Concert Review: Super Villains, The Kingslander

By Pat Walker

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Super Villains perform at The Kingslander in Auckland. Photo / Nick Kingstone
Super Villains perform at The Kingslander in Auckland. Photo / Nick Kingstone

Are Super Villains New Zealand's first masked hip-hop group?

Masked rock'n'rollers are right up there with midget rockers, Black punks and one-man bands. From Kiss to The Mummies, Blowfly to DOOM, there's something about a masked musician.

I'd heard good word about these ex-Western Spring College students (what do they put in the school lunches there?) and was looking forward to seeing them - especially since it was out of the city.

Arriving just as they were starting, I peered through the smoke and dim lights to see a row of white girls up front doing some Kingsland two-step to the music coming off the stage.

Piata Turei (AKA Sweaty Tooth MadMan), a Villain with an award-winning 'fro, issued rallying calls from stage right in some indecipherable tongue.

Joining him were four other chaps resplendent in masks swiped from the set of Zorro.

There was something rather appealing about the guys on stage coming across like the Howard Morrison Quartet on speed. Mid-way through the set members of the crowd were even given their own masks so they could partake in the SV malarkey.

Musically it was a welcome throwback to the mid-'90s boom bap of Das EFX and Gravediggaz, and there certainly was some impish charm exuded onstage - the DJ was a dead ringer for the Drab Doo-Riffs' Lucy Stewart when she's playing guitar - that disinterested look that the Cramps' Poison Ivy nailed.

I found myself nodding along to these modern day Beagle Boys as they whipped the crowd into shape - but, after trying different parts of the room, I realised I couldn't make out a word all night (neither could the soundman).

First time at The Kingslander downstairs and, aside from the RWC paraphernalia, it felt like the right destination for a show like this.

All hail the masked crusaders.

What: Super Villains.
When: September 15.
Where: The Kingslander, Auckland.

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