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February 14, 2005 | by  | in Music |
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Sommerset & Not Quite Right

Tessa Prebble dons her skate shoes and reports on the bands that will bring a whole lotta punk (and a whole lotta sweat) to campus.

Sommerset and Not Quite Right make up the punk contingent of Orientation 2005 and in the New Zealand punk scene you can’t get much better than that.

With over eight years under their belt, and numerous overseas performances, Sommerset are a force to be reckoned with. Touring through Australia, Europe, America, Canada, the UK and New Zealand, and performing with the likes of NOFX, Millencolin, Frenzal Rhomb, Sum41, Strung Out, Less Than Jake, Living End and Good Clean Fun, to name but a few, has tightened and polished Sommerset’s live act. You can expect to be won over with manic guitar riffs, pounding drumming, catchy melodies, and a stage presence that overflows with energy.

One of Sommerset’s talents is the ability to switch between in-your-face punk to melodic pop-punk. They combine a melodic style of hardcore with strong choruses and quality songwriting. This has allowed them to gain mainstream radio access while still hanging on to their loyal fans of old. Sommerset were also thrust in front of the public eye with two NZ On Air grants that resulted in videos for the singles “Streets Don’t close” and “Clutter”.

In their short life Sommerset have not only toured the world, but have also racked up a string of releases on various labels both in New Zealand and overseas. From the self-funded, self-titled EP in 1999, to the commercially successful “Fast Cars, Slow Guitars” of 2001, to their most recent, and popular release in 2004, “Say What You Want”, Sommerset have been working hard, and they have come a long way.

Not Quite Right are the less well known of the two, but that doesn’t mean we should expect any less of them, especially as they are the Wellingtonian underdogs up against the big bad Auckland-based Sommerset.

Not Quite Right are aware of their unavoidable pop-punk tag, and wear it with pride; they don’t claim, or pretend, to be hardcore. Instead, Not Quite Right’s sound ranges from the sublimely happy, to the angsty depression of adolescence, with lyrics to match the issues of that phase. The subjects involve girls, friends, puberty, and summer good times, and while you may be rolling you eyes right now, don’t you find it refreshing to hear someone sing about real life instead of some Hollywood pipe dream, or trauma you know they just made up? Not Quite Right don’t pretend to be something they’re not, and if that means falling to the category of pop-punk, at the risk of being demonised by the purists, then so be it. From the ska styles of “Same Thing For You”, to the semi acoustic “It’s Like I Always Will”, Not Quite Right break away from the middle of the road punk they are associated with, to exhibit diversity and flexibility.

Like Sommerset, you can expect a lot of energy from Not Quite Right, which leads me to think this night could end up being rather hot and sweaty (that’s never a bad thing).

Even if you’re not a punk fan, or even a pop-punk fan, this night promises to be one to remember. You’ll come out with your ears ringing (in the best way of course), and you’ll definitely have completed your 30 minutes of push play for the day.

*Sommerset and Not Quite Right play with Gramsci and Autozamm in the Union Hall at 8pm. Tickets are free for Vic students and $10 for others.

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