Richter City Rebels

Friday 8 Dec, Common Room, Hastings It’s a stinking hot December night and, like lifting the lid on a pressure cooker, the Richter City Rebels have come to let off some steam. On stage they cut an impressive jib, seven brass instruments gleaming in the glow of the curtain of stars at their backs, their…

Peter Panto

2 Dec 2017, CHB Municipal Theatre Waipawa Musical and Dramatic Club Tis the time of year to be tired and over-booked. Saturday was already over-subscribed, and if truth be told I preferred the picture of me sleeping in front of the telly…. But there were kids from CHB College in the play and this was…

Peter Brötzmann & Heather Leigh – “Sex Tape” Tour

30 November 2017, Common Room, Hastings I stood at Common Room’s bar and spoke with Peter Brötzmann after what must have been a draining performance for the 76-year-old saxophonist, and not just because of his age. There’s a ferocious, urgent intensity to his music that begs the question of how he can summon up a…

Fire in the Meth Lab

29 November 2017, Common Room, Hastings It’s only been a couple of months since Jon Bennett’s hilarious Fringe in the ‘Stings offering Pretending Things are a Cock.  In my household we’re still cracking cock jokes and sniggering at pink Havaiana jandals in shop windows, so I was quick to put my hand up to see…

Anything Goes

30 November – 16 December, Theatre HB, Hastings The 1930s is a study in contrasts. Frivolity and ludicrous shenanigans, yet so much keeping-up-appearances, mind-your-Ps-and-Qs, not-in-front-of-the-ladies. Our own vernacular expression of the era is a dichotomy too: dark days of earthquake, aftershock, recovery, coupled with an explosion of rebuilding, pride and celebration. Cole Porter’s Anything Goes…

Denys Watkins – Another Green World

25 Nov – 23 Dec 2017, Parlour Projects, Hastings Denys Watkins’ dedicated career has been to the visual arts. He has taught and travelled throughout the world, all the while maintaining a steady arts practice, which is now his primary focus. His collection Another Green World brings us candidly to 2017, in the tones of…

Loud Ghost

25 November 2017, Paisley Stage, Napier Four bands in one night. The venue: Paisley Stage. This is a great new space for live music in Napier and it became the heart of Napier’s music scene on Saturday night. The opening band, The Counts, a three-piece metal band from Auckland, started the night off with high…

A Great Face for Radio

17 November – 2 December 2017, Tabard Theatre, Napier Written by Amanda Stone; directed by Wendy Revell; performed by Napier Operatic Society Set in radio’s golden era of the 1960s, when parents were worried about radio drama being a bad influence on their children’s young minds, and music had entered a time of cultural expansion…

Lawrence Arabia

11 November 2017, Common Room, Hastings Tonight was a night, or rather an evening alone with Lawrence Arabia, an evening publicised by the man himself as a surefire “most satisfying” transaction. The transaction transpired with Lawrence Arabia, aka James Milne, standing alone on stage, bathed in a warm red light, in a blue boilersuit with…

Graeme James

4 November 2017, Common Room, Hastings The intense heat of a Hawke’s Bay evening hung about us as we waited for Graeme James to take the stage. It was a full house, Common Room was hot. Clearly the Nelson-born musician’s reputation preceded him as an expectant audience of men and women lined the walls, filled…

Tourettes and Skyscraper Stan

9 November, Sitting Room Session, Napier They seem an unlikely pairing; poet/novelist/once rapper Dominic “Tourettes” Hoey and tongue-in-cheek country crooner/songwriter, Skyscraper Stan (Stanley Woodhouse). At a glance, they’re quite a sight, Woodhouse’s leather jacket and clean shave alongside Hoey’s beard and snapback cap. Intriguing, for sure, but also had me asking the question that comes…

Cinzah Merkens – Salt Dirt Sky

1-30 November, Tennyson Gallery, Napier New works from Cinzah Merkens flirt with the commodification of bird images. They are not depictions of birds IRL, they are representations of bird imagery, more boldly: iconography. Hints of gold remind viewers that these images are valuable, not the veneer-thin red-dot variety of value but true, robust, deep-set value….