Concert Review: Wax Chattels at Galatos, 25 June 2021

A sustained blitzkreig of sonic assault. Somehow, calling it a concert is far too inadequate. Wax Chattels in a moment instantly transformed the Galatos Stage into the centre of a firestorm. There was no end, the show could only be abandoned.

The closest comparison in Art could be in watching Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead at a late-night Film Festival debut at the Civic theatre. Packed audience hooting and cheering until the extreme horror spectacle shuts everyone up and it becomes awe-inspiring. It changed the world of cinema. From there Peter Jackson the producer was born. The Chattels may just do the same for music to come.

The support acts were well and truly that, but they were certainly no slouches.


BabyteethBabyteeth are close in spirit to the original Punks like the Damned, let’s say. They describe themselves as Gay Power Pop and they touch all the familiar icons at rapid speed. More Punk than Tom Robinson, though.

They are Amelia Berry voice and guitar, Madison Van Staden bass and Sam Denne drums.

The visual focus is Berry, who sings in a natural style without any affect. Plays brief but on point guitar bursts.

Crying up to my window is Bo Diddley rhythmic drum and bass attack with a nice guitar spray.

Most of the songs have that Ramones guitar sound. The power is in the down-pick as Joey Ramone once explained Johnny’s style.

What sounds simple in music is notoriously hard to get right.

The engine room really lay it out. The guitarist changes it up a bit and throws out an AC-DC rhythm guitar riff once or twice.

The last song and they start with a jangle guitar before getting all arty and dissonant like Wire. Moving house/ Moving home/ Breaking up. A chanted litany.

Hans Pucket

Hans PucketGet your hands out of your pocket! Sorry, Hans Pucket are Wellingtonians via Christchurch and play wide-ranging Power Pop and they like to stretch out on stage and show off their musical chops.

Twin brothers Oliver Devlin lead vocals and guitar and Callum Devlin bass. Jonathan Nott drums. The man with the secret name adds a lot of the colour with saxophone and keyboards.

James Chance style sax all over the place lays the emphasis more on the Funk than Punk. They can Boogie and work up nice dance rhythms.

Previously when I saw them live, their Sixties Pop influence was to the fore. Tonight, they give it a harder edge probably in mind of what’s to follow.

Sometimes I don’t have a lot to say. Techno keyboard beats and drums combine for a hypnotic rhythm. Melody enters but it remains a hard sound with a disco beat.

They do the nice sunny guitar jangle with Eczema. A slower number which builds in complexity and is led by a relentless bass.

Fuck My Life is frontal attack with a wall of sound, but quite funky.

An accomplished band.

Wax Chattels

Wax ChattelsWax Chattels are promoting their album of last year, Clot. Of course, that was a year of music death for most of the World except here. I saw them then, at the pressure cooker of the Whammy Bar.

Tonight, they create more space for their music. It is not chaotic or atonal Free Jazz. There is solid structure and simple melodies underpin some of it.

Efficiency begins the set. Get what you want! / Blood seeps! The drummer lays out some extraordinary fire-power in a brief artillery burst. Somehow, this creates space for the music to explode out. A continuous explosion.

The Art Terrorist Trio are Peter Ruddell keyboards and declamatory voice, Amanda Cheng bass and screams, Tom Leggett drums.

The drummer is the shock-trooper who relentlessly fires off in short bursts all night. This possibly could come from a drum machine, but the human element adds some mysterious intangible element which is probably Passion. With a capital P. I’ve got blisters on me fingers!

Alive and a portentous keyboard entry. Just relax/ Stretch/ Just try to relax. No real melody here. Tribal and incantatory. Ruddell shakes and spasms in a fit of possession. Music you can imagine that comes from a complex industrial machine. The Military-Industrial Complex.

Mindfulness. The bass bends out and leads the sonic pressure wave. A wall of sound as Abstract Art.

The audience is being assaulted and pummeled but we are also captured. So now comes the screams. No Ties. Cheng sounds tortured and horrified. Don’t go! / Don’t touch me!

Relate this back to the Beatles as the creative force. Yoko Plastic Ono Band Lennon Primal Therapy Mother.

You Were Right. Ruddell gives us some Cramps-style demented zombie preacher incantating Voo-Doo spells while the howling Metal storm truly tries its best to level our brains.

At times they can compress music into bullets.

Yokohama is anti-dance but not free from rhythm. An attempt to go past James Brown and achieve total freedom from the tyranny of the beat.

They may reach the peak on Spanners and Implements. Theme music to Apocalypse Now where the drums conjure up the helicopter thuds, decimating the village as the napalm strikes. Desert Metal storms.

It is close to the end. Meant to be deadly and dangerous. Don’t hurt me/ I wanna feel it. Screams!

Brave and confrontational. Attack straight into the audience. Intensely liberating and awe-inspiring. If you take the wrong person with you to see them live, they will never speak to you again.

Rev Orange Peel

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Wax Chattels
Hans Pucket