Gig of the week: Phoenix rises

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Wellington rockers The Phoenix Foundation insist they’re no slackers despite having just released their first album in three years. 

Trouble is, they’ve been way too busy nailing down other projects, says singer-guitarist Luke Buda. 

The band’s music is presently doing the rounds in cinemas – they’ve done the soundtrack for new hit Kiwi movie Boy. 

And since the five-strong Foundation’s last CD, 2007’s Happy Ending, group members have also put out a hatful of solo efforts. 

“It’s not like we’ve been wasting time for the past few years, we’ve just been bloody busy,” Buda says. “Film music, solo stuff … you name it, we’ve been doing it.” 

The band is back out on the road to back fourth album Buffalo. 

In Queenstown, they’ll blast out the new tracks plus all their old favourites at The Thirsty Ram on Saturday. 

But for a group that’s well-known both at home and overseas, they’re surprisingly reliant on cash from spinoffs to make ends meet. 

“I’d consider us to be a reasonably successful New Zealand band but that still doesn’t pay the rent – no way,” Buda explains. 

“The film money helps keep a roof over our heads a lot more than being in a bloody group does. 

“But we don’t complain because doing the music for movies like Boy and Eagle vs Shark has given us another string to our bow.” 

Buda is expecting a typically raucous Queenstown show. 

“I like the smaller gigs because there’s more of a manic energy going on and people are so close to the stage they’re virtually standing on the effects pedals for my guitar,” he says. 

“In Queenstown, the crowds tend to be there more for a good time than to actually listen to what we’re playing and it always gets a bit rowdy.” 

Buda adds: “The Queenstown fans come out to get boozed up at the pub with their mates and I don’t mind that – I’m not too precious. If it feels good, do it.”