Internationally acclaimed “Acoustic Ninja” Trace Bundy played the final show of his début New Zealand tour in Wellington last night. It was a last minute decision for me to head along as I’d never seen anything like this and wasn’t sure if I was up to the task. But I figured it’s always good to get out of your comfort zone so I did some research and discovered terms like “finger-style”, “harmonics”, “looping” and “capos” so that at least I might have some clue about what I was listening to. I also learned Trace has performed all over the planet from Italy to Zimbabwe, with New Zealand officially being the 28th country in which he has played.
Victoria University of Wellington’s Memorial Auditorium was a fitting place to host such an intimate concert - the acoustics were spot on and the stage was aptly lit. First up we were treated to the sounds of Australian finger-style guitarist Van Larkins. Van has been composing his own fusion of traditional music with 80s inspired finger-style since an early age and his set really was something to behold. The two highlights were a speculator cover of Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger, and Larkin’s own song The Crow composed one day after having a close encounter with a bird of the same name.
Trace headed on stage to an animated crowd who greeted him with much applause. His performance was divided into two sets with a fifteen-minute break in between. After a brief welcome and (lucky for me) an introduction to the basics of harmonics, he begins. Instantly I can see why the audience were so excited to see this man - watching Trace on stage is more than just watching a musician perform to an audience it’s like having a friend over for a soireé. Trace’s friendly and open persona coupled with a wicked sense of humour made for some great banter. After a cover of Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over, and a performance of his own song Joy And Sorrow which involved playing two guitars; one in D Major (joy) and one in D minor (sorrow), Trace took the traditional audience “family photo” and we all headed out for a break.
The second set commenced with a cover of Guns n’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine and a highly entertaining Beat It by Michael Jackson played entirely on the “Pocket Guitar” iPhone app. But it’s not all about covers; Finger-style masterpiece Duelling Ninjas from the new album Elephant King with the “dancing monkey referee” and beautiful Love Song showcase Trace’s musical poetry-in-motion.
The show closes with Overtime, an ode to Trace’s brother and a song from an earlier album. For this he invites Van Larkins back on stage to perform a duet. I am blown away.
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.
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!