The last few months simply have sped by for Wellington's Two Lane Black Top.
Fresh Talent: Two Lane Black Top
Author: Emma Philpott
Performing just their first gigs outside of Wellington in December, the four-piece plunged straight into the Melbourne rock scene and took it by storm. Apart from rave press reviews, the trip scored the band an invitation to play Melbourne's St Kilda Festival in February. During their brief trip back home they played a show with the now Aussie-resident Fur Patrol, returning to Oz to play gigs with The Datsuns in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as some headlining shows of their own.
"Australia is a huge country with a huge rock scene that seems to be booming at the moment," says TLBT lead guitarist Lux Curfew.
The appeal for Kiwi bands touring in Australia is, of course, population: "Because the scene is so much bigger, you can afford to be playing more often without worrying whether anyone is going to turn up or not. But in saying that the Wellington rock scene is very supportive of us and all the other bands that are a part of it."
Being all very rock 'n roll, Lux and bandmates Slim Fury (bass), Leroy Stixx (drums) and Tony Trasher (vocals/guitar) insist that these are their real names.
Lux says they are cautious to lump themselves in with other New Zealand rock bands, but there are obvious similarities. "People in Australia are already calling us a part of 'the New Zealand sound'. But I guess if we have to name some bands that have influenced us, most of them, as I'm sure is with other NZ rock bands, originated in the 1970s. Need we say more?"
Following closely in the footsteps of the Datsuns, the first TLBT release (through Infidelity Records) will be released on vinyl in March. The band recorded at Inca Studios in Wellington with Mike Gibson and the 7" will feature The Rat , "... a song written about Trip Fontain from the 'Virgin Suicides' and Hellhound, "... a song written about Velvet Goldmine."
Even the band's name originates from a '70s drag racing flick. "Movies give us a wealth of material to draw inspiration from, evoke emotion and basically let us write great songs without any need for personal feelings and stories of love and loves lost etc. We like to think of our songs as something of an alternate soundtrack to the movies we choose."