“Sailing takes me away to where I always heard it could be”
With that immortal, wafting chorus line, yacht rock’s flash in the pan was born. Enter Christopher Cross, a portly, balding Texan who made millions in 1980, winning five Grammys with his debut record, even beating Pink Floyd for Album of the Year.
It was simple back then – Cross sold the world the perfect escape plan. It was the idea of an easier, breezier life out on the sea by means of soothing melodies that could not only soundtrack a leisurely sail, but also a bath, a candlelit dinner, possibly casual foreplay, or all four at once if you were white enough. He used the word ‘wind’ a lot. Sure, ‘Sailing’ was actually about painting, but, hey, anything that helps that sweet, sweet champers go down on the 50-foot love vessel. Ahoy!
Anyway, Cross played last night at the Auckland Town Hall, with our own Rikki ‘Game of Love’ Morris opening. Though brief, Morris played an elegant set accompanied by piano, finishing with ‘Nobody Else’.
On to the Minstrel Gigolo and something people may not realise – Christopher Cross has major chops on the gat. Guess who sold Stevie Ray Vaughan his famed ‘Number One’ guitar? Christopher motherflippin’ Cross. Yep, the guy actually rips like Steve Lukather when he gets the chance. But for the most part, the show was a very low-key, slightly schmaltzy affair, with a backing band that jazzed up and occasionally stretched out songs that – I’m not gonna lie – I slightly despised in the first place. I’m all right if I never hear ‘All Right’ again.
The second song of the show was ‘Sailing’, and, yeah, OK, it was very special and means so much to many people. But just like he did in 1980, Cross peaked early. Sure, a lot of the show was of merit musically, with a French rhythm section and a multi-instrumentalist that aggressively channelled Kenny G at times (in this genre, that’s a good thing). However, the set was just four or five songs too long, with widely unfamiliar material I couldn’t possibly take the time out of my life to seek out (only three out of his 10 albums are widely available… on LP) with things starting to blend into one, like being trapped in an elevator on hold to the IRD.
The acoustic set was a much welcome change of pace, though, with the band successfully rearranging songs like ‘Spinning’ and ‘Say You’ll Be Mine’, also from the first album. But for every ‘Minstrel Gigolo’, there was an awful song about Steve Jobs or looking out of windows or something. ‘Ride Like the Wind’ (ALSO FROM THE FIRST ALBUM) closed the show, a genuinely great rock song that could soundtrack a sailing sojourn OR a road trip. And then it was done. It was all inoffensive fun, and at some points a slog for me personally. I enjoyed around 70% of it.
What I’ll take from the Christopher Cross show? Buy the first album, listen to Toto, watch ‘Arthur’ again and never, ever start wearing a cheesecutter.
Kingsland Folk Club have announced that their super-sized show, Finger Picking Good, will be returning for its second year at The Wine Cellar on November 16th, featuring an eclectic lineup of their very favourite local acts.
‘Queens of the Breakers,’ is the anthemic title track from the forthcoming album by The Barr Brothers. This album, the band’s first in three years, will be released on October 14 on Secret City Records.
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!
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