Declan O’Rourke & Vishtan

7 October, Blyth Performing Arts Centre Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 “When you live by the weather every wind has a tale” A single line from one of Declan’s songs seemed to encapsulate this evening of music for me. The performance began with Vishtan, a Canadian trio from remote regions of eastern Canada, twin sisters…

Kiwi As

8 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 Festival folk are freaks and fantasists. It’s humanly impossible to do what they do or even conceptualise the things they bring to the stage. Yet, in us all there is a little freak desperate to get up and ‘have a go’. We sit in the dark, as…

Eb and Sparrow

8 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 A life without expectations is probably a happy one. Knowing really nothing about Eb and/or Sparrow, beyond the promotional description in the arts festival booklet, I nevertheless had a surprisingly fixed idea of what I was in for before the gig. This would be, I decided, a…

Beside Herself

6 October, Arts Inc. Heretaunga Readers and Writers, HBAF 2017 This evening is well supported by a largely older audience (she is famous, you know). Two armchairs on a dais face us, a classic ‘interview’ set up. Jenny Dobson is our MC tonight. She introduces Chris Price and her partner Robbie Duncan and sits down…

Lolo Lavina

6 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 You can’t dance while wedged in a seat; it’s about as frustrating as committing fleeting impressions to paper in total darkness with any expectation of later deciphering them. Sydney gypsy-fusion band Lolo Lavina (“Red Beer”), fronted by Aussie-born Hungarian Romani-Gypsy singer Sarah Bedak, kept a packed Spiegeltent…

Auaha

6 October, The Eastbourne Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 Hākina, hāputa / hākina, hāputa / In gentle immediacy, / hākina, hāputa, / I flitted resonantly / To stone shores of Whanganui / hākina, hāputa / tihei mauri ora. And greeted we are in soundscapes fluid and flourished by Pahupounamu, Putorino, Tumutumu, Kōauau, Putatara, and Nguru….

The Full Stretch

A chance to walk into the seductively intriguing Spiegeltent, sitting so handsome on Havelock North’s newly renovated domain, felt like fate. I had the opportunity to listen to Stretch, a talented local singer-songwriter I had become curious about since a brief meeting recently in Napier’s Tennyson Gallery. The tent was filling up. Warm colours, soft…

Tom Knowles – Allergic to Love

5 October, Hastings Function Centre Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 Tom Knowles and his band’s show Allergic to Love – curse of the 80s far exceeded any expectations I could have thought up for an 80s inspired rock opera. I was picturing 80s song covers, heavy gimmick and spandex. I found spandex, sure, leopard print…

Sonic Delusion

5 October, Common Room Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017 Hailing from the westside, New Plymouth, Sonic Delusion’s Andre Manella jumped venues and time slots within the Fringe schedule and landed bright and light in Common Room, a perfect location for his singular whole band sound. There is a decent size crowd listening with comings and…

Dr Geeklove

4 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 I’m just a little bit in love with Rosie Langabeer. From the first time that I saw her onstage in lab coat and protective glasses, playing the musical saw to the accompaniment of an electric drill, I knew she was the girl for me. In comparison, tonight…

The Māori Sidesteps

4 October, Spiegeltent Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival 2017 Right from their requested introduction of “Horis with stories”, the Māori Sidesteps treated a packed Spiegeltent to an evening of wit and song. The five-strong Sidesteps, who have a hugely successful web series, revive the Māori Show Band tradition of the Howard Morrison Quartet and Prince Tui…

Thomas Oliver

2 October 2017, Spiegaltent, Havelock North Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival On a Monday night the Spiegeltent is at capacity, with barely standing room at the back, as the crowd turns out in force to support a local boy done good. It’s sold out tomorrow night too, and he’s even fresh out of CDs, so popular…