Last night Wellington was treated to not just one but two great punk performances at Meow (potentially three - I missed local opening act Bored Housewives Club but heard positive things.) Both headliners Miss June and fellow Aucklanders CINDY blasted the room with passionate, energetic performances and solid heavy playing.
CINDY’s raucous set was great fun to watch, the lead singer bouncing manically around the stage and working the eager crowd into singing along to their raw songs of praise for West Auckland. Annabel Liddell from Miss June later mentioned that he had given her band their first-ever gig years ago, so it was nice to see things come full circle, and the two bands are perfectly aligned to each other’s audiences in music and attitude.
Miss June really are in their moment right now - they recently returned from tours of the UK and US, and their long-awaited debut album Bad Luck Party finally comes out next month. Knowing this, and watching them last night, one might think they were musically energised by all this goings-on - and indeed they were - but the truth is all their performances I’ve witnessed have seen them in a similar state. They’re one of the most consistently rewarding live bands in the country, and a Miss June gig ticket comes with the promise of a certain buzz.
Their set was a mix of tracks from the upcoming album and older fan favourites. Recent singles Best Girl and Twitch are both bouncy punk-pop songs at a perfect tempo for a bouncing crowd, and the Meow crowd took full advantage of this. Front-woman Annabel Liddell ditched her guitar to take the mic in hand during an early Matriarchy, the crowd shouting out the rapid-fire lyrics to one of their best-loved cuts.
The band were on top form as always, bassist Chris Marshall and drummer Tom Legget’s rhythms tight and punchy and Jun Cheul Park’s guitar noisy and searing. Liddell’s stage presence tops everything off powerfully, whether she’s strumming a guitar or standing on the drum kit with her microphone dangling from a beam. The crowd lapped everything up - I always love hearing a crowd respond with frequent roars of recognition to songs from a New Zealand band, especially one within this genre where relatively few acts really rise to inter-city prominence.
The majestic sing-along Clyde and trashy scathing Drool were among the last few songs they played before it was all over. With a small discography of short punk songs, Miss June gigs are quick and to the point yet still satisfying, though I look forward to more thorough future sets. I might not have to wait too long - as Annabell reminded the crowd, they’ll be back in Wellington in barely a month for their album release show where they’ve promised to play Bad Luck Party in its entirety. Judging by the quality of last night’s show and the way it was received, I don’t doubt most of the same crowd will be back for more.
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Released: 06 Sep 2019