Straight outta Kaiti
Sawdust on the bar floor, blood and beer in the sawdust — those pub band nights might be over, but good, old-fashioned, meat and three vege rock and roll is here to stay.
With a heady mix of influences such as Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, The Allman brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Arctic Monkeys, and The Black Keys, Gisborne act The Killing Floor is among those wanting to keep the flame of rock/blues alive by combining all those flavours into “a tasty dish of East Coast rock ‘n’ roll”.
The four-piece rock/blues band promises to play its music raw and gritty with a bit of soul and a shot glass full of attitude.
Individually, band members Stan Chen (lead/rhythm guitar), Nate Quirk (bass guitar/backing vocals), Zion Kiwikiwi Matini (drums/bvs) and Lawrence Rangi (vocals and rhythm/lead guitar) each have their own tastes, including metal, reggae and country, says Rangi.
“But for this group we like to jam rock and blues. I grew up with Nate. We’ve been jamming since 2011. I met Stan and Zion when they were 15 or 16. They were into Led Zep and Guns N’ Roses.”
The four musicians got together at a Poverty Bay Blues Club one night and later performed in a couple of Blues Club festivals. Regular life stuff — work, family, OE — got in the way for a while. But last year they were all back in Gisborne.
“We’ve got a few jams under our belts and have done a bit of writing and recording,” says Rangi.
If the band’s story couldn’t be any more Gisborne/East Coast, the same can be said of the band’s name The Killing Floor.
“Where we rehearse is around the corner from where the Freezing Works used to be,” says Rangi.
“A lot of us grew up in Kaiti. We all remember the eight o’clock and five o’clock hooter going off.”
Although the band plays a mix of originals and covers, they are writing and recording material and plan to get out and play live as much as possible, says Rangi.
Coming back from holiday to see The Killing Floor is Poverty Bay Blues Club captain Darryn Clyne who saw Chen debut at a monthly club night.
“Stan turned up and performed Sweet Child O’ Mine, a Guns N’ Roses song. It wasn’t blues but it got the only standing ovation I’ve seen there.”
Chen later joined an international act for a jam at a Gisborne harbourside blues and jazz festival.
“He was in his element,” says Clyne.
The Killing Floor, with Campbell Ngata spinning classic and rare vinyls, Dome Room, Saturday, November 30, 8.30pm. $10 cash at the door.