Wellington is a great going-out town with gigs galore on any given night. These are the events that stuck with audiences and totally made us blab all over Facebook about how awesome they were.

Eru Dangerspiel at the Town Hall
Riki Gooch and his 30-piece juggernaut channeled the costume drama of the P-Funk and won over the funk fatigued with sets of serious stamina from some of Welly’s finest.  Jonathan Crawford rocked out on the bass after a classical slice of grand piano playing, Ria Hall was a space goddess diva in a gold cloak, King Kapisi made a solid reappearance and there were more top class percussionists than you could throw a stick at.  Two things made this a next level performance: the 15 piece Dangerspiel choir and visuals that owned the Town Hall like it has not been owned since the ONYAS.

Sarah Harpur – Life, Death, Pets
Comedian Sarah Harpur had impressed us with her work in comedy trio The Comediettes, but brought the real good stuff with her NZ Comedy Festival show Life, Death, Pets. Her sassy stand-up ranges from her upbringing in Dannevirke (don’t worry – she escaped) to her slutty cat. Meow. And she even throws in a few musical numbers for good measure. Miss Harpur gives the lolz.

Shihad playing Killjoy at SFBH
A chance to get up close and sweaty with one of Wellington’s greatest bands playing their arguably best album? That deserves some goat throwing for sure. From the heavy churning (lol!) riff of ‘You Again’ through to the muted rage of ‘Deb’s Night Out’ and ‘For what you burn’ and the thrash of ‘Bitter’ and ‘Get up’, this gig served as a reminder that the boys weren’t always so poppy, but they’ve always been brilliant.

Image by Dominika Zielinska

Soundstage: Strike with Warren Maxwell
Strike and Warren Maxwell played a show as part of the Soundstage series at Downstage as sneak peak of a full- length show they are plotting together for 2012. The standing ovation at the end was well-deserved, Warren had the crowd eating from his hand from the get-go as he alternated between crooning and making himself one of voices in our heads. Reworking some Strike tracks and Little Bushman numbers this show went off and promises good things to come. Earplugs were issued for the delicate of ear but really, harden up!

The Thomas Oliver Band at SFBH

Photo by Melissa Cowan

Wellington blues/rock boys played to a sold out San Fran crowd in October to celebrate the release of their latest music video for the single Baby, I’ll Play. One of the highlights of the night was the entire crowd throwing hang looses to the band, Thomas saying “A sea of hang looses was one of the most joyous sights I’ve seen”. This gig was a well-earned party for their long-time fans and a perfect introduction for the new ones.