On the Floor: Phat heads up

It is not often that gigs are promoted six months in advance, but tonight those who are even remotely thinking about going to Phat 09 can get a sample of what the event will hold, as the Phat 09 Taster Tour rolls into the University of Otago Union Hall.

Tonight's gig is part of a nationwide tour featuring artists who are scheduled to be on the Phat 09 stage early next year.

The taster tour follows last year's successful sellout, and this year is headlined by top international breakbeat artists The Stanton Warriors and drum 'n' bass team SPOR, both from the UK, along with New Zealand rising stars The Upbeats.

Organisers say Dunedin dance music fans had best have their best dancing shoes on.

From Dunedin the acts head up to Wellington and Auckland.

The New Year's Phat09 Festival will be held at Inangahua on the West Coast, and is being headlined by UK DJ Andy C, and American DJ and producer Dieselboy.

There are more international acts, as well as sets from Salmonella Dub, Tiki Taane, The Upbeats, and more.

On the web: www.phatclub.co.nz

Bill Direen's career in music was kicked off at the same time as Flying Nun, as his band The Pin Group provided the label's first single.

He spent many years living, performing and writing in Germany and has been living in Dunedin for a year or so.

In recent years he's been just as well known for his writing as for his music.

He's reading next at the Octagon Poetry Collective get-together on August 20, where he'll be the guest poet.

"I will be reading poems written around Dunedin. In fact the word 'around' is important because the poems were all written from 'high places' near Dunedin.

Some from suburbs with a view, one looking over Mosgiel from the Mosgiel-abattoir road, others overlooking the harbour or the ocean or simply looking down the roads I had climbed.

"I also edit a magazine which will be published shortly. This will feature work by local and national and international writers and artists. They are people I have met over the past 15 years during my travels (and return to Dunedin). There is, among other work, a remarkable photo-essay by local artist Nigel Bunn."

The magazine has been running for three years.

It is called Percutio, which is Latin for "I strike", and is the root of the English word `percussion'.

Direen has also recorded a new Builders album.

"The songs are often story songs, and the album is characterised by the aspect of a performance," Direen says.

The band features keyboardist Andrew McCully, a music graduate from Auckland; Brett Cross on bass and Andrew Maitai on drums.


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