MENU GP on tour in New Zealand

GP on tour in New Zealand

March 8, 2010

A bit of waffle and some pics from Cian, who was looking after GP in New Zealand. BIG UPS CIAN!!!

Tuesday 23rd Feb

They say first impressions last, so was it a good idea picking up GP with the Submariner in a battered Toyota Caldina – probably not. At least he knew right from the off how things roll out here in Aotearoa.

Within 30 minutes and much chin wagging and we’re in downtown AK, putting our guest on the high seas and sending him off to Waiheke island for the next 2-3 days. Easiest pick up and drop off by miles – wish they were all like this.

Fri 26th Feb

God knows what he got up to over on the island, but he looks well rested and stress free at midday when he sails back into view. Unlike myself whose phone decided to die this morning. At least the continual txts and calls asking to be sorted out on the door for tonight cease for the time being.

This time round we’ve upped his luxury ride to a Mazda Demio that he clearly seems impressed by. A quick drive and a walk up through Albert Park and we’re on the Auckland University campus and about to get Gilles on the airwaves with Troy Ferguson who hosts The Rock n Roll Wire show on BFM. A strange combination you may think, but Troy’s the right man for the job and has handled the likes of John Peel (RIP) in days gone by. Great interview and banter, easy to see where Gilles feels at home and is at his best. Bump into ex pat Isaac Tucker and Lola Olafisoye from the band Spektrum on the way out – the guestlist grows!!!!

Gilles needs his barnet cut and seen too after being out on the island, so we stop in to see Geezer Guy (AK’s favourite hairdressing/DJ/music aficionado) at Vada to sort out the birdnest. He promises it’ll only take 20 minutes, but almost an hour later and their still talking tunes, football and clubs. Gilles leaves ears intact with a tip to pick up a Disco Fuentes cumbia comp from Conch Records.

The man must be starving so we park out the back of Conch Records, whisk him in and out through the shop (i can see he wants to stop and check it out) and over the road for a linguini with cockles and mussels, and a catch up with Gareth Farry from the British Council. Nathan Haines, the pied piper of Auckland swings by to say what’s up and offload some new creations into Gilles’ hands. Realise that we got to get a move on in order to make our next appointment at the Red Bull Studios for the Q&A that the British Council have organised.

Another flying visit through the doors of Conch Records, although he does remember Geezer Guy’s tip and grabs a copy of the ‘A Orillas Del Magdalena’ comp on Domino Sound. Tells me to deduct it out his wages – how much does he think we’re paying him???

Wander into the Red Bull Studios where we’re greeted by some of Auckland’s finest beat makers, radio personalities, deejays, media types and the like. The ever charismatic Wendy Douglas is at the helm and hosts the next hour questioning Gilles on things past, present and future. Over the next hour and a half Gilles dishes out pearls of wisdom into the highs and lows of running labels, his responsibilities as a renowned radio and club deejay and numerous stories told in his own unique way. Wendy opens up the floor for questions from all invited and Gilles deals to them expressing his passion and enthusiasm for the game he’s been involved in for well over twenty years or so now. Favourite moment as a record shop owner had to be when asked if he uses the NZ made Serato gear, to which he says no, as it tends to make people play the same old shit a lot of the time, turning everyone into a DJ that can mix seamlessly and watering down the art to a degree.

Time for some downtime so we drop him at the hotel and I continue onto the venue to help set up. Within minutes I get a call telling me there’s something up with both Gilles and my credit card and that neither are able to be used. Not what I need at this moment in time. Ring the hotel and tell them to get a grip and that I’ll sort it when I come to pick Gilles up later that evening.

Tonight’s antics take place in a basement underneath an Italian restaurant called Toto’s in downtown Auckland and after eight years The Turnaround trinity of Manuel Bundy, Submariner & Cian are still doing the damage on the last Friday of every month. From humble beginnings in the basement of an old working man’s club called Galatos and a few spots in between The Turnaround has enjoyed an unparalleled reputation the length and breadth of the country. Past guests have included Benji B, Keb Darge, Grooveman Spot, DJ Nuts, Russ Dewbury, along with the who’s who of Aotearoan shores such as Electric Wire Hustle, Julien Dyne, Eru Dangerspiel, Ladi 6, DJ Mu, Recloose, Stinky Jim and the list goes on………

All the presales have sold out and at 10pm there’s a queue down the street for those that didn’t get their act together early. For once Mere, Pa & Tim our faithful door staff have arrived on time so all is in place and ready to go upstairs, whilst down below Submariner, Tommee T and myself are still tweekin’ the venue and PA as the first punters start entering the place.

At 11.30 I go grab Mr Peterson and shoot into the casino for $5 notes as we’ve been rinsed for change already on the door. Showered and changed (unlike myself) Gilles is suited and booted and raring to go.

Upon arrival we introduce him to our peeps at the door, add some names to the guestlist, do a quick reckie of the venue and take him up to the restaurant for a few glasses of Louis Roederer with Sergio, co owner of the establishment. After stories of travels, clubs, characters and women, the time is approaching 1am and time to get him behind the decks.

Over the next five and a half hours we get taken here, there and everywhere within the musical spectrum. Kickin it all off with Charles Earland ‘Coming To You Live’ (the Worldwide current theme tune) into new Erykah Badu, Donae’o and beyond. After hearing him tell my man Bobby Brazuka at the Q&A that he was going to start off tonight with some soul and a bit of northern, I was taken by surprise when within 5 cuts we were into dubstep and the future……steady on! Despite putting in half a dozen extra industrial fans the place was like an oven and the serious dancers had moved to the edges where they had room to move and breath. Too many recognisable faces every way you turned so stayed put in the midst of the action and tuned into what was coming out the speakers.

From the fresh faced beat heads to the older jaded clubbers, our crowd got treated to so much music that they were unfamiliar with that night rather than the tried and tested. Seeing da Bundy go and ask what the Knaan – America cut was stands out that night, along with hearing Theophilus London’s – Enjoy The Sun on a dancefloor and getting to hear the Michel Cleis mix of Rezando for the first time. The list could go on, but we’ll keep it short.

Come 6.20am GP has left the building and within half an hour the sun’s coming up.

Sat 27th Feb

Wake to my son jumping on me and telling me it’s 11.15am and realising that I’m supposed to be at the hotel in 10 minutes. Feel and look like shite after packing out gear from the venue and eventually driving home at 8am. Thankfully Gilles isn’t waiting for us in the lobby – surprise, surprise.

A humid and sticky Saturday morning in Auckland city doesn’t help my brain function, but Gilles seems on point and fine, unless he’s got us all fooled and is pulling the wool over our eyes. Only one spot to go for coffee and a quick bite and that’s Conch Records. Can tell straight off that Mr P feels comfortable and in familiar surroundings at the shop. All the crew are here and get a kick out of seeing GP check out the racks and the vibe of the place. Get an even bigger kick when he tells us he rates it in his top 5 record shops currently worldwide. For that we figure he deserves the 2 pieces of pounamu (NZ greenstone/jade) that we present him with for his good self and the missus.

Once again we’re running short on time so after a quick purchase of the new Numero Group comp ‘Good God! Born Again Funk’, we bundle him back into the Demio along with Koa from Rhombus and Submariner and head off to the airport pronto.

Cutting it a bit fine time wise and traffic is a bitch til we hit the motorway. I’m sweating while Gilles loads up the USB with goodness for our ears. Asks if he should be worried about the time and whether we’re going to make it, I tell him not to worry.
Pull into AK international and throw him out with Koa and Submariner and go find a park. Come back in to find them at a help desk and Koa telling me the flights closed and they won’t let him on…….Ya fuckin kidding??!!!………….After 3 very long seconds they crack up laughing – i’m easily fooled.

A pleasure and a long time coming………….