Superette, Tiger. The old Bar Bodega. Tiny sweatbox on Upper Willis Street. Smashing into each other, dancing with the sound. Dave Mulcahy with cropped hair, shy sneer, eyes often downcast, but just as often staring deep into the heaving throng as they moved before the tiny stage.
Ben Howe, skinny and hairy, holding down the bottom end, barely moving. Greta Anderson with her drums sounding so huge. We all had crushes on her, of course. On all of them, really.
Early twenties, too much alcohol, too many drugs. Too much intensity of feeling. There with my namesake, best friend, band mate, who was seeing the woman I had a crush on. Desperately tragic, all unleashed as Superette centred themselves on the tiny stage in the tiny venue, lost in the sound.
The sly humour, the Mulcahy’s pretty way of singing about dark subject matter. Japanese cannibals, suicide, John Wayne Gacy and Mark David Chapman. Throbbing bass, pounding drums, Mulcahy’s guitar slinging simple, nasty, pop-tastic guitar riffs like the instrument owed him money. It probably did.
Soundtrack to the year, to the years. Filling that gap left by Jean Paul Satre Experience with sweaty, poppy guitar rock, sing-along, shout-along, the album of parties where every person was either in a band or fucking someone in a band. An album with a huge bass, a huge groove; great to move as it bursts from the lounge with while smoking a spot in the kitchen.
Even better in the tight confines of the Bodge. Dance, skinny white indie kids, dance.
Touch me, something is crawling, the sun is raining down, bye bye bye, touch me I’ll put you down, funny weather funny weather stay away stay away, I’ve got it clean, something is calling him to the water, get away get away you’re fucking my Saskatchewan.
Of a time in a place. Still one of my favourite albums, almost twenty years later.
Beer match: Sunshine Brewery’s ‘Gisborne Gold’. Sometimes you have to go for nostalgia, and Fraser McInnes, as Bodega’s proprietor and early advocate of craft beer (well before his involvement with Tuatara), would always have this on tap. And it was cheap; a very important factor when you’re there as a student or a beneficiary. Which I was at the time, depending if university was in term or not.