“You New Zealanders are insane, I’m sure there was a barrier here earlier. But you know what? FUCK THE CUNTING BARRIER!”
Alestorm stormed our shores, raped, pillaged and drank their way through all our wine, played one of the best, most energetic shows I’ve seen on these shores for a long time, and left us all, drunk, happy and full of “Yarrrr!” to scourge the seas in Europe once more. I had to wait for my hangover to clear up before I could write this blog. It was that kind of a night.
I asked some friends for a quick, 1 sentence review of the night. I got:
“Epicly awesome with wenches on top!” (or was that wenches on tap? It was kind of both)
“Rumeriffic! Cunt!” (thanks to me, this was the theme word of the night)
“Piratelicious booty and mead!”
“Gronk gronk gronk gronk arrrrrrrrr gronk gronk gronk!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (Thank you, Johnowar)
“What they said and Steff should drink more mead.”
Since that gives only a tantelizing glimpse, and doesn’t include a word about what the music actually sounded like, I shall attempt to elaborate.
We started the day in true metal fashion at a pre-Alestorm pirate party, hosted by Tim and Tarah. They went all out with costumes and food – Tarah even baked this amazing treasure chest cake.
But it was when this motly horde showed up …
With their barrels of home-brewed mead …
That’s when things really got interesting.
Since my friends are probably going to tell you about this in the comments, I’d like to begin by saying I haven’t been drunk in, oh, six years. Long enough to forget how much I hate getting drunk. I normally have one drink, or two. Sometimes I’ve even been a little bit tipsy, but most of my friends had never seen me drunk.
But mead is very, very easy to drink, and my cup kept being magically filled, and I was talking and drinking and before I knew it, I couldn’t really stand up and I kept yelling out swear words at inappropriate moments.
We danced piratical jigs, yelled swear words (well, mostly I yelled and people laughed) and tore up the pirate cake.
At around 6pm, we called a couple of taxis to town, and on the way my fellow wenches and I were accousted by a dude at another bar who brought us a round of shots because we looked so awesome. We (read, I) fumbled our way up the stairs. I found my husband and a couple more friends in the crowd. We watched the end of the last opening band, then headed back outside for some fresh air and bumped into this chap:
Using all our wenchly powers, we convinced him we needed a walk-on during “Wenches and Mead”. I met a couple of dudes who’d driven from town 5-6 hours away for the show, then we all went up to take our places for the show.
Right from the opening number you could tell this was going to be great. Everything was just right – sound was suitably shite, crowd was leaning out as far as they could go, band was plied with NZ beer … And Alestorm nailed it. I’ll freely admit I’m not one to put a whole Alestorm record on my iPod – they’re like Dragonforce in that you can dig a song or two, but more than that and it all blends into one, but live … that’s when this music comes to life. Ragged perfection. One of those bands I’d see again and again just because you can see they’re having as much fun as you are.
This was one of those shows with such an incredible vibe, you didn’t want it to end. I expected it to be fun, but not quite this much fun. After our on-stage singalong, things got a bit crazy. I had fully intended to go back out to the crowd and find my man, but I got hemmed in on both sides by people leaping over the barrier and ended up sitting on the barrier, held up by some very nice fellows (thanks guys) and basically having the best view in the fucking place. The band soared with the energy, tearing into each song like they hadn’t played it 1000 times before. Peter, the drummer, in particular played a great set – blastbeats in all the right places, his solid beat driving the whole show.
The setlist included mostly old favorite, with a couple of new tracks thrown in. I’ve got keelhauled stuck in my head forever now.
And, maybe it sounds silly, but dancing on stage and singing “wenches and mead” alongside Chris and the guys and all my girlfriends was one of the highlights of my life.
We hung around a bit after the show, then went back to the hotel for a mini wenching party.
It was the pyrex jug of doom that killed me. If I’d stuck to my usual water at this point I would’ve been fine. But no, they dumped a whole bottle of rum in there, swirled around a tablespoon of coke, and that was that. I don’t remember anything after I left the hotel room and woke up the next morning with a poorly tummy.
And that, my friends, is how we party in New Zealand.