Land of The Long Night Loud!


New Zealand is a unique place and there’s something special about the country pubs there.

In the 80s, The Misfits were a pub rock band in New Zealand. I joined them as lead singer in 1988. We played rock ‘n roll, three and four nights a week, in all sorts of venues and at all sorts of events but the best gigs of all were in country pubs.

Going through some old VHS tapes, I found one that was marked, “Misfits, Waipu 1988”.  The video was from not long after I joined and was of a gig at the Waipu Hotel.

Waipu is a small town in Bream Bay, in the Northland Region of New Zealand. At the time it had a population of around a thousand. On the nights we played there, I think most of them were in the Waipu Hotel. It was the town’s only pub.

Country pubs are perfect for pub rock. The band sets up at one end and the bar is at the other. There’s no stage, you set up on the floor. You bring your own gear including lights and PA, put on a $5 cover charge and your roadies collect the money and manage the door. The band takes what you make on the door, the pub takes what they make over the bar. We used to play five, 45 minute sets with fifteen minute breaks in-between to encourage plenty of business at the bar.

The standing room only crowds in those country pubs were just the best. They fed off our energy and we fed off theirs for the best part of five hours a night. The sound quality in the video isn’t great but that doesn’t matter. A gig in a Kiwi country pub, isn’t about hi-fi, its about hi-vibe.

Craic on!

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