Head Like a Hole eager to return

By Zaryd Wilson

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LIVE AND LOUD: Kiwi rockers Head Like a Hole are returning to Whanganui next month after more than a decade.PHOTO/ SUPPLIED
LIVE AND LOUD: Kiwi rockers Head Like a Hole are returning to Whanganui next month after more than a decade.PHOTO/ SUPPLIED

It will be something of a homecoming when Head Like a Hole play in Whanganui next month with two members having connections to the city.

The self-described "undomesticated animal of New Zealand rock" will play at The Riverside on April 15 on a four-date tour which includes two shows in Melbourne.

HLAH formed in Wellington in 1990 and, bar a nine-year hiatus, have been recording and playing live for 26 years.

Frontman Booga Beazley recalls that last Whanganui show, which was probably at the Savage Club Hall in the 1990s.

"I think it was in a hall. I do remember the show," he said.

"Nigel got handed a guitar that was way out of tune. It was hot in the building but quite cold outside. Apparently Nigel gave the guy a look of 'I'm going to kill you when I get off stage'."

The band toured the country last year in support of their latest album Narcocorrido but missed places such as Whanganui.

"Whanganui and Napier (the other stop on this tour) used to be great towns for us," Beazley said. "We're playing towns we haven't played for a number of years. Sometimes you just can't do them on a tour when you go through a booking agency, it's all about business."

It will also be a hometown gig for drummer Michael Franklin-Browne, who lives in Whanganui, and Nigel Regan, who has lived here in the past.

It will be part of HLAH's preparations for their first trip to Australia since 1994. And to coincide with the Melbourne gigs, HLAH are releasing a "bootleg" live album recorded in Rotorua in 1994. "It's a bloody good concert," Beazley said. "It's got a really good energy to it. Head Like a Hole's all about playing live."

And while band members no longer live in the same towns, Beazley said new music was on the agenda. "We haven't actually seen each other since December 12.

"It's a bit of a hard one for us. It's like we're not really in a band when we're not playing. (But) we have so many ideas going around."

But the past few months had proved fruitless in funding applications to NZ on Air and Beazley admitted some frustration with the industry in New Zealand. "Obviously they fund songs that go well between the Pak 'n Save ad and the tampon ad on TV... or some a***hole from X-Factor. We were hoping to get another one out this year. It's just so hard with money."

-HLAH play at Riverside Bar on April 15 with support from Dick Tracy. Tickets are $30 and available at eventfinda.co.nz or at Riverside.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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