Tag Archives: Festival

SFS | Melodownz

Hailing from the West Auckland, Melodownz has been dubbed NZ Rappers favourite rapper. His latest project Avontales, a narration depicting events that took place in Avondale, took the NZ rap world by storm, earlier this year. He has worked Bailey Wiley on his latest track ‘The Anthem.’ Catch him performing at Wave Front NYE as well as Laneways in January.

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words

Sunshine, Positive Vibrations

Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up

Bob Marley, Linkin Park, Sade 

What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?

Road trips in the sun, the beautiful NZ scenery, meeting new people, eating, and playing shows.

In your opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?

This years Summer Anthem would have to be “The Anthem” Feat. Bailey Wiley peep that LOL.

Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?

The Anthem Feat. Bailey Wiley Prod. by Baccyard

What are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?

ya’ll dont even wanna know, lol..

It’s Sade – Hang on to your love / Isley Brothers – Summer Breeze / Black Uhuru – Shine eye’d girl

What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track?

Creed, With arms wide open

What’s your social media of choice?

The Gram

Who do you follow and where? 

My nose, every day

What’s your go-to festival outfit?

Socks, slides, cargo shorts, visor, shades, throwback

Word association:

Music – vibration

Festival – Music

Camping – Tents

Fashion – Gucci Gang

Roadie – Oil and Water


Wavefront 2017 is all set to host an epic Coromandel event to celebrate the end of a fantastic year. Welcome in the tantalisingly new (year) with Alien Weaponry, Benny Tipene, Cymbol, General Lee, L.A. Women, and Melodownz at Williamson Park on New Years Eve.  Buy your tickets now.

SFS | Alien Weaponry

Growing up in a musical household, brothers Henry de Jong (drums) and Lewis de Jong (guitar and vocals)  have been jamming together for years.  They abducted Ethan Trembath (bass guitar) in 2013 for his bass guitar skills and Alien Weaponry as we now know it was born.  

2017 VNZMA-nominated Alien Weaponry is a three piece thrash metal band – hailing from Waipu and getting ready to take over the world!  Performing tracks in te reo Māori, Alien Weaponry write about everything from historical NZ events to things that are specific or significant to them and their Whānau, as well as Māori in General.

We caught up with all three ahead of their first summer billing at  Wavefront NYE festival in Whangamata.


Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words

ET: Heavy. Loud. Beachfront.

HdJ: Cold. Muddy. Raining.

LdJ: Alien Weaponry Headlining.


Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up

ET: Animals as Leaders / Lamb of God / Pantera

HdJ: Lamb of God / Eminem / Red Hot Chilli Peppers

LdJ: Lamb of God / Trivium / Slipknot


What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?

ET: Really looking forward to Wavefront and Soundsplash cos there are lots of diverse styles of music – and they are next to the beach so we’ll get to have a swim. I’m also looking forward to seeing Salmonella Dub, who we are playing with in Wellington.

HdJ: Sharing our music with a different audience that might not have heard us before.

LdJ: Getting the crowd pumping.


In your opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?

ET: I don’t know about anyone else, but for me it’s ‘Physical Education’ by Animals as Leaders.

HdJ: ‘Man’s Not Hot’ by Big Shaq

LdJ: ‘Player of the Day’ by SWIDT


Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?

ET: Kai Tangata – we usually get the crowd to do a wall of death right in the middle of it and everyone goes crazy.

HdJ: Urutaa – people always sing along to it

LdJ: ‘Kai Tangata’, which is the next single we’re going to release


What’s are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?

ET: ‘Physical Education’ by Animals as Leaders / ‘Another Year’ by Animals as Leaders / ‘Invincible’ by Twelve Foot Ninja

HdJ: ‘Killing in the Name’ by Rage Against the Machine / ‘Without Me’ by Eminem / ‘Ghost Walking’ by Lamb of God

LdJ: ‘The Heart from your Hate’ by Trivium / ‘My Curse’ by Killswitch Engage / ‘Satisfy My Soul’ by Bob Marley


What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track

ET: ‘Portrait #1’ by Twelve Foot Ninja

HdJ: ‘Manamanap’ by The Muppets

LdJ: ‘False Prophets’ by J Cole


What’s your social media of choice?

ET: Facebook

HdJ: Social media makes me nauseous

LdJ: Snapchat to talk to people / Instagram to share photos


Who do you follow and where?

ET: Other NZ bands – e.g., Devilskin, Strangely Arousing

HdJ: Social media makes me nauseous

LdJ: Just friends mostly, on Snapchat and Instagram


What’s your go-to festival outfit?

ET: Pretty much what I wear on stage – a t-shirt with cut off sleeves and a pair of camo shorts

HdJ: Whatever I find in my closet that day, plus a hat (slip, slop, slap and wrap, kids)

LdJ: A black jumpsuit with rainbow suspenders, some clout goggles, a Jesus piece around my neck and a pair of camo Jordan’s


Word association:

Music – Metal / expression / groove

Festival – Germany / crowded / Wacken

Camping – Summer / either really great or miserable / tent?

Fashion – Tattoos / victim / Versace

Roadie – Seth (our lighting tech and all-round helper) / metal as f**k / Motorhead

Wavefront 2017 is all set to host an epic Coromandel event to celebrate the end of a fantastic year. Welcome in the tantalisingly new (year) with Alien Weaponry, Benny Tipene, Cymbol, General Lee, L.A. Women, and Melodownz at Williamson Park on New Years Eve.  Buy your tickets now.

DocEdge 17 | Max Gimblett : Original Mind

Australia / United States | 2017 | 50 min | English | Rhys Mitchell

‘Max Gimblett : Original Mind’ is a glimpse into the life of Max Gimblett – one of  New Zealand’s most outstanding living Artists – and gives us insight to the workings of his Loft Studio in New York, which he acquired in 1974.

Gimblett talks about some of his earlier inspiration; being influenced by Matisse and starting ink drawing while he was in San Francisco in the mid 60’s, and becoming more strongly influenced by Japanese Calligraphy a few years later, when he was in Indiana. This influence helps us understand perhaps why he moved to Buddhism; He is now an avowed Rensai Zen Priest. These concepts and belief systems are evident in much of his work, and his spirituality seems to be a driving force behind his studio practice, as well as his everyday life.

Gimblett’s approach of creating, doing and feeling before over-thinking results in much of his extraordinarily expressive yet minimalist paintings and drawings. Over the years he has built an impressive and immense body of work, and this is continuously growing – his creative genius seemingly no where near exhausted.

‘Max Gimblett : Original Mind’ is 50 minutes of enjoyment and insight into one of New Zealand’s most relevant and intriguing artists, and well worth viewing.

The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz

DocEdge 17 | Tokyo Idols

Canada / United Kingdom | 2017 | 89 min | Japanese / English Sub | Kyoko Miyake

Tokyo Idols focuses on idol culture in Japan and is more of an overview, rather than an in-depth look at what is a facinating subject.

We are introduced to young aspiring idols (some very young), and the journey that they inevitably will take on their road to success – or not. With so many eager would-be idols striving for the top spot, the competition is fierce and truly popularity based. A dominating factor of this popularity contest is based on a superficial image constructed by and for the individual. Innocence, youth, vitality, and cuteness are all key qualitites.

The fandom (and potential to profit from ‘super-fans’) is what seemingly drives this industry; However, once you start looking closer at this, questions start arising. Why are these sometimes significantly older men so emotionally invested in these young girls? Is it obsession? How healthy or unhealthy is this obsession?

With a constructed image of innocence and youth catering so blatantly to the personal desires of these fans, one has to consider some realities, such as safety of the idols (and perhaps a few other things).

This is cleverly illustrated with the characters we are introduced to; specifically Rio Hiiragi, or ‘RioRio’, to her fans. She is paving her way to hopeful success by doing her own promotional work, and utilises her small fan-base for support; you can truly see her earnest determination to succeed.

If you have little to zero knowledge of the subject, I would  highly recommend this as a introduction or taster if you will; It provides a fantastic overview as well as an objective take on Idol culture.

Absolutely recommend.


The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz

DocEdge 17 | Fallen Flowers, Thick Leaves

Netherlands / Germany | Chinese / English Sub | 2017 | 80 min | Laetitia Schoofs

‘Fallen Flowers, Thick Leaves’ subject matter is highly relevant and current, touching on sensitive issues not often discussed in Chinese culture and commonly considered taboo. In-depth sexual education for women is scarce and not as widely available in this setting, and we gain some insight into what is becoming more available in terms of education in modern Chinese culture, with the happiness and satisfaction of these women in mind.

Much is still suppressed in regards to the control the Government exercises, however this is being challenged  – we are introduced to some captivating women; intelligent, independant and attractive. Women whom are sometimes condisered ‘freaks’, as they are unmarried, single, without children and past their mid-twenties. They are subject to the cultural and societal pressures placed upon them, however the discovery and acceptance of the fact that they do not need to reply on a male partner for their sexual satisfaction is empowering to some.

Director Laetitia Schoofs has a sensitivity and gentle beauty to the treatment of her subject, which is felt throughout the viewing of “Fallen Flowers, Thick Leaves’. At times I was reminded of last years DocEdge screening for ‘Inside the Chinese Closet’, and in a way these films are both linked – hopefully creating some awareness and understanding of the juxtaposition of a culture held back by tradition, but propelling towards modernerty at a rate which highlights these shortcomings so blatantly.

Highly recommended.

The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz






DocEdge 17 | The Last Laugh

Is it ever acceptable to make jokes about a real tragedy? This is the question at the heart of Ferne Pearlstein’s documentary The Last Laugh, which focuses on humour and the Holocaust. The documentary includes interviews with a range of comedians, directors and actors, from the legendary Mel Brooks to Judy Gold, Carl Reiner and Sarah Silverman. It also explores a number of musicals, films and skits that address the Holocaust in a comedic light. Examining the fine line between bad taste and successful comedy, the documentary pushes viewers to consider the concept of free speech in our increasingly PC world

To clarify one thing, in no way is The Last Laugh trying to claim that the Holocaust itself is funny. “But survival, and what it takes to survive…there can be humour in that,” Reiner points out. Furthermore, humour can be an avenue for coping with trauma: “it’s a way of dealing with an unbearable reality,” writer Etgar Keret says. “It’s a way of protesting [and] keeping your dignity.” Is it then simply a matter of time that makes it acceptable to joke about extreme tragedy? Does time make a difference, or will it never be okay? “You cannot forget,” claims one survivor at the Holocaust Survivors Convention in Las Vegas. “The shadow is following me all my life.” To her, and several others at the convention, it is wrong and deeply offensive to joke about the Holocaust. However as Renee Firestone, another survivor who features throughout the documentary, notes, you have to learn to live your life away from the shadow. Mentioning her three great-grandchildren she laughs, claiming “that’s my revenge” against Hitler.

Does this mean it is then a question of who can tell a story? Is it acceptable for Jewish survivors to joke about the Holocaust, but implausible for anyone else? The documentary looks at other examples to broaden the scope of the argument, comparing the situation to 9/11, the aids epidemic, slavery and white supremacy. It’s certainly thought-provoking, begging the question that, in a world of supposed free speech, are the people who have experienced a tragedy the only ones qualified to publicly address it?

Regardless, the interviewees all agree on the difficulty of joking about such a tragic historical moment. There is far more pressure for risky comedy of this nature to be humorous, Gold claims. “You can’t tell a crappy joke about the biggest tragedy in the world!” Despite the risk, Silverman believes that comedy should be used as a way of contemplating devastating occurrences. “It’s important to talk about things that are taboo,” she says. “Otherwise they just stay in this dark place and they become dangerous.” By discussing a topic only through education, museums and other ‘acceptable’ channels, do we lose sight of its importance and relegate it to a thing of the past? Perhaps. The Last Laugh will make you consider all of the above questions and then some. Maybe, however, we should just maintain Reiner’s personal view: “I don’t have a philosophy about it,” he states. “I just know that it’s a lot more fun to laugh than not to laugh.”


The 12th DocEdge Festival takes place Auckland 24 May – 5 June – www.docedge.nz

NZICF 17 | Justine Smith – An Hour Roughly

Justine Smith is probably best described as a raconteuse.

The chill of an Auckland Autumn night became a distant memory as we packed into Vault at Q Theatre for an hour of hair-raising tales and no-holds-barred humour, spiced with frequent colourful language and served with lashings of opinionated style. The show flies by and feels like a fraction of a night out with an entertaining, lively new best friend.

Loosely based around the theme of Nature and Nurture, Justine’s show opens with a musical introduction to her family – in fact, family is a recurring theme throughout the evening, as she explores the story of her adoption in sometimes brutally honest style.

Justine’s time spent travelling in her twenties and, later, working in the hospitality industry have sharpened her banter like none other. Life, love, travel, work, men and children – no subject is safe from her hilariously frank observations and sharp-tongued opinions.

Go and see her if you like your stories lurid and your laughs frequent – just maybe don’t ask her about the third time she got arrested… Get tickets HERE.

3/5 Stars

JUSTINE SMITH performs at Vault at Q Theatre until Saturday May 20th as part of the 2017 NZ International Comedy Festival from 27 April – 21 May. For the full line-up of shows in the Festival head to the Comedy Fest website!