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Live Review
Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Cassette, Auckland

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone Cassette Auckland

Event Info

November 20 2009
Cassette Nine, Auckland

Reviewed By
29th March 2010


Casiotone For The Painfully Alone with Concern and Pikachunes
20th November 2009
Cassette #9, Auckland

I went to Casiotone For The Painfully Alone... alone.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I have friends and stuff, and if any of them were still talking to me I would totally have been un-alone. But there I was. Alone. And, OK, also a little uncomfortable from the nachos I'd had for dinner. But not painfully so. And just when I was resigned to the fact that I would be the lone lonely loser on the dance floor, I bumped into a good friend's girlfriend and her girlfriends outside Cassette #9 in Vulcan Lane. They were going in. So I tagged along. Suddenly all un-alone. Sweet.

What a brilliantly trippy little venue. For some reason "Crushed Velvet" came to mind as I walked up the stairs and into the bar. Maybe that was because of the velvet curtains. Or perhaps the deer head on the wall. There were mirrors everywhere and you could notice people using them to check themselves and others out. While waiting for the music, we sat and drank cocktails from quaint teapots and discussed vampires and werewolves and journalists and what would happen if we mixed the contents of this teapot with the contents of that teapot.

The opening act was Pikachunes, from Christchurch, who I initially thought was just some kid standing on the stage with a laptop, but it turned out it was some kid standing on the stage with a drum machine thingee that looks like a laptop, who sounded pretty freakin awesome, actually. He had stage presence. And a hat, which kinda made him look like Son of Dave, or Tom Waits. Very cool.

Then there was a bit of waiting.
And then what we initially thought was a sound-check in preparation for Owen Ashworth of CFTPA actually turned out to be the second act, Concern (Owen's brother Gordon). Reminded me a little of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music.

Casiotone took the stage after midnight. Madness!
Some of us had to be up early in the morning to take their kids to the company christmas party and queue for an hour in the freakin facepainting line! But I guess that's how the late-rising electro indy Casio keyboard crowd rolls. It was worth the wait though. I was hoping he would play some stuff from Etiquette, an album I love, and he was ripping into them after just two songs, with I Love Creedence, the song of his I love the most. Brilliant.

He rarely looked up from his keyboard, but still managed to engage the crowd. I think they liked his humility. He was happy to take requests. He was also happy to play one song (shit, I can't remember -- was it his Love Connection cover?) so long as someone from the crowd got up and sung it. And after a bit of a wait, two guys got up to give a bout of peer-pressured crowd participation a crack.

Someone wondered how they were meant to dance to CFTPA's somber sound but I found it easy: stick your hands in your pockets and shuffle from side to side. Which is close to how I normally dance anyway, so that was handy. Didn't have to learn any new dance moves.

And you'd just get into Ashworth's beat machine beats and then the song was over, reminding you that his low-fi electro approach had short pop sensibilities. The keyboard provided the melodies and Ashworth's voice delivered some great poetry. They would have been delivered even better had the vocals been turned up slightly, but that's just me and I'm possibly alone on that one.

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