On Foreign Soil: Batucada Sound Machine: Game Over Sydney! Auckland Wins!
Author: Carol Green (photography by Emma White)
Our set got off to a cranking start with a rumbling samba-reggae which leading into a drumíníbass version of God of Nations, which, as per usual, lasted for 15 minutes and got the crowd well warmed up. We finished each night with a 10 minute encore of Batucada Vai Chegar, and got hundreds of people jumping in unison on the last chorus. 'Hello Wembley!í I thought to myself.
As the set progressed, the three of us women on surdos at the back had fun observing the front row of the audience, mostly female and under 20, mentally picking off the male members of the band one-by-one. I was a girl once. I know how girls think. If only we had pin-ups of the blokes, we could make a killing on the side. The only 'actioní we saw was a few bellows of "girl power!".
As well as the Sydney Festival shows, we played an after party at The Basement, which went down a storm and gives us another important venue on our band CV. It also gave us a good opportunity to invite some of the Son Veneno guys on stage to jam with us - the face off between MC KMS and their frontman Carlos was something to behold!
One of the best things that this tour-ette did for BSM was to make us closer as a group of people. We now interact with each other much better on stage, both musically and socially. I know lots of things about various band members that I neither wish to share nor think further about...
It also gave us a chance to shed some of our tall poppy inhibitions and our cultural cringe and settle for the fact that people really dig our music. Even Matt 'unimpressedí Shanks (bass) was admitting by the end of the four days that we "are... quite good... really".
This was further confirmed when we performed at the first bFM Summer Series in January and will hopefully hold true for our performances at Womad and Jambalaya in March.
Our favourite Sydney snippet - immortalised on video forever - was from Saturday and Sundayís MC. "Game over Sydney! Auckland wins!"
Apart from a few missing caxixi shaker seeds and a small number of minutely inflated egos, (tiny... honest...) we all got back to Aotearoa safely from the big city across the ditch. And considering there are 15 of us in the band, four and a half 'extrasí of various types, plus various bits of gear; keyboards, guitars, and three very large and surprisingly crushable Brazilian drums, thatís no mean feat.
The wild banana seeds from the aforementioned caxixi shakers - no doubt already thoroughly fumigated by New Zealandís MAF - reside in a large yellow dustbin at Aussie customs. We discovered that plastic beads do almost as well and donít excite airport beagles nearly as much.