David Unwin / Stuff
Guitarist and frontman Willie McKay and drummer Matt Sanko at The Stomach are rehearsing for their first show in six months.
For the past two years, live music has all but stopped due to Covid-19, with only sporadic shows being allowed to take place.
Meanwhile, all a working musician could do was write, record, and practice at home.
Now that live music is returning, those recordings can finally be accompanied by new shows, and bands like Palmerston North’s Old Man Pine are eager to get going.
“It feels like now we can complete the cycle of what it’s like to be in a band,” said drummer Matt Sanko.
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“We have been writing and rehearsing all this time. We haven’t been able to play a gig for about six months.
“We had a couple recently that we tried to do but they got away because of the pandemic.”
The band released a new self-titled album in January and played their first gig alongside Wellington anarcho-punk band Unsanitary Napkin at Snails on Friday.
Talking to them before the show, their excitement was palpable.
“I’m probably more excited for a show than I have been in a long time,” guitarist and frontman Willie McKay said.
“I kind of spent the last week in bed saying ‘it’s really going to happen’ and trying not to get my hopes up too much because we’ve had so many disappointments over the last six months.”
He said it was like reconnecting with parts of himself that he hadn’t been able to express.
“I couldn’t go out and dance or stand in front of the PA and walk in, and I really missed that. It’s an important part of who I am as a person.
Old Man Pine is not looking to top the charts.
Instead, they talked about the raw essence of what it was like to be a musician.
The members of the group have daily jobs and family obligations, so for them, being a musician is above all about music.
“It’s a hobby for us at the end of the day,” Sanko said. “But honestly, I have more fun with music now than I ever did when I was 20 or 30.”
“Going forward, it’s just about playing gigs and seeing what new songs really come to us. That’s all we can say about it.”
Old Man Pine’s self-titled album is available on band camp.