music | 12 december 2016
In the corner of Aunty Mena’s, Cuba Street’s most fluorescently lit and tastiest vegan joint, sit four hungry, bleary eyed people, flipping aimlessly through the restaurant’s vast menu.
words: gussie larkin
video & photographs: ezra simons
Having eaten my share of faux pork buns at Mena’s, I’m only too glad to let them in on my pre-gig faves - laksa with vege balls, duh. These hungry musos make up Christchurch based band Wurld Series, who are in Wellington for the first time to unleash their nineties flavoured lo-fi college rock on a Thursday night Meow crowd.
Started as a bedroom-recorded solo project by the band’s guitarist and vocalist Luke Towart, Wurld Series has since had an ever-changing lineup of young Cantabrians. With a debut album in the pipelines, the band are setting off on a six date national tour, which includes playing their favourite “weird small town” Barrytown. Each band member has done the rounds in the Christchurch music scene - guitarist Ben and bassist Abi both played in The River Jones, while Brian claims to be the only drummer in the village, playing for bands such as The Dance Asthmatics and T54.
“I feel like whenever I hear from musicians who’ve been to the States,” says Ben, “They’re always going on about how there’s so many unique bands in New Zealand.”
Luke, who moved to Christchurch from the UK five years ago, finds that the smallness of New Zealand can be limiting for touring; “It’s totally different in the UK, when you go on tour you get in the van and won’t get home for at least two weeks,” he says, “You get to play four nights a week.” New Zealand bands don’t have this luxury, and often have no choice but to make costly weekend trips up and down the country, squeezing their day jobs in between. Despite this, our isolation has its upsides. “I feel like whenever I hear from musicians who’ve been to the States,” says Ben, “They’re always going on about how there’s so many unique bands in New Zealand.” There isn’t enough room for trendy ‘filler’ bands, unlike big European cities, Ben adds, “The standard in general seems to be higher.”
The Christchurch music scene is supportive and unique, although the band admit there isn’t enough new blood. “When I go to gigs I still feel like I’m the youngest,” says Ben, “That’s fucked up because I remember feeling that way when I was 18. Now I’m 23. You’d think there would be some people younger than we are getting into it.” Although changes in the Christchurch music scene are gradual, Wurld Series wouldn’t live anywhere else. Their favourite place to play is “obviously the darkroom” says Luke, all nodding in agreement. The Darkroom was the first dedicated music venue to open after the Christchurch earthquakes, and is clearly worth a visit - “We love the darkroom!”
The buns have arrived, Ben’s eyes light up and the interview is abandoned. “This is fucking delicious,” he says, mouth full of spongy bread, “It looks like cat food but it’s just magic.”
wurld series: bandcamp
wurld series: face book
interview: gussie larkin (@gussielarkin)
camera: ezra simons (@ezrasimons)
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