Concert Review: Ratso Lopdell House January 29, 2021

It may be hard to believe, but right here, right now, West Auckland may be the rock & roll capitol of the world. The boys in Ratso sealed that deal last night in (of all places) Titirangi.

It was just a week ago that we ventured out to New Lynn to catch local rockers Melanie and were very impressed by the rock & roll attitude presented at the tiny UFO club.

Now, we move further west, to Titirangi’s Lopdell House where a bevy of bands are ready to entertain.

The lineup for the evening is: Ukiah Brown & Lo Flying Lovers, Ripship, RATSO, Chewy Gum, The Munters, Elphame

I arrive in time to catch The Munters. A punk trio who look and sound very young…the drummer looks to be about 12, but shows plenty of attitude as he sings the opening song…something about spending his bus money on a sausage roll.


The remainder of the set is sung by the guitarist and consists of covers…Come Together (OK), Strychnine (Excellent) and Blur’s Song 2 (not so). Then the drummer fronts once more for a shot at Blitzkrieg Bop…complete with an unrehearsed breakdown. At times this felt like sitting in on a rehearsal…but still good fun.

Up next are Chewy Gum…louder, faster and more assured.

Fronted by young  Lucy Adams the quartet sounds like they are going places. They even have a song on Spotify…Never See Your Face.  Despite their drummer having broken his finger and moved over to bass (???) this is a band to keep an eye on.

Which brings us to Ratso. (Disclaimer: I am friends with a couple of members, so, whatever). They consist of Jake Harding  (formerly of The D4 and Thee Rum Coves) on guitar along with Tomi (guitar), Takumi (bass), Alex (drums) and…frontman John Baker who put on a fearless performance risking life and limb to rock out.

The band was tight and sloppy, and Baker was out of his mind…challenging the crowd to get involved, singing with a wooden crate on his head and otherwise turning the room into an insane asylum.

I, and others, appreciated the message to former Auckland mayor John Banks (see photos).

An exhausting and thrilling 30 minute set! Where else are you going to find this kind of rock & roll action but in West Auckland?

Marty Duda

Click any thumbnail to view a photo gallery of each band

Chewy Gum
The Munters