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July 16, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

The Riff-Rats

Ex-Dunedin band The Riff Rats are midway through their month long residency for the VBC, presented Tuesday nights at the San Francisco Bathhouse.

Guitarist/vocalist Franko states that admittedly they were a last minute fill-in for the July residency and, unfortunately for them, got landed with playing the most miserable month of the year, in terms of the weather stopping Wellingtonians leaving their homes.

However, the cheap beer and warming tequila has proved too good to pass up. So, for four consecutive weeks, the four piece are unleashing their “spaz-garage rock” on the San Francisco Bathhouse’s regular (and not-so regular) Tuesday night punters.

In November, after playing together for only one and a half years, Franko and guitarist Colin moved up to Wellington from Dunedin to work on the band. It was here that they met and added bassist Freddy and drummer Robb to The Riff Rats mix. Aside from finding new band members, Franko noted this was a good move due to the solid Wellington music scene. “It seems to be easier to get momentum in Wellington. Like, in Dunedin, we had a couple of hundred people at one gig, then at the next five gigs we would have forty, then another couple of hundred again. Wellington is more consistent and it has been pretty easy to get gigs.”

When it comes to playing their live shows, Franko stresses a rather egalitarian approachin regards to the music scene. While they are indeed headlining their month long residency, Franko states that “we don’t like to think of it in terms of one band being bigger than the other. When it comes to local bands who are our friends – we are playing with them, not supporting them – and they playing with us, not just supporting.”

On the Tuesday July 10 show, The Riff Rats had planned to have two drummers, just to mix it up. However, while the stage was initially set with two drum kits, it appeared the guest drummer did a no-show – and their set was, based on several accounts, the same as the weeks prior – based on frazzled, distorted garage rock, with a few ill-executed guitar solos. In all fairness, Franko admits that their first VBC show (July 3) was the first live performance for their new drummer and bassist. He assures that the last two shows will prove different. “Next week, our old Korg player will be here – so maybe we will have him playing. And in the last week we’ll have some new songs, which we will write in the next few weeks. Oh, and we’re working on a Le Tigre cover at the moment!”

Catch The Riff Rats at the San Francisco Bathhouse on July 17 with The Windups and Gravedigger, and July 24 with The Plastic no band and Death Rattle.


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