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Live Photos + Review: The Cavemen - Caroline, Wellington

Live Photos + Review: The Cavemen - Caroline, Wellington

Review: Scott Weaver / Photography: Bruce Mackay / Monday 16th December, 2019 9:30AM

Wellington is in for a treat tonight. Four bands to gently (who am I kidding) caress the ears.

First up is Death Petal [great band name - Ed.], a three-piece playing garage rock with a bass heavy groove giving them a sound all their own. If ears could squint, I’d swear they deviated into stoner rock territory until the tight and fast drumming brought reality back.

The energy in the room noticeably lifted as soon as Sheit Geist took the stage. Another three-piece who don’t let up from the get-go. There is an urgency in their delivery and the punters are loving it. Shrieking vocals, controlled distortion and talented musicianship that melded fantastically.

Next up, Bog Wolf is summoned by a lady who wouldn’t look out of place as one of the Wicker Man villagers. Enter a huge sasquatch like character singing about freedom and playing surf guitar. What’s not to love?

The Cavemen, Aotearoa’s answer to everything good about loud punky garage rock. People unfamiliar with The Cavemen may write them off as nihilistic noise. Their song titles alone add weight to this argument. However, there is a humour and melody that underlies everything they do. They have the tunes and it works. Oh boy, it works. It’s not difficult to spot their influences. One can hear Stooges, Motorhead, New York Dolls and a plethora of other retro garage rock and punk. However, their charisma and the sheer catchiness of their material lifts them head and shoulders above others, literally at this gig.

It’s often said that children don’t remember what their teachers said but instead the way they made them feel. Tonight, the Cavemen schooled Wellington in proper garage rock and the crowd are certainly feeling it. It is loud, it is fast, and it is magnificent. This beautiful racket has been missing from these shores for far too long, 4 years too long to be exact.

They launch into ‘Concrete Town’ from their 2018 album Nuke Earth and the crowd erupts into a slam dancing frenzy which just doesn’t stop. They play all the hits. Hits, if the world was just and fair.

Playing about 20 songs, all of them brilliant it’s difficult to identify the highlights. ‘I’m a Mess’ with the singalong chorus that would make ‘The Ramones’ proud is a contender. As is ‘Janey’ with its glam rock leanings. ‘Why Won't You Take Drugs With Me?’ displaying their mischievous humour is also a standout. To be fair, one could have picked any of the songs on offer such was the consistent quality of their song writing and delivery.

The encore is a storming cover of Hasil Adkins’ ‘She Said’ made famous by The Cramps. Then they were gone leaving a sweaty stack of bruised, battered, but ultimately ecstatic, bodies in their wake.

Tonight, The Cavemen, the best live band on the planet? Probably. Best live band in Wellington? Definitely.


Aucklanders can catch The Cavemen tearing it up on Friday 20th December at the 1:12 Records Xmas Bash at Whammy Bar. Click on the thumbnail images below to view a gallery of Bruce Mackay's killer snaps from Friday's show...


The Cavemen
The Cavemen
The Cavemen
The Cavemen
The Cavemen
The Cavemen

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Links
darkerarts.com/
facebook.com/thecavemennz/
facebook.com/shakehandswiththedevil/

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Fri 20th Dec
Whammy Bar, Auckland







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