Mexican sci-fi jazz


The Carnivorous Plant Society, a confusing yet compelling oxymoron band name, sums up the tunes they toot.

Entirely outside the box is how the band likes its music — kinda jazz, a little reggae, peppered with psychedelic.

Hailing from Auckland, the four-piece band’s on a national tour with its highly-acclaimed Mexican fantasy music, and they’re hitting Queenstown on Saturday night.

Talented would be an understatement given brothers Finn and Tam Scholes, Alistair Deverick and Oliver Emmitt are all multi-instrumentalists able to play every musical gadget under the sun.

Finn thinks the latest gig is played with 12 different instruments, but he can’t be sure. He lost count listing them during an interview with Mountain Scene.

Two trombones, trumpet, keyboards, guitar, bass, vocals — the list goes on.

One of the country’s most talented and multi-skilled musicians, Finn’s performed with many top acts including Neil Finn, Katchafire, Avalanche City and Tiny Ruins.

The other members also have countless accolades.

They all met at jazz school at the University of Auckland, and have been playing in bands together for about a decade — first in a hip-hop band, called The Shades, and in The Carnivorous Plant Society, since 2012.

The latest tour celebrates the twin-pronged release of a new album, The People Below, and an accompanying graphic novel of the same name.

Mariachi meets apocalyptic is how Finn describes the Mexican extravaganza.

Making things even more fascinating are Finn’s penned animations, which are projected on big screens at their live shows. The music videos tell “lots of little crazy stories”.

His “very basic” approach to creating animations involves hand-drawing each picture onto white paper.

It’s a tedious task, taking hours to complete.

“I have stacks and stacks of white pieces of paper at home, which I draw on.

“Then I photocopy them and then colour them all in.”
Needless to say, the performance will be an exciting feast for the eyes and ears.

“It really defies genre.
“It’s something people will have never really seen before,” Finn says.

If you’re not sure what the hell to expect, there’s only one way to find out …

The Carnivorous Plant Society hits the stage at 9.30pm, on Saturday night, at Sherwood. Tickets are $27 from