Being one of the first New Zealander's to have the honour of being selected to play at the prestigiousMontreal Jazz Festival in Canada, Hollie Smith held a fundraiser event to raise funds in order to get her and her band over to Canada for the festival on June 28th.
Beginning early, Hip Hop artist King Kapisi took to the stage to perform an energy-filled set to a fairly small crowd, although that didn't affect his performance slightly, encouraging the crowd to dance and shout in response to his quirky and enthusiastic stage banter.
The next act to hit the stage was drum and bass artist MC Tali, who performed an exceptional and energetic set of tunes which were a mixture from her forthcoming album ‘Walls,' and some old goodies with even a bit of freestyling thrown in there also. Not to be forgotten however, was her extraordinary cover of Kendrick Lamar's track ‘Swimming Pool' which resulted in a bit of audience interaction from the enthusiastic crowd. Definitely proving the ultimate highlight of Tali's entire set, her latest single ‘Forces' proved yet another highlight and made me want to buy her new upcoming album right away.
By the time her set was over, the Kings Arms was absolutely packed to the gunnels with friends, family and fans who were there in support of Hollie.
The last act before Smith took to the stage were The Means who were also joined by RnB, soul singer Bailey Wiley. Performing a fantastic selection of songs, some being from Wiley's own EP, the incredibly talented band backed Wiley's stunning vocals exquisitely. Perfectly setting the mood for Smith's performance which was soon to come.
With another little interlude, friends of Hollie's who were acting as the MC's for the night, kept the audience hyped and anticipated for Smith's performance as they went on to draw the winner's of the numerous raffle items which companies had generously donated to Hollie to help her in her quest to raise enough money to take her band with her to perform at the jazz festival in Montreal in just a few weeks.
With countless incredible items being won and taken away by some very happy winners, Smith took to the stage.
Although looking stunning as always, dressed in casual clothes, and hair beautifully bundled up tightly, you could pick up on the fact that she looked a little stressed. After filling the audience in on how busy the preparations and day had been, she laughed admitting that the actual performance itself would be the easiest part. Proving just this as she poured herself a glass of wine, and launched into what was an absolutely exceptional performance.
With a set contributing of mostly brand new songs, old time favourites such as ‘Can't Let You Down,' from her 2007 album Long Player, and 'Finding Home' from her 2010 album ‘Humour And The Misfortune Of Others'also made the setlist.
Smith's tight band were well on form tonight as they added the perfect touch, acting as a superb backdrop for Smith's remarkable soulful voice which echoed throughout the venue, evidently proving why she has been asked to represent New Zealand at the Montreal Jazz Festival, as soon as she opened her mouth.
Picking up the guitar numerous times throughout her performance, Smith admitted she's only recently began playing guitar again. But just like the singing- she proved a natural at it.
A new song titled ‘Make Believe' proved popular among the enthusiastic crowd, as they continued to dance the night away.
Following that, was another new song, which she informed us she had written only yesterday when she was supposed to be preparing and getting everything ready for this event, she laughed. "So be easy on us, because the band only learnt it today," she went on to say, as the tune began with only her on guitar and vocals, building up to what proved another very popular favourite among the energetic and loving crowd.
With the audience loving everything the band and Smith were throwing at them, the question of whether to play an old song or another new one next, received a deafening reply from the audience who were all very much in favour of hearing more new songs.
In that case, Smith went on to perform a very new song, which she humourously went on to explain, "It's still so new I actually don't know the lyrics too it and I'm not as good at freestyling as Tali is, so I hope you're okay with me just making up shit," she continued laughing. Well if that was her making stuff up on the spot, it was highly impressive. Apologising in advance, there proved absolutely no need, as Smith and the band were definitely on their full game that night, producing yet another incredible song which I hopefully look forward to hearing on the new album.
Pulling out jokes, and cute stories about her six year old son and his new girlfriend, and not to mention the actual performing of the music, Smith's set had drawn to an end too quickly for my liking. Filling the audience in on the fact that she doesn't do encore's because she finds it awkward she drew her set to an end with her popular hit and mesmerising cover of ‘Bathe In The River.' Smith, her band and the audience all seemed to enjoy it just as much as one another, as Smith's incredibly powerful and awe-aspiring vocals remained echoing throughout the venue as she left the stage.
Now I've had the privilege of seeing Hollie Smith perform a number of times now, and every time I've thought her voice couldn't possibly get any better, but tonight she literally blew my mind, along with the rest of the audience. The power, emotion and soul she brings to the stage as she performs is impeccable and no matter how cheesy this sounds, I undoubtedly agree with the MC's of the night when they said Hollie Smith's voice resembles that of an angel's.
There is undoubtedly no question as to why Hollie Smith was chosen and asked to perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival and I certainly hope they raised enough money to help fund their trip, as no artist New Zealand artist deserves this opportunity more so than she does.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
One month on from the release of their third album [Wade Waist Deep], American rock band Thomas Wynn & The Believers are back on the road, breaking beyond the southern rock scene with complex, pulsing rhythms and breathtaking harmonies.
Due to significant weekend rainfall, and the forecast of more rain over the next 72 hours, Coffs Harbour City Council, Frontier Touring, John Logan Entertainment and Midnight Oil management have met and reviewed the site for Midnight Oil’s show on Thursday 19 October.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Instrumentals, imagined soundtracks and cut and paste experimentation sets a bracing, perception-shattering course for Who Built The Moon? - the keenly anticipated, WORLD TOUR-triggering third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.