The Dunedin Fringe Festival was a biennial event in those days, so the next Lines of Flight was held in September 2002. It had doubled in size and was now at a new venue – Arc Café in High St, with acts spread over four shows. After the success of the first festival, Kim and Peter had had offers of participation from all over the country, and the new lineup reflected this.
Friday 27 September, 8pm, Arc Cafe
- Flies Inside the Sun
- Sandoz Lab Technicians Saturday 28 September, 2pm, Arc Cafe
- Peter Wright
- Eso Steel
- Donald McPherson
- Empirical Saturday 28 September, 10pm, Arc Cafe
- Nova Scotia
- Bruce Russell/Marco Fusinato
- CM Ensemble Sunday 29 September, 2pm, Arc Cafe
- Greg Malcolm,
- Birchville Cat Motel
- Lovely Midget
Empirical had been asked back to play, and I drove down the length of the country with my partner to start a new life in Dunedin, coinciding with the start of the festival. Looking back, I am sure that the first Lines of Flight was one of the catalysts for our relocation. Driving down the northern motorway in the late afternoon, we saw Dunedin stretched out before us dappled in sunshine, and it felt like coming home.
There were so many personal highlights in 2002 – seeing Birchville Cat Motel was a religious experience for me. His set slowly built intensity over 40 minutes; starting with delicate microtonal sounds, and culminating in huge waves of distortion and feedback. “Music I would like to die to” was a friend’s description. Omit performed live for the very first time anywhere, though he had been releasing music for years. He had a table piled high with homemade electronics, and the minimalist DIY technology transported me to another planet. This marked the first time an overseas musician performed at LOF – the Australian guitarist Marco Fusinato played a beautiful guitar drone duo with Bruce Russell, who paired his guitarwork with a fat Cuban cigar. I sat next to a nervous James Kirk while we watched CM Ensemble semi-destroy his drumkit.
The sheer duration of the festival - 16 hours of (at times) challenging listening – slowly took me into another zone, and by the end it felt like we had all shared something very special.
One of the audience members was Reid Gilchrist, an American music-lover who wrote for the Perfect Sounds Forever website. He attended the entire festival, and subsequently wrote a very entertaining and enthusiastic review (see links below), referring to “the immense depth of talent within New Zealand’s “free music” community.
Once the festival had ended, Peter and Kim announced to friends that their relationship was ending. It was a huge shock to everyone, and we all wondered if Lines of Flight would continue.
A few months later, I started playing music with Peter Stapleton, jamming in the Purakaunui house (rebuilt after the fire). After a few sessions, Peter suggested that Nathan Thompson join in – they had played together in Sleep. Over the next 6 months, we started to form a sound, and Eye was born in 2003. I had moved to Dunedin and was now in my dream band, due to a lucky series of coincidences.