Thanks to our mates, Craccum attended the Auckland premiere of Six60: Till The Lights Go Out, the new Six60 doco-music film directed by Julia Parnell.
Six60 are unarguably New Zealand’s biggest band. There are their three studio albums, their numerous tours, their stash of Aotearoa Music Awards, and the two sold out shows at Western Springs Stadium – setting the record for the largest gig for a New Zealand band. It’s an impressive feat from a band that has faced its fair share of flack. Till The Lights Go Out takes on both telling the history of the band, and the personal lives of each of the band members. It’s a personal film – with real insights into the difficulties and the successes that each band member has faced. Parnell interplays both aspects well, both letting the audience in, and connecting their stories and their ambitions to the band’s ascent, while showcasing strengths in the band’s lineage, including footage from their first Western Springs Stadium show. The use of archival footage meanwhile is stellar – showing audiences moments right from the band’s inception through to their latest recording endeavours.
As far as band documentaries go, Till The Lights Go Out manages to let audiences into the lives of the band, while not largely falling completely into self-indulgence – sure, there are times where ego shows, but it’s balanced well with more humbling moments from the band, and the overall impression that the boys are both fortunate for their experience, and have worked with a real passion to achieve their goals.
For fans of the music, it’s impressive watching the concert footage on the big screen; For some, it’s a soundtrack to the last ten years of New Zealand music. Band docos aren’t made for people who don’t love the music, that’s a given.
But love them, or hate them, Till The Lights Go Out celebrates the longevity and successes of a band that grew from 660 Castle St, right into Western Springs Stadium – something New Zealand music has never seen before.