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March 13, 2006 | by  | in Music |
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Autozamm & The Mysterious Tapeman
Monday 6th of March at Union Hall

It’s easy to get complacent about Shihad. Local boys made good. Pacifiers. Omnipresent radio-rock stars. Sell-out cunts. It’s easy to forget just how good they are.

Replacing Cortina: The Mysterious Tapeman had the unenviable task of warming up the conservative crowd of straight rockers as they queued to get in, with his singularly skewed offerings of catchy surf riffs and pre-recorded madness. Wrapped head to foot in duct-tape, he is definitely one of the visionaries of Wellington’s ‘New Weird’ scene: A true original.

Autozamm have worked their arses off, from rocking the dirtiest of Wellington bars two years ago to Phase Four funding and their name in lights. Now rocking the dirtiest bars in Auckland they stand poised for huge commercial success. Maybe. They would have it so much better if they’d come along at the end of the 90s, since in today’s musical climate they make the D4 look dangerous. Energetic guitarist/vocalist Nick Major managed to work up some action amongst the swelling audience, but the lurking spectre of the headline act left most content to nod their heads in respectful appreciation.

Hometown shows

are always emotional for the ‘Had. Jon Toogood was looking particularly hairy earlier in the night, side of stage was packed with friends and family and the near full-capacity crowd began chanting for Shihad almost as soon as Autozamm had finished. Past Orientation gigs were the stuff of legend and anticipation was high. But from the galvanising refrain of opener ‘Real Big Future’ through

to the all too brief encore, they had the audience in the palm of their hands. Toogood reached deep into his bag of stock stage banter (‘I want to see all you fuckers jumping’, ‘are we having a good time?’), but with the touching addition of a nod to his mum and to ‘friends and family lost’ when introducing the meditative ‘None of the Above’. Doubt over whether the slick songs from the misguided Pacifier album would misfire live got cast aside; even the limp-wristed ‘Run’ proved itself anthemic at extreme volume. Perennial favourite ‘Home Again’ came midway through the set and inspired the biggest mosh-pit. The true chaos was reserved for the encore however: When the constant torrent of crowd-surfers meant the stage was never free from sweaty bodies being evacuated. As the house lights came on, the survivors staggered into the night: battered, buzzed and looking for all the world like they’d been swimming fully-clothed. Now, that’s the measure of a show’s success.

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