Greg Johnson at Coast

Last night I went to see Greg Johnson play at Coast.

Coast is a bar on top of the Hewlett Packard building on Princes Wharf in Auckland's viaduct basin. A fairly intimate, plush venue with designer chairs in lounge-like clusters. I've been to Coast a couple of times before and, as I always wonder when I go there, why don't I go more often. It's a bar for grown-ups. And sitting there listening to Greg Johnson's accoustic set was just lovely.

His voice is so melodic, and Ed [Brown?]'s harmonies made me think maybe that "two-voices-and-accousitic-guitars" might be a New Zealand signature. Made me think of Neil and Tim Finn, and Jools and Lynda Top - strangely at the very same time Greg mentioned that he sometimes felt they "were" the Top Twins "but not lesbian enough". At one stage, during Liberty I think though I can't remember exactly, Greg sang into the microphone that he'd forgotten the words. Pretty funny for a moment or two. ah well, can't expect to remember all your classics all the time.

He's back in July on an album tour and I'm looking forward to seeing him again.

Greg Johnson at Coast, Auckland, New Zealand

Sonia and I managed to boost our respective psycho magnets by being out together and attracted three groups of annoyances who sat around us. I wanted to draw them all but I would never do them justice. If you can imagine: we're at 3 o'clock, freak group one was at 10 o'clock, freak group two was at 2 o'clock and freak group three was at 5 o'clock with a smatter of a subfreak guy between me and the stage.

Freak Group One: What at first appeared to be, but later evening's antics proved to confuse the issue, a middle aged gay couple. The one on the left was quiet and sedate apart from when he was climbing over the backs of Coast's very expensive leather furnishings. The other, on the right, kept standing up and yelling at the stage. At one stage he was yelling "WHALES.. WHALES!!" and doing that American-Talk-Show "whoo whoo whoo" thing where you put your fist up in the air and kindof circle it around and around. I dunno. *Very* 1999. He also tucked his shirt in. *a lot* and deeply. I'd say that shirt was smooth all the way down his thighs. They were very affectionate to each other which was nice but they were also very affectionate to a cluster of women later in the evening so I guess they are just happy to love anyone who loves them which is just dandy except who could love anyone who "whoo whoo WHALED" his way through a Greg Johnson Accoustic Set is beyond me.

Freak Group Two: Who knew blondes could grow that big? Two of them. One as wide as the other was tall - and Lord mama she was an amazon. Now, I *know* amazons - we had one on the 11th floor when I worked for TLC. Not a more statuesque, beautiful, stylish stunning women _will_you_meet. But this one? she looked like she'd been thrown together (esp. in the hair dept) and a couple of throws had missed. At least she had a semblence of rhythm.. unlike her dumpy friend with stringy hair. I'm not sure how she got her butt to move like that quite frankly but it was first the "chair moving" that annoyed me (she pulled her chair out and out and out until it was blocking our view everytime she leaned forward to drink her many wines) and the fidgeting, she seemed to have ants-in-her-pants. Secondly, it was the stringy-hair-shaking thing she did while she danced. [I took a very dodgey video last night, it's big (2.2 mb) and its ugly,(pixelated all the hell and so tiny you can't see anything much) but the amazon moves in front of the camera blocking out *all l light* near the end. I wanted to take a picture but for all her view-blocking, she was never in one place long enough to snap-a-pic]

Freak Group Three: When we arrived, there were some tables reserved for guests. We sat by the windows behind a reserved area. The people who arrived to sit at these exclusive tables were expected to be, oh I don't know, special. You know? Auckland's beautiful people maybe. The group who sat at these tables were all women, and all looked like they worked in the Admin department of The Warehouse. Which is perfectly fine - it was cold out so cardies were worn and that's just fine. It was the talking. The consistant, squeaching, nz-female-accent cutting through the music the _entire_time_ that was the problem. That and the phones ringing. And beeping with txt messages. And did I mention the shrieking? and the talking? lots and lots of talking. At one stage they shut up.. for one song.. for one *whole* song (the strangly brunette was by far the worst) they finally shut_the_hell_up and listened to this one song so I'm putting money on it - that song'll be Greg Johnson's next hit.

Subset Freak: He was just one guy. Sonia had gone to find the secret panel that was the Ladies' Bathroom and I was guarding her seat in a relaxed Rottweiler fashion when a couple squeezed by thinking there were two seats free when there was only one. I leaned forward and told them so - this seat was taken but that seat was free, so the wife moved in behind the chair and the man stood right where he was standing - in front of me. I waited a moment thinking surely he'd move - i mean, you could see the chairs were all arranged in a way that if you just sat on them you could see but no, he just stood right there, in front of me blocking my view and everyone elses view as well. So I leaned forward again and said, most politely "excuse me, could you please sit down *patting the vacant seat* You're blocking my view" and he turned and said "ohh for God's sakes!!" really *really* grumpy with me. He pulled his wife out from behind the chair and then he stood in her place and she was gesturing that she didn't want to sit down (she was quite small and the ants-in-her-pants dumpy stringy haired woman was right in front of her blocking her view every sip of wine) but the guy was behind the chair now and so she had to sit down. He must've looked at his watch every 12 minutes for the rest of the night with a bored "gazing in any direction but the stage" look on his old face for the rest of the evening.

There was one other guy there who didn't annoy me but I found it interesting. He was there with a woman who was watching the concert, but he played snake (or whatever) with his cell phone the *entire* time.

The gentlemen at the bar were very nice. Friendly. Not the barstaff but the men waiting to be served. I went up a couple of times and each time was engaged in a conversation *not* instigated by me which was always pleasent and polite and just nice. Yes, I think we need to stop going to the Provedor so regularly and start taking the lift up to Coast instead.