How to see in the New Year

Christchurch Press, 29 December 2001

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There will be plenty of ways to welcome in 2002. NICK GORMACK has a look at the entertainment on offer on Monday night.

For those staying in Christchurch on New Year's Eve there is plenty of entertainment on offer. Celtic rockers The Stoutfellows will bring some Celtic cheer to Cathedral Square, where the traditional countdown to the New Year will take place.

The New Year's Eve Party, which also kicks off the City Council's SummerTimes programme, runs from 9.30pm to 12.30am. The evening begins with music from The Stoutfellows, presenting their own brand of Celtic music with a rock edge which has been well received at venues all over the city.

The group - Peter Malthus, bass/vocals, Simon Fox, drums/vocals, Andrew Boon, mandolin/vocals, and Scott Spatcher-Harrison, guitar/ vocals - have produced two CDs, and toured extensively throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Later in the evening the music kicks into high gear with blues/ rockers Unlimited Speed Zone, who promise an action-packed performance. Cathedral Square is an alcohol- free zone for New Year's Eve, and will be closed to traffic from 8.30pm on New Year's Eve to 1.30am on New Year's Day.

If you want to rock in the New Year you could also head for the Dux de Lux, where Christchurch's The Feelers, along with local legends Degrees K and Slim, are playing in the courtyard. That's as strong a rock line-up as you could expect to find anywhere. Tickets, $30, 7pm to 2am.

Across town Salmonella Dub, who have made 2001 a year to remember with the release of their excellent platinum-selling Inside the Dubplates album, will be playing at The Civic on Manchester.

There will be three zones: an all-ages outdoor zone, and two licensed zones.

Also in the line-up, hip-hopper DLT and Mighty Asterix, highly rated Wellington reggae merchants Blackseeds, Christchurch's excellent all-female hip-hop trio Sheelahroc, The Nomad, and the Dubwize Soundsystem with MC Little Jah. Tickets $30 from Ticketek, Galaxy, and Echo Records. Limited door sales on the night for $40. Elsewhere, The Trillionaires will do their wacky welcoming in at the Wunderbar in Lyttelton, and you can party down hard on The Strip with Azure, XO, and Coyote's Dawnbreaker 02.

If you want to get out of town on the night you could head for the hills and AlpineUnity.

A new offering on the outdoor party scene this year, AlpineUnity is being staged over two days at the pristine Flock Hill Station in the Craigieburn Valley, about 120km from Christchurch. There'll be DJs, VJs, MCs, and performers in four zones covering house, trance, hard-house, drum'n'bass, progressive, dub and hardcore with the emphasis on New Zealand acts including heaps of Christchurch talent - Shapeshifter, Pylonz (and the rest of the Fabel crew), and Solaa.

Gates open midday on December 30, and the party begins at 6pm that day, with one zone running through to 4am. This is a chance for everyone to pitch their tents and get familiar with the location. The party recommences at midday New Year's Eve and goes through to January 1.

No alcohol, although there will be licensed facilities on site. Tickets $100. Check the website for details.

Going further afield, The Gathering is on again at Golden Bay's Cobb Valley. The line-up is headed by mega British trance DJ-producer John Digweed (recently ranked the No. 1 DJ in the world) with Austin Leeds (US), Gavin Martin (Aus), Ian Mac (UK), and the cream of New Zealand DJ talent. Eight zones in all, covering the entire spectrum of dance music.

The Gathering G2 runs for three days from midday December 31, to midday January 3. Tickets: $160; details


Caption: The Stoutfellows: Celtic rock countdown.

Nick Gormack, Christchurch Press, 29 December 2001

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