Camp Cope Bring the Angst to Whammy Bar

Last night, Whammy bar hosted Australian indie rock band Camp Cope and they serenaded the audience with songs of love, heartbreak and angst.

For the past three years, Camp Cope have built up a loyal following of fans throughout the world, touring Europe and America with their sweet but grief stricken indie tunes containing a hint of emo and teen angst, as well as their strict stance on gender equality within the music industry, a topic that is highly relevant today.

My first encounter with Camp Cope was when I heard their 2018 album How to Socialise and Make Friends released on one my favourite record labels Run For Cover who have put out releases from Modern Baseball and solo artist Alex G. The album was great and it made me eager to see them live.

Staying true to a stance on equality, the line up in the show consisted of only female fronted bands; synth-pop duo LEXXA and Auckland emo pop punk sweethearts Carb on Carb.

I missed LEXXA but luckily did get there in time to see Carb on Carb. I remember first seeing the duo perform at a Die!Die!Die! gig in 2014 (I thought they were stellar!) and then again in the basement of Flying Out in 2016. Seeing them last night, Carb on Carb improved a lot, I love their new material and the old stuff they played. They were tight and had great stage presence and they gave a shout out to LEXXA’s cover of Hard Times by Paramore which I really wish I caught. I look forward to hearing their new album.

By the time Camp Cope took the stage, Whammy was packed and getting to the front was a mission more than a task. This was possibly the most packed I’ve seen at a ‘twenty dollar whammy gig’ since I saw Kane Strang last year in August. This just solidified the band’s popularity in Auckland.

Starting their set with praise and compliments about New Zealand, Camp Cope ripped into album self titled track How to Socialise and Make Friends which got the crowd bouncing on the spot. I didn’t realise they were this popular in Auckland! Although their music had a very emo vibe to it, the audience remained in high spirits the whole performance and reacted positively to the music.

Between songs, Camp Cope front woman, Georgia McDonald would ‘socialise’ with the audience. First topic was about how Whammy promotes a safe space for all genders, races and religions and this was met with a more than positive response. A bit of mid set awkwardness came when Georgia spoke about New Zealand treating their indigenous people with much respect and love unlike Australia where “every day you hear of something racist happening”, audience members responded that we still needed to work on that issue too and Georgia instantly apologised stating that she felt “like a dumb tourist”. Nevertheless, she was forgiven and we (the audience) came to an agreement that we’re doing better than Australia and the show went on.

Funny enough, Camp Cope closed a great show with the opening track from How to Socialise and Make Friends ironically titled The Opener which brought a bit of a singalong and the band left the stage with smiles, their first New Zealand show a success.

Camp Cope’s next Auckland show will be at Ralphs bar in Mount Eden at 6PM (on Dominion road), I highly recommend everyone to attend this show because it will be a great way to end the weekend.

Jonathan Strock

Click on an image to see a photo gallery from Shelley Te Haara: