Orientation Festival, University of Canterbury 1998

More from our New Zealand correspondent, SK.

Thursday 26 February: Bike, The Sterobus

It's the first night of orientation and I didn't expect a huge crowd but a few hundred people gathered in the ballroom to hear a lineup of New Zealand bands play. Most of the people were obviously there to see Stereo Bus as many left after they finished, but that may have been due to the way the lineup was shown in the magazine. The Stereo Bus have been getting a lot of press attention lately and have been getting more popular. They played a lot of the favourites from their debut album: "Shallow", "Like a girl", "Don't open your eyes? and "Lie in the arms". They also played some new stuff which got a good response from the crowd. Their performances are improving and they have become a good band to see live and one of the top bands in New Zealand at the moment.

Bike is the latest project from Andrew Brough of the Straitjacket Fits. Brough is well known for his ability to write dreamy pop songs and his Bike material is no exception. They too played a mixture of songs from their album and a couple of new ones but unfortunately, with the well-depleted crowd, they weren't as good tonight as they usually are, which is a shame as I really like seeing this band live and i think that The Stereo Bus stole the night from Bike.

Saturday 28 February: Garageland, She's Insane, D-Magnet

Tonight promised to be busy and there was a queue waiting to get in at 8.30. I missed the first band D- Magnet, but I saw bits of She's Insane, a local band which won a band competition held recently here in Christchurch. Although different in style of the main band Garageland, She's Insane managed to get a really good response from a crowd that wouldn't have known who they were and they got the night off to a good start.

Garageland have been getting heaps of press attention and hype lately due to their time spent in London and tours they have done around Europe and the States. They were always a good band to see live but they have improved dramatically since they have been away. Throughout the night they played a variety of their hits such as "Fingerpops" and "Beelines To Heaven" but they also played a couple from their first ep, like "Come Back" and "Pop Cigar" as well has a few new ones which sounded really good. I didn't really know what to expect from Garageland but they delivered a great live performance and have probably become more popular in the process.(SK)

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