The Others Way Festival #2 – K Road September 1, 2017


Here’s Marty Duda with our second Others Way report along with another photo gallery, this one by Conan Fitzpatrick…

It was almost too much! Auckland’s K Road and surrounding venues were teaming with some of the most adventurous and exciting musical acts around as The Others Way Festival celebrated (mostly) New Zealand music for the third year in a row.

If nothing else, the vibe on K Rd was fantastic all evening. Music fans were everywhere and you couldn’t walk more than a few paces without running into Bic and Kody or Kane or a few random Mermaidens.

Fortunately the weather behaved itself as music lovers dashed back and forth from the ten venues taking part in this year’s festivities.

I started early, determined to take in as many acts as possible. In the end, I managed to catch just under a dozen in four and a half hours (an early morning work schedule kept me from staying out too late).

I quickly realized that the best way to approach The Others Way Festival was to treat each show as a bit of a taster…I usually stayed for two or three songs before heading out to catch the next act.

First up was Grayson Gilmour at Galatos. Despite having the stage lights dying mid-set, Gilmour’s dreamy indie-pop was a fine way to start the evening. The lighting problems were solved quickly and I encountered no other technical snafus during the night.

Then it was over to the Wine Cellar for a truly stunning performance by Earth Tongue. The duo, Gussie Larkin, also of Mermaidens, on guitar and vocals and Ezra Simons on drums and vocals, make a big, cathartic sound that felt awesome as it rattled the Wine Cellar.

From there it was a few doors down to Neck Of The Woods and Kane Strang. Kane and his band have improved immensely since I saw him last and the tunes he played from his new album, Two Hearts And No Brain sounded mighty fine.

Next a real conundrum…three acts I really want to see, all playing at the same time.

I’d seen Hex before, which is why I wanted to see them again. They didn’t disappoint, but after a couple of tunes I darted over to Pitt St Sunday School for Womb. Where Whammy had been jammed with punters, this little venue had plenty of space to breathe. Womb is the musical vehicle for Charlotte Forrester who seemed to be having a few problems with her voice when I arrived. Fortunately she soldiered on and I liked what I heard.

I probably stayed longer than I should have because by the time I got to Galatos, Bic Runga was just beginning what would be her final song of her set.  Bummer!

Oh well, there’s plenty more. And my next musical adventure turned out to be the best of the night. Wax Chattels were playing to a very packed Wine Cellar. The trio sounded like no one else and when bassist Amanda Cheng sang, everyone in the room took notice. I’ll definitely be checking them out again.

Still buzzing from Wax Chattels, I moved next door to see Mermaidens. They had played Whammy the night before but had their set cut short due to a problem with the PA. Tonight all went well and the band rocked. It’s possible that they are the best band in the land at the moment.

Flying Nun vets Sneaky Feelings have reunited and released a new album. The band performed at The Studio, and while they sounded well-rehearsed, their sound came across as dated and bland to me. I hung around for a few songs but got bored and sought out the more interesting sonics provided by All Seeing Hand back at the Wine Cellar.

I had time for two more acts.

Canadian band The Courtneys were in town…they are signed to Flying Nun…and they filled Galatos with their brand of jangly pop-rock. I enjoyed them, but couldn’t help but think of how much more interesting the Kiwi acts were compared to their overseas brethren.

I ended the evening with a few tunes from Bespin. I’d been meaning to catch this band many times and am glad I finally did. The few songs I witnessed merely wet my appetite for more.

It was an exhausting evening and I can easily list another 7 or 8 acts that I would have liked to have seen, but I can only be in one place at one time.

Thanks to the organizers of The Others Way for another well-run event. Let’s hope it is allowed to expand…perhaps the powers-that-be will allow the festival to take over K Road completely. I say, shut down the thoroughfare and let there be dancing in the street!

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Conan Fitzpatrick: