Band of Horses, Wellington Opera House, Wellington, January 2013
It got to the point that we were just hanging out to see a band coming through, so it was this desperation that led us going to this gig, rather than being out & out, full-on fans of the band. I did truly love listening to their second album Cease To Begin when it came out in 2007 - it was on the stereo at work daily in London, from memory. Somehow we never saw them over there though. I reckon they fit nicely into the record collection - in their with Mercury Rev, Midlake & (the old) Kings of Leon… that vein of countryish rock, mild Americana for the radio. And naturally, popularity in the twenty-teens is always helped a bit by some beardiness and flannel redux from the days of Seattle Mk 1. And I have to admit I was surprised by the fervour with which some of the crowd greeted these guys - especially one young lady who climbed onto the stage to hug, fondle and take selfies with Ryan Monroe, not once but twice. Where else but slack old Welly would you even get away with that? Not sure I like the Opera House as a venue for bands; the seats are never removed and it always feels stiff. Sure the nutters get up to dance first, and then others join in≥ but even when the crowd gets to a decent size down the front, it is still confined to the space between the front row and the foot of the stage – maybe ten people deep, tops? The seating layout on the ground floor means the PA can obscure the view of the stage. We could have moved, but I was not enough into it. I think there may have been one band member we never even glimpsed. Great band, some really good songs… but yeah, well. The Earth did not move. Song Pick is ‘Is There A Ghost’ from Cease To Begin; a lovely track that did freak me out at 3am once, when my iPod mysteriously came on in the lounge and started playing this track.