Batucada Xmas Party, San Fran Bath House

Rockin’ the ‘Bat House’

Batucada Xmas Party posterIt was quite a surprise to be asked by the San Francisco Bath House to do a gig just before Christmas – it was quite short notice, but what the heck? It’s not every day you get asked to headline a gig, after all… plus, the proposed date was The Day After The End Of The World, and who wouldn’t want to celebrate that? (Assuming we were still here, of course!)

As we now know, the world didn’t end on the 21st (hooray!) so it was all systems go on the 22nd!

The San Fran Bath House has quite a modest-sized stage, so a small group of 15 of us (plus Tim C and Darryn directing) had been selected to play. The venue got a noise control complaint during our afternoon sound check/rehearsal, so we were definitely going to be loud enough! Continue reading

Join us at our Xmas Party show @ San Francisco Bath House

Wellington gets a Brazilian for Xmas!

Batucada Xmas Party posterOn Saturday 22nd December Santa is coming early, bringing the most explosive Xmas party! The heart of Rio De Janeiro is right here in Wellington this Christmas with Wellington Batucada.

This powerhouse ensemble creates breathtakingly complex walls of sound. The throbbing heartbeat of the surdo drum underpins rattling snares, layers of hand-held percussion instruments such as agogo bells, ganza shakers, tambourims, and the panting, surreal shrieks and moans of the cuica friction drum.

Joining the carnival will be Crazy Fat Brazilian: Elaine Abras sings and plays guitar, Matt Smithers on electric guitar beside Darryn Sigley on drums, and Paul Mouncey on bass.

So join us for a sweaty dance hall samba party!

No cover charge – Show starts at 8pm.

Event page on Facebook

Phoenix parade, Wellington waterfront

Go the Phoenix!

At Queen's Wharf, start of Phoenix waterfront parade, 09/12/12Our second gig of the day, following on from the Santa Parade earlier on in the afternoon. Go us!

We’d initially thought we would have to RACE across town from the end of the Santa Parade on Manners Street, to the start of the Phoenix Parade at Queen’s Wharf. Fortunately for us, we had plenty of time, so the band strolled along the waterfront, pausing for an impromptu ninja gig to salute the Sea Shepherd’s ship Bob Barker, which is currently in Wellington getting supplies and preparing for another battle with the Japanese whaling ships in the Southern Ocean. Continue reading

Wellington Santa Parade 2012

Fun in the sun

Surdos getting ready for the Santa ParadeAs is (almost) always the case, Wellington really turned on the weather for the annual Santa Parade. Blue skies, sunshine and not too much wind. Yay!

We gathered on Stout Street as usual, took some pics and did a bit of a warm-up, and then we were off! Big crowd this year, and very enthusiastic, which was fun.

We’ve learned from experience that one of the most important aspects of our performance during the Santa Parade (for the parade marshalls at least) is that we keep up with the float in front of us. Continue reading

EFTPOS Christmas party

Getting jiggy with EFTPOS at Mac’s Brewbar

In addition to the many parades we’re invited to play in as a larger group, Wellington Batucada also does corporate gigs from time to time. These are generally invite-only in terms of who gets to play, as they require a smaller group of the more experienced and skilled performers from the band.

This was my first corporate gig, and I felt very honoured to be included.

Performing as part of a small group of 14 is quite different from playing with 30-40 other drummers in a parade. For many of the instruments, such as surdos 1 and 2, agogo, timbau and chocalho, there’ll only be one person who’s playing that instrument, which means there’s definitely going to be nowhere to hide – you really need to know your stuff, and be confident playing it. Continue reading

Johnsonville Christmas Parade 2012

Happy Christmas, Johnsonville!

We love the Johnsonville Christmas parade. It’s much smaller than the big central Wellington one, and has a lovely relaxed vibe. It somehow feels very 1950s to me – not big and showy, but much more community-focused and homely. It’s just lovely.

John in his pohutukawa hat, Christian as a Mexican wrestler

John in his pohutukawa hat, Christian as a Mexican wrestler

Many of the band were sporting extra Christmas regalia in addition to our black uniforms – including Christian who decided to wear his Mexican wrestler’s mask just for fun – well, it does have Christmas colours I suppose – hope he didn’t frighten any small children along the way!
Continue reading