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April 27, 2009 | by  | in Music |
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Aussie Bushfire Benefit Gig

I spent the night of 4 April volunteering for charity—that’s to say, nestled in a cosy corner of Bodega, a pint of Tuatara Hefe within arm’s reach, anticipating a night of live music courtesy of some of Wellington’s finest acts. Tommy Ill and Buck Beauchamp, OdESSA and Elston Gun contributed their time and talents for the event, a fundraiser for the victims of the Australian bushfire crisis. This was a kind of philanthropy I could get used to: it was a lot more entertaining than scrubbing kennels at the SPCA, anyway.

Tommy Ill and Buck Beauchamp were up first. Though I initially thought they were taking the piss, it transpires that Tommy is an experienced rapper with two EPs to his name. His original raps were as self-deprecating as his between-song banter and a lot funnier, and among the acts sampled were Bon Jovi, Cold War Kids, and Ben Folds’ cover of ‘Bitches Ain’t Shit’. Buck Beauchamp came across as being rather tragically superfluous, chipping in only to echo Tommy, Beastie Boys-style, in the chorus. Though he may contribute a lot behind the scenes, from this performance, it appeared that his partnership with Tommy isn’t so much Lennon/McCartney as it is Lennon/Starr.

Once Tommy and Buck had abandoned the stage, it was a long time before “Wellington’s premier garage funk band” OdESSA appeared from the wings, but when they did, their confidence and experience were obvious. Their dapper, Adam Levine-lookalike singer was clearly comfortable in the spotlight, while his powerful voice held its own against the busy, intricate stylings of the band. Their guitarist, too, was an able musician, showcasing some impressive solos and making the distinctly ‘Little Wing’-esque intro of one song look effortless. The epic ‘The Sailor Who Never Learnt to Swim’ was particularly well-received by the crowd.

OdESSA’s energy and polish could have made them a hard act to follow, but Elston Gun ably equalled their professionalism. Their dark, atmospheric rock was reminiscent of Kings of Leon (circa Because of The Times) or Queens of The Stone Age, due to the influence of heavy blues on their style. Props must go to the band’s newest member, their guitarist who had the unenviable task of learning the band’s extensive back catalogue in under a week, and somehow managed to pull it off. Altogether, Elston Gun were an appropriately lively band with which to conclude the night, and if JT is right and what goes around really does come around, all three acts can expect good karma for contributing to the event.

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About the Author ()

Elle started out at Salient reviewing music. In 2010, she wrote features and Animal of The Week, which an informal poll revealed to be 40% of Victoria students' favourite part of the magazine. Alongside Uther Dean, she was co-editor for 2011. In 2012, she is chief features writer.

Comments (2)

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  1. Kelvin says:

    While I think its pretty damn funny to have a wee lil’ go at poor old Buck (did you know he was voted best dressed man in Wellington 2008 Capital Times!?!?!?!?) I think you might be a bit confused.

    Have you heard of a man named Flavor Flav??? Yes, of course you have. Before you saw him on the TV he was, what they say in the “music” industry a “hype man” for the rap group “Public Enemy”. Was he as important as Chuck D?? Nah, but in no way was he superfluous. For more information on what a Hype Man is please read here:

    I was gonna say your real racist and the only rap you listen to is Beastie Boys but I thought it probs wouldnt be that funny. Still, your aware that the majority of rappers have/need a hype man right?

    Thanks for the lolz though!!!



  2. Debs says:

    Great gig!! (albeit a very sweaty one!)
    Odessa were trying out new songs that night. That Sailor one was the first time they’ve played it. Great pic of Pender too ;)
    First time I’d seen Elston Gun – really enjoyed them.

    Loved Tommy and Buck – totally agree with Kelvin BUCK IS A HYPE MAN! I love their old skool styles.

    Well written piece though. Thanks Elle!

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