FRINGE '04 REVIEW: Bunnies On Ponies and Kahu
Bunnies On Ponies and Kahu at Happy
Reviewed by Liz Smith
Star rating: 3*** = fun
After seeing my cat go through the horror of a rectal exam, then leaving the vet’s in such a hurry I forgot to pay for his ordeal, Bunnies On Ponies’ mellow sound proved a fine antidote to trauma.
Bunnies On Ponies is a collage of musicians plucked from other Wellington outfits, led by Phoenix Foundation’s Sam Scott. With guitar, drums, double bass and lovely lap guitar they delivered the aural equivalent of a fragrant bath of strawberries and whipped cream – tasty pop and witty lyrics made fresh and Fringey with their innovative use of instruments.
Although immensely pretty, the songs never quite reached a peak which always seemed tantalisingly close. Aside from minor quibbles, though, they put on a good show, which was much appreciated by the many happy bodies littering the floor and bare walls of Happy.
The crowd thinned considerably when the following act, Kahu, brought out his dense soundscapes. If the Bunnies were a fluffy pina colada, then Kahu was an acrid chaser of psychedelic absinthe.
His liberal use of looping, distortion and delay was accompanied by a short film-cum-extended music video. Cunningly filmed in just one shot, it shows a blond haired, blue-eyed boy exploring a river and derelict farm.
Kahu’s guitar-stylings could more easily have been the soundtrack to a horror movie and caused constant worry the movie’s cherubic protagonist was heading for a sticky end, even if the worst thing that happened was when his piece of rope broke.
One could look for existential themes in the music/video or simply marvel at its technical cleverness, although most of the audience left instead. It was a bit like hard work and far longer than any MTV attention span could cope with.
This was Fringe with a capital “F” and by the end of it even the cat seemed to have forgotten how badly the evening started.