does matter, especially if you’re not exactly on the cheap and cheerful end of the market. And if you've had one of those days when you'd rather stick your head in the oven than cook, a waiter who can at least pretend to be happy to see you is a soul-saver...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11900 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Heh. Didn’t like them at all. Where was the happy?

    It was in (some of*) the other sets - that's the great thing about a diverse gig. Anyway, when the frontman came down and charged at me, spilling my beer, I was smiling. Haven't seen that at a gig in years.

    *Not the weird ambient-industrial guys (half of 1995, it seems) who played next, obviously.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And if you’ve had one of those days when you’d rather stick your head in the oven than cook, a waiter who can at least pretend to be happy to see you is a soul-saver…

    I'd also prefer a waiter who didn't patronisingly touch me on the shoulder when I enquired after my drink order ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18807 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Every person I know that has partaken in the hospitality offerings of North Wharf has had a terrible experience. Every one.
    They're probably a month late down there with regards to training, settling-in etc etc and probably 3-6 months late in terms of grabbing some of the few decent hospo staff available in the city.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James Butler,

    the frontman came down and charged at me

    did you look at him funny or something?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16598 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Every person I know that has partaken in the hospitality offerings of North Wharf has had a terrible experience. Every one.

    Yikes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18807 posts Report Reply

  • barnaclebarnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ah - I missed the three sessions bit when I read the press release the other day.

    Time vs. Amount is a hard one. When you think about it you take your phone out of your pocket, check Twitter, put it away, rinse and repeat a few times. The phone will (may?) keep the wifi connection open so when you go to find out the next bar you want to go to you have run out of your 30 minutes. On the other hand at 100MB you might be just a little cautious of posting lots of photos which would add more buzz to the media stream around the event.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    Perhaps Auckland's truly starting to realise it's a real city, and not just an overgrown town?

    And it's not going down well with the government.
    (via Hilary, discussed on unrelated thread)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16598 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Sacha,

    did you look at him funny or something?

    I think it was just his shtick.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James Butler,

    what a cock

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16598 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    And it’s not going down well with the government. (via Hilary on unrelated thread)

    You really have to wonder what's going through the heads of those ministers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18807 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    what a cock

    I think James liked it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18807 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    Free WiFi would have done more to give the city a great name with the tourists than the equivilent money spent on advertising.

    +1

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16598 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    some like cock :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16598 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Sacha,

    what a cock

    Whatevs, perhaps you had to be there :-)

    ETA: Wait, wat?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Graham, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    “It kinda needs a StarMart,”

    I'm not sure about a StarMart, but when we ventured down to the Wynyard Quarter yesterday, what was definitely lacking was somewhere to buy water or an ice-cream - or did we miss something?

    Our overall impression was that it was a great space and will be even better as it gets extended, but the new bridge should have been built twice as wide to cope with the pedestrians.

    +1 to Craig's comments above re hospitality staff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James Butler,

    Wait, wat?

    sorry :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16598 posts Report Reply

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