Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: ACL: The best of times, the worst of times

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  • Russell Brown,

    The very end of the Dan Carter message (and the beginning of Peking Duk) can be viewed here on Instagram.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Cassandra,

    May as well have flung excrement in Grace Jones and her utterly superb band’s faces. I clench with shame on all NZ’s behalf every time I think about it.
    Happy to be a witness for the prosecution if you press charges.

    Since May 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Useful context from Scottie Duncan on Twitter:

    Peking D were risible. But, to be fair, Grace came on over 15 mins late (I was backstage to witness the consternation from the promoter) and therefore played only one hour of her scheduled 1hr 15min set. The problem began there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr,

    Grace Jones should never have been on the small stage. It was a superb set, and she is absolutely amazing, the band too were stunning.

    Peking Duk was so bad that it just shattered any and all vibes generated in the previous hour, in a way kind of vindicating how good Grace was. I'm certainly not feeling down with the kids if that's indicative of what they're listening to!

    Apalling stage choice, but mind you I have no idea why the decision was made....nice to have some space at a festival though.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And from dance promoter Dave Roper:

    Peking Duk are known to get a blokes 'bloke' to intro them ( well what do you call them? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ?) having got Shane Warne & Karl Stefanovic to intro them on stage in Australia. Probably works well at dude bro events like RnV.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Cassandra,

    What Bruce said except for the bit about what the younguns are listening to. We all did our time loving shit we’re happy to forget about now.
    Also, so what if she was 15 mins late. She cut her set short and just a couple of minutes between acts would not have hurt anyone. It was obscenely rude.
    I know what it’s like when the schedule gets out of hand but come on.

    Since May 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr, in reply to Cassandra,

    No reflection on the kids, more a recognition of how far away I am from Peking duk!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Cassandra,

    All good. I wrote “Peking Duk” on a greasy old ham bag and threw it onto a rubbish fire. Feel much better now, it may have lifted their curse for a while.

    Since May 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Stupid,

    Ha ha "douchepocalypse"

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Aimer,

    Totally agree with all your comments Russell except I L-O-V-E-D Tash Sultana, and plenty around me seemed to as well.

    (kids play her a lot round my place atm...and maybe I haven't had as much Ed Sheeran exposure as everyone else?).

    Great day!

    Auckland • Since Mar 2018 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Eediot,

    Wow. Different experiences then.
    I was front and centre for Grace- as I'd always intended to be- and loved it. Had no idea what was happening next door after, other than what I could hear, and just assumed that was the next act starting. I'm not a festival organiser so also assumed that what happened was supposed to happen. If Grace could organise to get a promoter to presenter her in NZ as she deserves then she has that option surely?
    As it happened- lucky us!

    Graham Reid wasn't so enamored. Like I say- different experiences.

    I followed her act by saying good night to my ailing love and heading straight to Beck's stage for a "4 rows back and centre" spot to watch the last few overs over the cricket on Sky Go on my iPhone with some quickly-made new acquaintances while we waited, and then had a great time. I did wonder how he was coming across up the back as- from my POV as a first time observer but fan of the latest album- he didn't see like a natural or polished 'entertainer'. But his band were, and the show itself was top notch.

    Golden Dawn Western Springs was not what I'd gone for- pushed the boat a bit further out you might say ;-)..and enjoyed acts I heard only heard singles from (she was also keen to hear George Ezra), and ones I was interested to experience after a few month's Spotify acclimatization. As such, even with wilting wife in tow for her first fest (and I've done all but one Laneway and the sole Soulfest), I felt this was great value for money.

    I did wonder (as I did at Sweetwaters 2000...) if the event was paying its way- there seemed waaaay too much room, and relatively short queues for everything except the loos- but I saw Drax Project (a personal fav), Grace, and Beck for the first time, and then walked home up the hill. Awesome.

    My main complaint about the lack of a decent drink seems petty in hindsight. I went home with only one beer inside me because the choice of alcoholic beverages was so poor (as I didn't go inside the GD enclosure I never discovered that wine was an option at that one spot- I even briefly considered Red Bull an Vodka for the first time)- and felt fantastic! So, winning all round.

    But that was just me.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Eediot,

    If Grace could organise to get a promoter to presenter her in NZ as she deserves then she has that option surely?

    Grace did very well in New Zealand. At least one other promoter (Splore) put a bid in and even helped her management organise the Queenstown side show, and I'm told ACL paid around $250,000 to secure her – which she is very clearly worth.

    The Twitter comments above in this thread indicate that her not making her stage time was a big issue – hence the short set – and it turns out that Peking Duk like to pay for well-known-bloke endorsements to open their sets. But it just felt so off.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Eediot,

    Golden Dawn Western Springs was not what I’d gone for- pushed the boat a bit further out you might say ;-)

    Nah, fun’s where you find it at a festival. You missed a treat by not at least popping in there. The Magic Factory were a riot.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    It'd be interesting to be a fly on the wall when the promoter(s) and their staff sat down for a debrief yesterday or today, that's for sure. Wonder if they'll make any public comment on the P/Duk balls-up.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 758 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    It’d be interesting to be a fly on the wall when the promoter(s) and their staff sat down for a debrief yesterday or today, that’s for sure. Wonder if they’ll make any public comment on the P/Duk balls-up.

    They won't make any public comment on Peking Duk, but I presume there'll be words had within the franchise. It's the difference between what might fly at Rhythm and Vines (where even Kim Dotcom's execrable "music" got a rave reception) and an urban festival for a broad demographic.

    And I'm sure they'll be addressing the scheduling and ticket sales. I felt a bit nervous writing the post above – I've known Campbell and Paul for years and I want their shows to succeed – but decided to just go ahead and say it. Hopefully I'm not banned next year ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Peking Duk are known to get a blokes ‘bloke’ to intro them

    …and to be fair Dan Carter is no stranger to ACL injuries
    - though to be fairer that’d be the ‘anterior cruciate ligament’
    and not ‘Auckland City Limits’ …. remember 2007!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7766 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Hopefully I’m not banned next year ;-)

    Hey come on - Truth to Power is what PAS is all about isn't it? (amongst other things) - though the crowds seem thinner here these days too... -

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7766 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The Magic Factory were indeed a riot. Best vibes of the today. Disasteradio was good at GD as well.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Nick Russell,

    The Magic Factory were indeed a riot. Best vibes of the today. Disasteradio was good at GD as well.

    Yeah, wishing I'd got there earlier to see Luke.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol, in reply to Eediot,

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 313 posts Report Reply

  • Eediot, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Oh I did- but at the time I had available away from acts elsewhere there was a 'comedian' on followed by some sweary rapping.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Eediot, in reply to Morgan Nichol,

    LOL- yup, perfect timing :-)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The lineup for Sydney City Limits is interesting.

    The Avalanches, Grace Jones and Phoenix finishing one stage.

    Future, Beck and Justice closing either side of their dual stage.

    And Ocean Alley(?) and Tash Sultana finishing the “Big Top”.

    Of note:

    Grace Jones was 25 minutes late there too – it’s a thing.

    No Peking Duk anywhere.

    And they only pulled 14,000!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    14,000? That does not sound commercially viable.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19565 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Big festivals are anachronisms . So many artists tour nowadays that even in NZ you can see contemporary artists at the height of the powers at Spark and up and comers at bespoke festivals like Laneways. You can get a better vibe at Splore.

    Why bother with Beck and Grace Jones? Mighty as they may have been, their best days were a quarter of a century ago. The only people who would go out of their way to see them can't get a babysitter these days.

    Also, City limits is just at the wrong time of the year. No festival has ever worked after the official end of summer. ACL is in Autumn, but more importantly it is after the schools and Uni have gone back. Everyone is back at work. Everyone is broke. Everyone has used up all their leave. Thoughts are no longer of shorts, jandals and an endless summer. they are of the year ahead.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

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