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…

Richie & Rosie

1 November, Urban Winery, Ahuriri. Listening is too often an under-refined practice in our social exchanges these days, so to feel received in it, in any given moment is a treat indeed. Once again, the etiquette of the Sitting Room Sessions delivered an energised reciprocal experience to performers and audience alike. The stunning Richie &…

Flora Knight and Sean Donald

7 September, Haumoana Pavilion Sitting Room Session In search of the Sitting Room Session with Flora and Sean, I drive out to Haumoana not sure of exactly where I’m going. I pull up in the rain outside Haumoana Hall. The lights are on and I peep inside. Under fluoros a couple are setting up a…

Charlotte Yates

23 August 2017, Birdwoods Gallery, Havelock North I’d never been into Birdswoods Gallery at night before, and first impressions were powerful: seeing the massive gum tree illuminated outside the small, perfect, old church building was breathtaking;  walking inside was like discovering a treasure trove. Objects of beauty all around, brightly lit, with a fire burning. …

Nigel Wearne

There’s a charismatic bearded man up the front with his guitars resting on the communion table, and a small audience facing: leaning forward from the pews. I’m not usually one for church on a Saturday night, or ever, but I could get used to this. Jamie Macphail’s Sitting Room Sessions have developed a sort of…

Reb Fountain

23 July 2017, Sitting Room Sessions, Red Barrel Winery Another ‘sitting room’, another Sitting Room Session. Jamie Macphail has sent out the invitation and there’s the many familiar faces, the few new ones, who come whenever he calls, to wherever he says. This time we’re at Red Barrel, along the dark main road out from…

Tiny Ruins

18 June 2017, Haumoana Hall It’s been over a week since Tiny Ruins played the Haumoana Hall and I know, I know, this review should have been long done and dusted… but I’ve been trying to pin the gig down as it slips under the Dream Wave, holding to that liminal moment created by songs…

Gemma Ray

5 May, 2017, The Old Mill, Napier The Old Mill, Napier, is quite possibly the perfect venue for the intimacy, drama, and retro-stylings of British singer-songwriter Gemma Ray. Main Street hides this local hacienda in a narrow gully that snakes up Napier Hill. Once inside the dated lobby, you take the stairs down to the…