It’s the final days of The Grow Room as we’ve come to know it. The end of July signals the final day of their current residency, perched above the mouth to St Kevin’s Arcade. The crew assure us the public will be well informed as to where the creative, collaborative space will next unfurl - in due time.
For the immediate future, the focus for some of its members is The Other Side, a gig curated by Nick Gudgeon, finding its home at Neck of the Woods tomorrow night.
We met Nick on the indoor terrace outside The Grow Room, on the day of Locapinay’s exhibition - walls plastered with analogue prints of her stunning photography. Truly, talent’s grown here.
Sitting on the hand-me-down couch, Nick (or Gudgemin, a nickname picked up in his days studying in Dunedin, spurred by references to his doppelganger, Mac DeMarco) spills the beans on the concept of the evening to come.
With seven acts and two DJ sets lined up to take over the night, it’s a monstrous line-up of insane local talent and would appear an organisational nightmare - but, according to Nick, it just “feels natural to do it this way,” as in, his first introduction to the gig game was by way of the monolithic Grow Room orchestrations. It’s a process of “scooping up everyone who inspires you, and chucking ‘em in a room.”
Why ‘The Other Side’, then? As Nick puts it, the crew showcasing on Friday are a bunch who get their kicks “geeking out on footwork,” and an erratic, eclectic array of sounds that are yet to find a home in Auckland. Nick’s own ‘Friends of All the World’, a collab project with Seb Soto, founded off the back of an offer to play on bFM and a subsequent rush to create to fill the spot, will open the night with their own stylistic stamp of, “Improvised house and techno; somewhere between a DJ set and a jam.”
Alongside the colossal music efforts to be experienced, your eyes will be stuck for what to look at among the feast of visual exploration. Nick’s 'creative technologist' friend, David, is piecing together “whatever images the artists want to conjure up” and throwing them behind their performance, stitching and “patching, mixing the imagery together - live.” It’ll be interactive and reactive to the audience, in a sense throwing up the organic movement of the people present onto the stage with the performer.
In exchange for this experience, simply clip a ticket for $10 on the door. Get underground, and unlock Nick’s vision, “I just want people to know there’s really cool stuff happening in Auckland, and that it’s really thriving.