Pole dancing, floor collapse, Shapeshifter and flu

Pole dancing, floor collapse, Shapeshifter and the flu - one of these things is not like the other but all of these things made up my weekend.

It's 11.30am on Monday morning. I haven't dressed yet, I probably won't. I'm still wearing the same Sex Pistols t-shirt I wore to bed but on my feet are bunny slippers my children gave me four years ago, one of which is missing an ear.

I have the flu, or at least one of the bugs that's doing the rounds right now. My neck hurts, as if I spent last night in some sort of strange sexual position when all I did was lie back and watch the ceiling, while all of my limbs ached.

What a weird weekend.

I dragged myself out of bed and into my bunny slippers to write about it. You should know I've just had a big dose of cold and flu medication.

Friday afternoon the flu hit. I felt tired so decided not to go to Lawrence Arabia at St Michael and All Angels Church, even though I'd been looking forward to it and I was pretty sure it would be an amazing gig.

I'd just gotten in to bed and felt cosy when I got a text from someone who was supposed to be reviewing the UCSA's Perfect Storm for me. They couldn't make it.

I dragged myself out of bed, chucked on some boots and half an hour later found myself in the midst of a great event.

I almost forgot about my aching limbs and headache. Students were bounding around me, full of contagious excitement. I was just contagious so tried to keep to myself as much as possible.

The ice sculptures were amazeballs, the atmosphere was great.

Tommy Ill is a favourite of mine so I decided to check out his set then head home. He might not satisfy hip-hop purists but I love his self-deprecating, witty, styles.

I was standing around outside talking to a couple of mates after his set when suddenly people started pouring out of the events centre.

No-one seemed particularly alarmed or upset to my mind, I wasn't aware the floor had just collapsed, one of my mates joked that there can't have been many Savage fans in the crowd.

I went home. Then I saw that Tommy had posted these posts on Twitter:

13 Jul  Tommy Ill ‏@tommy_ill
Ok we just did a set opening for savage in chch and then savage came on and the stage fell apart and the floor collapsed under the crowd

13 Jul  Tommy Ill ‏@tommy_ill
That is not a joke or a figure of speech. Everyone is ok but they are making everyone leave now I sent texts to my mates who were still there. One replied: "Savage just did one song, floor went goodbye, and people were jumping around too much I guess. Who knew people would jump around to Savage? He should have played Stop, Drop and Roll!''

Texts from other friends teasing me were quick to arrive because in Friday's GO I had written ''Friday the 13th, UCSA gig, what could go wrong?''.


I didn't see the floor collapse but I can say that before that it was an awesome gig run very well. From what my mates have said the evacuation of the building was handled pretty well, too.

Others have teased me over later media reports of a "mosh pit'' at the gig and suggested I tell some of the other reporters what a mosh pit is.

Saturday night was to be an important one. A good friend is leaving Christchurch for Canberra this week. She has tried to stay here but can't do it any more.

We had decided that Shapeshifter's gig would be a fitting goodbye gig for us to attend together. Even though I felt like five different types of bad, nothing would prevent me from going out, seeing the gig and sending her off in the style she deserved.

We decided, for old time's sake, to meet at the Dux first.

I arrived just after 7pm and a bloke on the door who apparently has the nickname Slim Dotcom asked if I had a ticket to the private party.

One of the other staff told him I was just here to meet my mate, already in the outdoor area under the heater and Slim was fine.

The sound system was pumping Skrillex and when I peeked in the door I saw that the private party was in fact the Pole Dancing Regional Finals.

A chunky girl was upside down on a pole, the label tag from her clothes, such as they were, stuck out, as she threw her legs around.

The packed crowd appeared intent on her performance.

It was a "serious, sporting event'', I was told by one of the judges, a skinny woman with drawn-on eyebrows wearing an official badge.

The crowd looked like they all could have been watching the rugby. It was quite humorous.

The after band, the appropriately named The Sexy Animals, arrived and one of them said that Lawrence Arabia's gig the night before was amazing and that the church had been packed.

I mentally kicked myself.

He then peeked inside, raised his eyebrows, and appeared under the heater again, quipping that perhaps they could leave the pole on stage for Mark.

With Shapeshifter on at 8pm - drum n bass gigs used to start at 11pm pre munted city - we headed off to the marquee at the Turners and Growers site.

Kudos and respect to everyone involved in putting on this gig, it's not easy pulling something like this together. Just levelling the site to something near even must have been difficult.

And, of course, big love to Shapeshifter for making their hometown of Christchurch the location of their only New Zealand gig before heading back to Europe.

Later someone commented on Facebook that some big nights resemble a music video for a twisted metal gig where everyone looks like they are on P and darkness is all around. That was my impression on arrival on Saturday night.

The marquee was huge; it reminded us of the Boiler Room at the Big Day Out.

We queued to get in and while the queue was enormous everything was organised well and it moved quickly. The crowd numbering around 4000 was amped, the bar was swamped and everyone was in the mood to dance.

Well, maybe everyone but me.

This is entirely my fault but I just couldn't get into it.

I felt awful - sick and sore - too awful to enjoy myself although I did try.

Shapeshifter mean a lot to me. The gig they did at the Christchurch Town Hall in 2006 would have to be one of my all-time favourite gigs, ever.

Back further when they were a three-piece, their talent and unique sounds blew my mind.

They still did that on Saturday night but, you know when you've built something up in your head and then real life doesn't quite equate to that because you're sick or something else is killing your buzz?

That's how it was for me.

Everyone else I know had a great time and I'm sure my experience would have been different if I had been feeling better.

I bet the after-party with The Upbeats at CPIT was great, I only wish I could have lasted that long.

Instead I went home to a mug of Lemsip.

Apparently organisers hope to make the huge marquee gig a yearly event; I'm going to start taking Echinacea now so I don't miss out again.

How was your weekend? Did you go out? Tell me all about it! (Daytime TV is even more crap than I remember).

The Press