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March 24, 2008 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

‘Here’s to Future Days’ – Bodega/Room 101, 27-29th March

If you frequent the Cuba St area, you may have noticed posters proudly displaying a sallow-skinned, acne-covered woman, applying lipstick in the mirror, complete with the bizarre caption “Here’s to Future Days.” What on earth is this all about, I hear you say? Salient Music Co-Editor Sophie Barclay spoke to Bernie Galaxy, the organiser of what could be this year’s best showcase of independent New Zealand musical talent.

‘Here’s to Future Days’ is, as Vorticon Productions’ website says, a “celebration of 31 intelligent and interesting bands on the forefront of their particular creative dimension but who also avoid being sucked into the black hole that is pretension, over inflated egos and outsourcing… an assortment of acts just approaching the dawning of their collective musical journey.” The name is a reference to an album, and single, by UK band The Thompson Twins, “a great band from the 80s, and one of them wore a ridiculously large hat, all the time.” Although he chose the name because it’s “a cool name for a festival,” Bernie is hoping that either of the two Thompson Twins members living in New Zealand will “see this (advertised), and decide to come out of retirement and have a boogie.”

This musical extravaganza is one of few to showcase smaller, local bands; “apart from Camp A Low Hum, there’s no other comparable festival… and there’s so much of this music that it’s a bit of a shame really.” Bernie has gathered 31 of the best of them, all of them “bands that have a lot of potential to go somewhere, but aren’t yet so big that I can’t afford them,” and all of them “independent, whatever that means these days.” Although the majority of the bands are from Wellington, there are 7 acts coming from outside of Wellington, including Moron Says What?!?!?, Bang! Bang! Eche! and Malenky Robot. ‘Here’s to Future Days’ also endeavours to encompass many genres, which reflects Bernie’s own eclectic music tastes. “Basically, it kinda comes down to bands I personally like… I guess I tried to pick bands that are progressive and forward thinking in their genre, if you can confine them to a single genre…although I’m definitely shying away from the tendency to give indie folk a stage, in fact I’m gonna come right out and say I don’t’ really like indie folk,” Bernie jokes, “besides, it would clash with Twee Fest on at ‘Cool Town’ that same weekend anyway and we couldn’t have that!”

Included in the lineup is punk band Punchbowl, and local band Dial, (who make up “the hardcore representation”), as well as a good helping of indie, electronic and alternative bands, and Flick (Auckland musician Matt Brennan), who Bernie describes as a “one man guitar driven beat box freako” who “basically makes his own karaoke… and all his backings to awesome songs that you can’t get backings for.” Flick’s home made karaoke tracks include some Iron Maiden songs, and heaps of songs by New Zealand artists. There have also been a couple of last minute changes, with the sad loss of hardcore band Carthaginian Solution, however this has been offset by the recent announcement that Wanganui band Sets of 57 will be playing. “They’re a 2 piece but they sound like a 12 piece orchestra, it’s quite fantastic.” Bernie hopes that the festival will also be graced by the presence of Brit rockers Whitesnake. “Yeah Whitesnake are definitely playing, after their brief soiree at Rock2Wellington, they’re gonna head down to Bodega, have a couple of lagers and play some of their great songs.” As well as all these bands, there is also one band which is playing its first ever gig – local “post-fun” 3 piece Lady Log, of which Bernie is rumored to be a member.

Bernie has been planning the festival since December, but first got the idea in November: “I’d just been working full time and that’s pretty boring, so I thought I’ll do something with my life, and I thought well, why don’t I put on a festival? And then I worked out what sort of date would be good, and I took it from there.” Bernie had had previous experience in putting on shows, but ‘Here’s to Future Days’ is his first, but hopefully not his last, foray into something of this scale. Obviously taking on such a project by himself has been “a bit stressful, and a little bit dangerous,” and the workload seemingly endless. “It never ends until after it’s over, and then you gotta clean up.” However, with the help from friends and family, including his sister Kim, who designed the Future Days poster, everything seems to be going smoothly. Despite all the work, Bernie has still had time to think about future projects for Vorticon Productions, and hints at another possible event, coinciding with his birthday in May. “It could be called ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’… it could be a little social experiment.” Bernie also plans to “knuckle down and write some theatre… specifically a future proofed pantomime” with his friend, and fellow Lady Log performer, “Greg-Greg.”

As well as organizing Future Days, working full time, DJing as DJ “BBwholookslikeaP” and hosting a VBC radio show, Bernie also plays in Goodbye Galaxy, (who are playing Future Days), which has earned quite a reputation for its “loud, obnoxious, danceable music,” often enhanced by Bernie’s outrageous onstage costumes, including black heeled boots and holographic stretch silver pants. “The silver pants are fucking dynamic… They are made out of a PVC/spandex composite…What more could you want…. They definitely make things look good!”

With 10 bands a night, and tickets only $35 for the whole 3 days (available from Real Groovy), the show is an absolute bargain, as well as an awesome opportunity to check out some of the latest and greatest in local talent; “the way I see it is if you never to go shows, then it’s a really good opportunity to see all these bands without having to go hang out in bars all the time.” There are even plans to “décor-ise” Bodega, so be prepared for something a little bit wild: “There’ll be costumes, there’ll be lights, there’ll be glitz, there’ll be glamour, maybe a little something freaky…I’d also like to get a full UV environment.” So get down to Bodega Thursday 27th ‘til Saturday 29th of March (THIS WEEKEND!), because, as Bernie himself points out “It’s gonna be fucking choice mate.”

‘Here’s To Future Days’ timetable:

THURSDAY 8pm Main Room:
Secret Act 1
Palace this!
Fanuc Man
Fighting The Shakes
Goodbye Galaxy

FRIDAY 6pm Room 101
Secret Act 2
Lady Log
Snowfi eld
Tommy Ill

FRIDAY 9:30pm Main Room
Heat Like Me
Cherry’s Gemstones
This City Sunrise
Big Flip The Massive
Sets Of 57 (Wanganui)
Malenky Robot (AK)

(Merch & Hawking Afternoon)

SATURDAY 6pm Room 101
Bastard Sons of Grey Power
Mr. Sterile Assembly
Rifl es
Knife Fight

SATURDAY 9:30pm Main Room
Alex the Kid
Thought Creature
KittyHawk (AK)
Basura Blanca (Nel)
Moron Says WHAT?!?!(AK)
Bang Bang Eche! (CH)


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