As I arrived at the Huffer basement on a sunny Monday afternoon, the room was already overflow-ing with happy industry folk and competition winners, enjoying and making the most of the free doughnuts and coffee provided whilst awaiting the arrival of UK's newest and hottest singer-songwriter, George Ezra, the man behind the popular hit ‘Budapest' you're more than likely currently hearing all over the radio at the moment.
Without further a do, following a great introduction, the man himself walked out from (funnily enough) right behind me, and took to the stage, to an appreciative and welcoming audience of all ages, who showered him with the applause and cheers he deserved.
Beginning by thanking everyone for coming, Ezra laughed and admits that he wasn't actually ex-pecting anyone to be there.
Briefly making a 24 hour stop over in New Zealand, to showcase some tunes from his recently released album, ‘Wanted On Voyage,' he kicked off his short and sweet set with the upbeat, foot-tapping rhythmic album opener, ‘Blame It On Me.' From start to finish, his guitar and deep baritone vocals echoed throughout the room magnificently.
Filling the audience in on the story behind recording the next track, ‘Leaving It Up To You,' with his friends, and choir of ‘beautiful girls', he apologised for not having the choir with him, stating we'd have to pretend he was the choir. From the upbeat tune before to the sweet and slower track following, ‘Leaving It Up To You,' showcased Ezra's more delicate and quiet folk song formula. Pretending to be the choir, he went on to sing the melodic backing vocals and falsetto chorus, quickly joking and adding, "that was the choir folks," before continuing on.
Next was the ever so popular and of course crowd favourite, ‘Budapest.' Explaining that you can buy a special ticket in Europe which allows you to travel around any country within Europe, he joked, admitting that Budapest was actually one of the only places he really wanted to visit, which he never made it to. Warming the crowds hearts with his great banter and may I admit gorgeous accent, he went on explaining to the crowd how hard it is to explain to a room full of Hungarians that the song Budapest actually has nothing to do with the city.
With the sing-song lyrics and the enticing foot-tapping beat and rhythm of the catchy single, it's hard to resist, as members of the audience proved as they head-bopped and boogied away.
Drawing his set to an end too soon for the liking of most, he treated us to the most outstanding performance of the sonically sinister, ‘Did You Hear The Rain?'. Beginning completely acapella, his voice once again resonated, remaining his most powerful, stand out feature, before another up beat rhythm began, convincing you to nod your head around once more.
Unfortunately, as he left the stage, it felt as though his whole performance had flashed by far too quickly, but what we did get a taste of was without a doubt profusely enjoyed by all, as I left seeing only smiles on the faces of the rest of the happy showcase goers.
I suspect this is definitely not the last we will be hearing of this talented young man, and immensely hope that this is certainly not the last time we will be seeing Mr George Ezra in New Zealand.
Be sure to check out his album, ‘Wanted On Voyage,' now so we can show him not only is he wanted on voyage, but he's also wanted in NZ.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
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!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.
They immediately sold out Sydney and Melbourne dates earlier this year, and now LCD Soundsystem are returning to Australia and New Zealand for their biggest headline shows ever this summer – touring February 2018!