The Alpha Males: Deschlers, Saturday 16th May 2009

May 17, 2009

Sometimes it feels like I’ve got magical conjuring powers, where I’ll think about something and then it’ll happen.

Like, this one time I was watching that Dandy Warhols documentary (DIG!) about their relationship with the Brian Jonestown Massacre and then I realized how much I liked the BJM’s music and I found myself thinking, Wouldn’t It Be Cool If They Came Here And Played.

And then, POW, they did. I saw them. At the Kings Arms Tavern, late last year. Rock.

And so it was as well, with Auckland band The Alpha Males.

I first came across their music a few years ago when I was listening to one of the shared iTunes libraries at work through the company network. I had no idea who they were. But their original songs (mostly about sex, booze and rock and roll) blew me away.

I went home that night and tried to find some of their stuff on the internet. So I could steal it. But I couldn’t find anything on them. So I didn’t.

The closest I got was Dan Kelly & The Alphamales. Turns out they were also Orsum, despite being Australian, but that wasn’t what I was looking for.

So I set about finding out who among the 2,000 people I work with had the iTunes library with the (non Australian) Alpha Males on it. Turns out it was Blair. And turns out he stumbled across the songs while browsing through some network files at work one day. He didn’t know who they were either, but also knew he loved them. And then after asking around, he discovered that the band’s (now former) drummer used to work for us and must have left them on the system.

So, cool. I now knew who they were. But unfortunately they were “on hiatus”, due to the band members all living in different countries by then.  I read that as “defunct”, having briefly been in a band myself that was over before it even really began.


Anyway, so a couple of months ago I was listening to their songs again and found myself thinking, Wouldn’t It Be Cool If They Were, Like, Not Defunct, And Got Back Together, And Performed In Auckland, And I Got To Go And See Them.  Yeah.

And then I was randomly surfing the net looking for some gigs to go to as part of New Zealand Music Month and POW! There they were, live and alive, getting ready to play a free concert at Deschlers.

Behold my Orsum powers!

So, of course I went.

I got in early and there was a band already playing, so I figured, hey cool, they had got someone to open for them. But then I heard the distinctive deep vocals of the singer and realized it actually was the Alpha Males, doing a sound check/warm up.

So I got some beers and songs in early. But then they ended up starting late as they also got some drinks in, with most of the crowd that gathered being friends of theirs. Which made for a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

They opened with the catchy-cool Sensible Shoes, and then they forced an early singalong from me and others with their second song, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young … and how couldn’t you with a chorus like: “The second-best thing about drinking/ is the stupid shit you end up thinking”?

They have so many hit-worthy songs in their repertoire that really deserve a wider audience. The band is pretty tight, musically, and it was good to see them having fun.

The only slight disappointment was that they appeared to have taken their song that I thought was called Tom, Tom, Tom, Snare, Snare, Snare (that opens “When I’m gone, please don’t send any flowers/ I just want supernatural powers”) and renamed it The Richard Pryor Waltz (the song mentions him).

I just thought Tom, Tom, Tom… was a cool title. That’s all.

Oh… well… the other slight disappointment was that singer Chris Burton’s voice was dropping away near the end, which made it hard to hear all those cool lyrics.  But the friend that had tagged along with me (and whom I was trying to tell about the cool lyrics we couldn’t currently hear all that well) didn’t mind, as he’s more into guitar riffs and licks and other cool musical stuff. And there were plenty of those from the rest of the band [Dave Pearce (bass), Ed Pickmere, (drums), Matt Vogels & Peter Douglas (guitars)].

The band manager promoted his bar room rockers as the fourth hairiest band in NZ.

Matt Vogels was the only one who really fit that bill, although he certainly had enough rockstar hair for all of them. Man, I wish I could grow hair like that.

I wish I could grow hair.


Anyway. Great gig.

And it’s all thanks to my magical psychic powers.

I just wish they worked on Lotto numbers…