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February 21, 2016 | by  | in Arts Music |
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Guide to Wellington Music


Local artists to look out for:



These guys are out of this world, when performing and otherwise. Chris CK is excessive on the mic, with a freestyle flow to rival big-names, and an undeniable presence that lingers in your mind like that post-gig ringing in your ears. Pair this with a grey tracksuit and the calibre of musicians that play in the trio (local super-group), and you’ll see why I sing their praises.



Currently hailing from the Wairarapa where they are working on a new album, MOSES are a psychedelic sextet who create for listeners to absorb wholeheartedly. The use of FX, saxophone, and crazy cool vocals creates poignant music that makes you feel an array of emotions that psychedelic music is supposed to make you feel – fucked up, beautiful, and kind of dirty.



Regulars of the Wellington scene, BEATCOMBER are a five piece garage band who often play Eyegum Collective gigs, or hang around the local venues. I hate the term ‘rockstar’, but these guys epitomise that ideal— fun, crazy, calculated, they are one of the most entertaining acts around.


Name UL

Although not a band, rapper Emanuel John Psathas II (moniker Name UL) has hit the scene in a big way and is poised to be the next big name in New Zealand rap. His lyrics are reminiscent of growing up in our beautiful country and leave you feeling slightly vulnerable, yet live his great stage presence and production can bring the party to any crowd.



For you smooth criminals who like a bit more of an electronic vibe, Groeni are a three piece who make atmospheric ambient music that’s getting recognised all over the world. These guys create the ultimate show, a hypnotic performance that leaves you breathless and spellbound.



Venues to check out:



A smooth-looking bar located on Edward Street in the heart of the city.


San Francisco Bathhouse

A Cuba Street establishment that has housed some of the best performers to have graced our shores.



Newtown’s best place to catch up-and-coming performers in an intimate, space-themed, environment. Located on the bustling Riddiford Street.


Pyramid Club

A space on upper Taranaki Street, above Jaycar electronics, for noise and ambient artists to come together and perform.



A cornerstone of the Wellington music scene on Ghuznee Street.





Wellington has a huge scene of local people organising amazing gigs. Eyegum Music Collective host some of the raddest parties that you can find and they’re pretty cheap to attend. Started by a few people who wanted a safe space for musicians and gig-goers alike, they promote an inclusive atmosphere, and host incredible gigs anywhere from someone’s flat to a bowls club. Find them on Facebook. They host free gigs every Wednesday at San Francisco Bathhouse too.


Those of you with a taste for hip hop need to check out the 121 gig scene. Set up by locals, they provide the freshest music in the slickest venues (who doesn’t love partying on a boat?). 121’s gigs are those that people talk about for a very, very long time. Keep your eyes out for their Facebook events, you’ll be sorry if you don’t.


Hopefully this piece has enlightened you to what’s going on in the music scene. If you love music but this list hasn’t covered anything heart-wrenching for you—don’t worry. Just walk around the city in the late afternoon and I’m sure you will find a live act or two hanging around, whether a busker on the street, or a full-on band playing a local venue. In all honesty it is so easy to find music in Wellington—that’s one of my favourite things about this place.

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