Batucada play Open Street Sunday

We run wild through the streets of Wellington!

Batucada at Open Street Sunday - click to see a larger version

Oh wait… we do that all the time (run wild through the streets of Wellington, that is…)

Bikes and skateboards, rollerblades, scooters and pedestrians will take over Dixon and Lower Cuba Streets as part of Wellington’s – and the country’s – inaugural Open Street Sunday on 22 September.

The event, being run by Greater Wellington Regional Council in partnership with Living Streets Aotearoa and local businesses, coincides with International Car Free Day.

Open Street Sunday is modelled on Open Streets held around the world, where vehicles are excluded from suburban and CBD streets to enable people to enjoy car-free streets.
Scoop, 13 September 2013

We’d been asked to open Open Street Sunday (for want of a better phrase!) and so an enthusiastic group of us showed up at the appointed hour to play. It had been a big weekend – the massive gig at The Grand was the night before, but you can’t keep a good drummer down, so here we were once again. Continue reading

Batucada rocks The Grand (and Courtenay Place!)

Midnight gig to celebrate Chile/Mexico Independence Day, 21/09/13

The Grand, Chile/Mexico Independence DayWe knew this one was shaping up to be a good-un. A confirmed audience of 1000, a great venue, and a crowd that was very likely to have a love of, and an appreciation for, music from South America. 23 members of Batucada playing – a “large small group” of some of the more experienced players in the band.

For this kind of gig you simply have to have a warm-up/practice beforehand. We play so much better when we’re warmed up a little – and with an audience as enthusiastic as this one, it was vital.

We had decided that a good place for a quick 15 minutes of playing was down in Waitangi Park (as we had no indoor practice venue that we could use) – within walking distance of The Grand on Courtenay Place, decent parking nearby (no small consideration on a Saturday night in town when you’ve got heavy drums to lug around), not too close to any apartments – and hopefully if our sound did carry a bit, anyone living nearby would be used to a certain level of weekend noise, seeing as they live in the CBD. However, the best laid plans and all that, and we did actually wake someone up, which was unfortunate. We’re very sorry!

Having quickly completed our run-through, we headed off to The Grand, which is a fantastic old brick building on multiple floors in the middle of Courtenay Place. The place was packed, and we could hear the DJ spinning some mad Latin choons upstairs. Once we were all sorted and ready to go, we headed upstairs and gathered outside the doors of the main dancefloor area, drumming along with the music being played by the DJ. The room was jammed – and it took quite a while for us to work our way through the crowds and onto the stage. Only enough room on the actual stage for our line of surdos (who looked awesome up there!) with the repiniques on a riser off to one side – and the rest of us in two rows, one behind the other, in front of the stage – in the amount of space normally reserved for a single row. It was certainly a squash – and the audience couldn’t have been closer! Continue reading

Hastings Blossom Festival 2013

Wellington Batucada, AKSamba, and SambaTron get together for the weekend

Carin & Kath, Hastings Blossom Festival parade 2013What can we say about the Hastings Blossom Festival?

We go every year, we love it – it’s like an annual school trip for the band, we get to stay over and hang out at the marae and do daft party-piece performances for each other, and best of all, we get to hang out with sambaistas from some of the other batteria around the country and perform together in the Blossom Festival parade. What’s not to like? Continue reading