With a new raucous sound, a major music festival appearance and supporting an American blues band, 2016 is shaping up to be a busy year for Carterton's Spank.
The four-piece blues-rock band, which caters mainly to a 40-plus audience with its humorous commentary on modern-day issues, was founded in 2014 and is returning to the Wairarapa music scene this year after a short break.
Consisting of Carterton couple Nikki (trumpet/lead vocals) and Peter King (bass), Gladstone's Sheldon Hedgman (guitar) and Masterton music teacher David Heath (drums), Spank will be playing its first gig for the year at King St Live this weekend, followed by an appearance as the opening act for US country-blues outfit Rev Peyton's Big Damn Band.
The band will also appear at alternative music festival Sanctuary Sounds later in the year.
Spank is mainly recognisable for its upbeat tunes with jaunty trumpet riffs and Smiths-inspired guitar breaks, most of which center on the trials of an average Generation X-er -- including hating one's job, the stress of keeping house, puzzling over Facebook memes and fad diets and needing a caffeine fix.
"There's not a lot of stuff out there that's marketed for the older generation. The way we see it, why should young people have all the capital on music?" frontwoman and songwriter Nikki King said.
"But, a lot of our songs are inter-generational; many people can relate to freaking out when the coffee machine breaks. It's all about the troubles of modern life."
The band will be introducing several new songs at the upcoming King Street Live gig -- including Fly Away, about being stuck in uncomfortable work meetings, and Mumpreneur on Staycation, a cheeky dig at office idioms and bureaucratese.
"That one doesn't make a lot of sense, but office speak doesn't -- it's all buzzwords and bulls***."
King said the band experiments with several musical styles, including power pop, blues, classic rock and punk -- and are trying a harder-edged sound, inspired by David Heath's expressive drumming.
"We've got a bit more raucous," King said.
"We've got a bit of everything -- some songs sounds a bit like Fleetwood Mac, some are like Black Sabbath, we've got one that sounds like it's from a Quentin Tarantino movie. We don't want to be typecast and limit ourselves."
King and her bandmates say they are looking forward to all their upcoming appearances, particularly Sanctuary Sounds, a popular not-for-profit festival, held at organiser Thelma Metcalfe's garden at Waipawa, and featuring bands from all over the North Island.
One of the highlights will be supporting Rev Peyton's Big Damn Band, known for its high-energy rockabilly numbers, on 25 February.
"Opening for an international act is huge for any band.
"Peyton's music is very different to ours, but he's got a real attitude so we should go well together."
Spank is playing at King Street Live on Saturday January 16, with JG Bailey and Thistle and Weeds. Doors open 7pm. Tickets $10.