End of the year/End of the Bath House

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 09:17 25/11/2013

So, as I mentioned on Off The Tracks yesterday, The San Francisco Bath House - Wellington's best live music venue - is saying goodbye at the end of this year. And they're doing it in style with a great gig, two gigs actually: the usual Hang The DJ gig will take place from after 11pm and on through until the wee smalls - but before that a set from The Phoenix Foundation.

Should be a great night. And a bit emotional too - end of 2013, a fantastic year for music, one of the best, and the end of The San Francisco Bath House. A great shame for the venue to say farewell - though it's a tough climate and all of that. But wait, the post I ran yesterday says it's a case of watch this space - so who knows what 2014 will bring, a new venue to upper Cuba Street in Wellington perhaps? A new beginning...we'll have to wait (and hope) and see...

It's no secret I'm a fan of the Bath House - great place to see gigs, a good bar too. I've even played a few gigs there too, well, I've played a few records there at least. Nearly the same thing, but not quite...

But I had a blast hosting nights dedicated to the music of Prince and then the music of David Bowie and also the music of The Cure at the San Fran Bath House. I did an 80s night there too recently. And I played some records a few other times.

Some weeks I've been up at the venue four, five or six nights in a row, comedy shows, book launches, drum clinics, cabaret shows, solo acts, duos, bands, DJs - anything and everything.

Seeing Kristin Hersh there was a highlight. Seeing Shihad perform Killjoy in its entirety wasFarewell of the Bath House another great night. But there were so many great nights - and I've seen almost every style of music performed up at the Bath House, I've reviewed shows there, taken part in shows, and I've been along as a punter, an enthusiastic cheerleader for local and international acts.

I've discovered new favourite acts up there and seen old favourites too.

It feels right for the Bath House to be saying farewell with two acts that have a long history with the place; that have offered a bunch of good nights up there.

I'm a Phoenix Foundation fan and I've seen them play the Bath House a few times, one show in particular was memorable, it was the band firing on all cylinders - perhaps the best I've ever seen them.

And of course this year they've released Fandango - an album that, at its best, is the band firing on all cylinders. I still don't like every aspect of the record but the best stuff on it is really great and apart from a glimpse of their in-store at Slow Boat Records I've not seen the band since Fandango was released.

I can't think of a better way for the bar to go out and send off 2013 also. Two iconic Wellington acts. DJ Bill E's evenings - as Atomic and 24 Hour Party People - are legendary. His Hang The DJ night is a NYE staple.

So, what do you think about this news? The end of the San Francisco Bath House? And where are you planning to be for New Year's Eve? What's your ultimate NYE line-up for a gig this year?

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