Newbies, busted heads and a new ending…
Looking at the long-range forecast for Sevens Week a couple of weeks ago, one could be forgiven for feeling somewhat disappointed in Wellington’s upcoming weather. Wind, rain, cloudy and cold… except of course that the Welli Weather Gods have now realised their error and sorted it out for us.
Wednesday dawned sunny and calm (of course it did! This is the Sevens!), and we had a great parade.
We were positioned directly in front of the Argentina float, and just behind the float carrying the refs – so we’re pretty much the first real noise-making group in the parade, which is always fun. Our dancers led the way, and they looked fabulous, all dancing in time with our drumming, showing off the choreography they’ve worked so hard to perfect.
We were a bit light on caixas for this gig, with some of our regulars away overseas, and others having to pull out at the last moment. AmandaPanda was all set for her first ever gig, having earned her trousers last week – and Kate had also managed to get hold of James, who had also earned his trousers but hadn’t actually received them yet. Well done James for getting changed into your uniform in full view of everyone on the sidewalk – a Batucadan must always be prepared for the unexpected! Christian had also been roped into coming back to join the caixas for one gig, instead of playing the #3 surdo – thanks Christian – so between us we had the numbers, if not a wealth of experience.
For the first time ever I managed to bust a hole in my drumskin early on in the parade, which meant that from that point on I was trying very hard to hit the drum as far away from the hole as possible. I succeeded quite well in doing this until my rather over-enthusiastic start to merengue turned the small hole into a large gash. Doh! I discovered that it is possible to continue playing the caixa even with a completely busted drumskin – the trick is to keep your sticks on the opposite side of the strings – but that it really doesn’t sound that great. Sorry team! I’ll make sure I have a new skin in time for the waterfront parades!
At the end of the parade we usually line up either side of the archway into Civic Square and drum the teams into the Square. This means the teams get to walk between the two rows of Batucada drummers, which results in their more rhythmically-inclined members dancing their way into Civic Square, which is always great fun to watch.
This year the organisers decided that they would have us all in one group, off to one side of the archway instead of both sides. This meant that it was certainly easier for us to play together and in time with each other (it’s tricky when you’re spread out in two looooong lines), but it did mean that there was less interaction this year between us and the teams. Huge shout-outs to the Samoan and Tongan teams who got well into our music and danced through the archway even so (taking a few of our dancers with them!). Great fun.
Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version. You can use left and right arrows on your keyboard to navigate. Photos by Alan Shuker, Graham Dwyer, 111 Emergency, Mark Mitchell – NZ Herald and Cameron Burnell – Dominion Post:
Here’s some of the media coverage…
Thousands of Wellingtonians packed the streets of the city at lunchtime for the annual Wellington Sevens parade. The procession snaked around from Lambton Quay, down Willis St and to Civic Square for the official welcome from the mayor.
Dominion Post, 05 February 2014
Check out the video. Almost the entire thing is soundtracked by us. Cool!
Teams and supporters parade along Lambton Quay in Wellington, ahead of this week’s 5th round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
New Zealand Herald, 05 February 2014
We’re featured in photos 2, 3 and 6.
The Wellington Sevens has officially kicked off with the parade through the city centre. All 16 teams from around the world were cheered on by a sea of people as they made their way from Ballance St and ending at Civic Square.
3 News, 05 February 2014
Check out the video – we’re right at the start.