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Auckland two-piece BIB KIDS is nearing the end of its first national tour, a tour which involved playing to the afterschool family demographic at a waterpark one afternoon and to a crowd of seven in an historic community hall the following night. Unconventional venue choices, but BIB KIDS aren’t a conventional band.
‘‘There was aqua aerobics going on. And we set up in front of the hydro slide,’’ explains Tash van Schaardenburg, synth and vocals. ‘‘I was like, is this appropriately close to water to have gear setup? But it was fine, nothing got wet.
‘‘Sometimes we go round and we’re like, ‘Are we doing the right thing?, Is this what we’re meant to do?’ But at the end of the day we really don’t care.
‘‘We keep telling people we play punk music. I don’t even listen to punk music, but I just think that’s a good way to define it because we’re a couple of punks and we have that attitude. But really it’s electronic, experimental, touch of gabba, touch of industrial . . .’’
If you think that sounds like a dangerous concoction, you’d be right. The first single and last track on EP Gimp Software is titled 100 degrees and it’s intense. By the time it ended, my heart was pounding, my hands were sweaty, and I realised I’d been holding my breath for three minutes.
The sound is incredibly organic and primal, not ‘‘created’’ in the way electronic music generally is, but performed. Instead of using preprogrammed beats, all the drumming is performed by the other half of the duo, Michael Vincent Sperring, on an electronic drum kit.
‘‘That was a conversation we had, about capturing the live essence of the performative element. Because it doesn’t really conform to what electronic music is,’’ he explained.
‘‘I don’t think we’re getting up there and playing electronic music in the same way that someone might get up there and play techno,’’adds Tash.
‘‘That’s part of why we keep calling it punk music because we need the energy, the energy I think is the main direction of it. We’re playing music like the kind of music we want to see live. We like to go and see bands with a lot of energy.’’
BIB KIDS is yet to play in Dunedin, but sources indicate its live performances are explosive. Under The Radar editor Chris Codby highlighted their performance at Nowhere! Festival Auckland as one of the best of 2018, describing it as ‘‘super intense, ear destroying’’.
‘‘We feed off the crowd, but mostly feed off each other, like I’ll be leaning over Mikey’s drumkit being like ‘play harder’. It’s very much organised chaos and energy.’’
Dunedin will be the last stop on BIB KIDS’ tour and Tash says they’re pumped for it.
‘‘We’re staying there for three days because we just can’t wait to go there and hang out with mates and pick up whatever Dunedin has to offer because you just hear lots of snippets about cool stuff going on there.’’
‘‘Like the Cannabis Museum,’’ adds Mikey.
- By Fraser Thompson