It was a rainy afternoon and I nearly didn't bother going to see Tāmaki Makaurau guitar / electronic pop pals Surf Friends playing instore at Flying Out. However, in the words of their recent single 'Outdoors', I knew I needed "to get out of the indoors and get outdoors" and I'm so glad I did.
Flying Nun artists Surf Friends' long-player Doing Your Thing has been on repeat on my Spotify playlist for the past week and I was keen to see them live. My first surprise was that they are just a two-piece, consisting of Brad Coley (guitar, vocals, keys, harmonica, drum machine) and Pete Westmoreland (bass, keys, vocals). This being an all-ages gig, also in attendance were family members as well as a good selection of fans.
The band played half a dozen songs from the new album but we barely made it past the first song as their enthusiasm was enough to blow the electrics at Flying Out. A quick fiddle in the fuse board and one long extension cable later the band were back in business. And what business it was!
Bass player Pete seems to spend most of the time in the air much to everyone's delight, including the bands' own judging by the grin plastered across both their faces. With most bands, you're lucky to get one or two guitar jumps like this per performance. With Surf Friends it's one or two per verse. Guitarist Brad jumped too of course, but it was Pete who ultimately won the jump-off with his final jumps from the vinyl shelves and then the shop counter.
Surf Friends should be filed under that list of bands who seem to genuinely love what they are doing and quite literally throw their whole selves into it. The audience was swept away too, not quite knowing what would happen next.
Live music at its best. I left with a smile on my face and (hopefully) some great photos in my camera.
Dave Simpson is a photographer who generally avoids writing words about the things he sees.
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Released: 26 Aug 2019