1492986787430 - Hamilton punk bands to raise RSA money on eve of Anzac Day
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Hamilton punk bands to raise RSA money on eve of Anzac Day

A punk gig is the antithesis of a poignant Anzac dawn service: anti-establishment battle cries screamed over machine-gun speed guitar riffs.

But on Monday evening, punk music will roar out of a subterranean Hamilton bar in the name of our fallen.

Hamilton band BattleCat has organised a ‘Punk for Anzac’ gig, with all proceeds going to the RSA.

The idea was something of an accident. The organisers were keen to capitalise on a public holiday, but Easter weekend was booked out.

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The night before Anzac Day was free.

“We knew we had to make it all about Anzac, not just milk the fact that everyone’s got a day off,” guitarist Chris Vallett said.

BattleCat plays “quite nuts” punk – it’s fast, loud and calamitous. Otherwise, only a few tattoos betray the punk nature of these clean cut thirty-somethings.

“We call ourselves a punk band, but we’re not sporting mohawks or anything.”

Hamilton bands Sugarleaf and Recently Deceived are on the bill, alongside Tauranga’s Liberated Squid, who have a song about local body politics.

“It’s the kind of music where people have a rant,” Vallett said.

There won’t be any Anzac-related ranting on Monday night, though there might be a few words spoken for the occasion.

Doors open at Nivara Lounge at 8pm, with a gold coin donation cover charge for the veterans.

It’s not going to be a lot of money raised, a couple of hundred at a guess, but the organisers are happy it will go to a good cause.

“Get the boys some beers, man. Flick it to the old fellas so they can get free drinks for a while,” drummer Jared Constable said.

“War sucks, and we’re anti-war,” Vallett said, acknowledging that veterans might consider Punk for Anzac unusual.

That said, both punks feel a connection to New Zealand’s military history. 

Vallett and his grandad, an Army digger, would visit the Ngaruawahia RSA when he was a toddler, and Constable’s grandfather served in post-war Japan.

Constable expected some fans would stay up after the gig and head to the dawn ceremony.