Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back to NZ

Well, well, well - in the morning went to visit a camel souk where there were camels for sale as far as the eye could see - didn't even mind the smell. Eventually got to the airport and, on check-in, were given new boarding passes that happened to be business class upgrades as far as Singapore - the three of us had the whole business section to ourselves for the section to Dubai so we were made a fuss of by the incredibly attractive Singapore Airlines flight attendants - Andrew informed them that it happened to be my birthday so that started an almost non-stop supply of Singapore Slings, Silverkris Slings, Dom Perignon, single malt scotch and almost anything else - Andrew and I were well stewed by Dubai - was the best birthday present ever! Unfortunately back to cattle class Singapore to Auckland - don't know why people don't travel business class all the time.
An incredible experience going to Saudi Arabia - hadn't fully appreciated that there is no tourism there and one doesn't just apply for a visa to go for a visit - have to be sponsored and invited. An amazing time.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


Lovely gig at lunch time yesterday - very cosmopolitan audience and, as usual, amazing food.
Went out to the escarpment and watched the sunset - had to 4-wheel drive up the bumpiest road ever to get there but well worth it.
Today we went shopping then to the Al Faisaliah centre to the observation platform - incredible - then had lunch at the Kingdom Tower.
We cannot thank the people here enough for their amazing hospitality, especially Louise - I don't know how we can reciprocate in NZ but we'll think of something.
Have to get ready to fly home now.

Cheers, Terry

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Hi from Riyadh again. just finished our second gig for the NZ Embassy - this time for the Tui Club, which is for the Kiwis in town. Big night for most of them as they never get to enjoy Kiwi hospitality unless they are here at the Embassy. Wonderful day today - taken to the Souk (market) this morning and bought some mementos. Walked through Chop Chop square where the occasional beheading and limb-removal takes place, We stared fixedly for a while at a large red stain on the cobblestones which was probably a spilt boysenberry ice cream. Wonderful lunch at our friend Louise's house - in her tent on the roof of her apartment. We all were given thobes (the long white robe-shirt) and appropriate matching head gear and sandals and strutted around like Yassar Arafat for a while, ordering the staff around and demanding oil for our tea. Lunchtime gig tomorrow after which we have been invited to drive out to the 'Escarpment' to watch the sun set over the Arabian desert , after which we might watch the All Blacks play Scotland at the Embassy (no the game isn't actually at the embassy - they have a big TV) and a BBQ. I said we'd try and find room to fit this in.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saudi Arabia

Hi everyone from Riyadh. What a trip. about 30 hours and 4 flights by my reckoning. Second leg to Singapore probably the hardest, bearable after a couple of Singapore Slings. Changi Airport immense. We had six hours stopover and a hotel room each to relax in. Shopped for shoes and ate Mea Siam for breaky....sort of Laksa soup with a boiled egg - very hot. Third leg to Dubai not so bad and Dubai even more awe in spiring than S'pore. A couple more Singslings on the way helped. An hour's stopover in Dubai then on to Riyadh. Completely alien environment. No women at the airport and no shops. A plane load of Phillipino labourers and us. Fortunately Brian Chambers and his Yemeni driver Abdullah met us and using Abdullah's command of Arabic we were able to negotiate customs and be photographed and fingerprinted without too much bother. All gear arrived OK. Driven to the Dip. Compound which is guarded by a couple of machine gun posts and some khaki-ed military types who checked under our vehicle with a mirror for devices, and met by the NZ Embassy staff with a magnificent meal and a couple of cold drinks. temperature very mild in mid-20s. Off to the Embassy for lunch if we can rouse Nils who got in from Hamburg about 4.00am this morning. Gig tonight for assembled diplomats and friends hosted by Rod Harris, NZ ambassador. Will report tomorrow if poss.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

AOTNZ tour Kerikeri & Waiheke

Had a great day yesterday playing tourists. We visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds & House & soaked up a bit of history. Feeling culturally and historically enlightened we smugly returned to Kerikeri to set up at the fabulous new Centre complex. Chef Terry organised pork chops for dinner and we duly recited our now-semi-automatic repertoire to the assembled citizens who would have numbered about 50 I guess. Most enjoyable evening and back to the cocrete block motel for an early night.

Off at 7.30 after poached eggs on toast and drove through shocking weather to arrive in Auckland about 10.30 - pretty good going apparently. The GPS took us straight to the ferry terminal at Half Moon Bay to check in and there was time for coffee, soup & the Herald before embarking at 12.30. Safely tucked up at Briar Ross's Matiatia Estate with cups of tea & her own lovely olive oil. Looking forward to the gig at Morra Hall in Oneroa.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

AOTNZ tour Coromandel & Whangaroa

Great night at the Coromandel Bowling Club and returned to the Jacaranda for an appointment with Mr Jameson. Wonderful breakfast from Robyn and we were on the road early for the long haul to Whangaroa. Six hours and almost constant rain. The river in Kaeo looked about ready to burst it's banks and we just had time to set up at the Gamefish Club, check into the Sunseeker, catch our breaths and get back down to the venue to have a meal and kick off again. The Whangaroa Marina was opened in 1997 by Hiwi Tauroa and another bloke with the splendid name of Tarzan Hori.

Great crowd and an early finish. I met up with some rellies and stayed out at their place while T & J retired back to the Digs. Met up again this afternoon at the Kerikeri Motel - the boys had spent some time with Ray Woolf and Billy Christian in Mangonui (SP?). We've had a terrific dinner at the Curry King and are all enjoying a night off before the final assault.


Monday, August 2, 2010

AOTNZ tour Tauranga & Kauaeranga

Mills Reef fabulous. Treated like royalty by Jan & her team and there were
oysters once again. Derek had done a superb job in generating a crowd and we
also caught up with Graham Clark from Brilleaux. James drove us up to Thames
next morning and we managed to find Eric & Nancy Zwaan's house deep in the
Kauaeranga Valley, just past the old Hall. Eric built the house out of 'cob', a
mixture of mud, clay & straw I think - very cool. The Hall was filled with about
70 locals, all getting stuck into the mulled wine. Home by about 10.00 for an
early night....lovely not being in a concrete block motel. Nancy made us a
spectacular breakfast of omelettes & home-grown sausages and we lit out for

Stopped just outside town at a roadside seafood place - had pots of mussel
chowder & T bought some oysters. Just arrived at the fabulous Jacaranda Lodge
and off to set up shortly. Sold out at about 70 tonight apparently.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

AOTNZ tour Whakatane

Sparkling Hawkes Bay weather when we set off; Taupo a bit foggy and the lake
very still and eerie. Rained off & on till Whakatane. Motel a bit cramped - my
room little more than a cupboard. Set up at the Baptist Church - scene of
triumphant gig two years ago. Had a meal that was only just satisfactory in a
dodgy sports bar. James had to ask them to turn the TV down. Smuggled a bottle
of Pinot Noir into the back of the church for half time sustenance. Huge crowd
of about 250 - even some youngsters; one of whom sent a lovely email this
morning. We'll crack the hip-hop market yet. Watched the All Blacks demolish
Australia afterwards. Gig at Mills Reef in Tauranga tonight organised by our
friend Derek Jacombs of Kokomo and Self-Righteous brothers fame. Venue looks
fantastic and there are oysters. Yippee. Sold out at around 120 apparently.


Friday, July 30, 2010

AOTNZ tour Hastings

Had the NOMS at a park in Woodville. Nice band rotunda. We've seen a few on our trip. How bout a tour of NZ band rotundas? Must explore. Set up at Hawkes Bay Opera House - not the main Theatre but an alternative called the Assembly Room - wonderful old Art Deco room - very reverberant. Turns out not half as bad when it's full of people.

Full house tonight About 250 keen folk....they got all the jokes and had a great time. The act is getting very sharp and the repertoire has nearly settled. Gave 'Concrete Block Motel' another outing and I think it'll be OK. Off to Whakatane tomorrow.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

AOTNZ tour New Plymouth

Sensational night at the TSB Theatre in New Plymouth. Good crowd of about 250
who were In The Mood. A few sound problems....we have a dodgy lead but they all
look the same so it's been hard to isolate. Al, the sound guy, kept it out for
us at the end so we might buy a couple of new ones in Napier tomorrow. Our good
buddy Dave Nepia came to the gig - a very accomplished local guitarist who sat
in with us once or twice when we used to come up here to play at Crawdaddy's.

Terry cooked us roast lamb in the motel beforehand and James went for a long
walk along the famous new Coastal Walkway, struck up a conversation with a
female fellow walker who, it turns out, works as a lady of the night. He now
claims to be a lot more knowledgeable about the sex industry than he was. As I
said back on the 11th, touring can be very educational.

Off to Hastings today - should take about 6 hours.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

AOTNZ tour Opunake & Hawera

Seem to have dropped a day somewhere.....Taranaki - land of cows and boxthorn
hedges and more concrete block motels. Opunake was OK.....the venue a little
soulless but a good crowd, although there were a few cockies who looked like
they'd been dragged out by their wives to see some 'culcha', sulking with arms
crossed and being very unamused by the whole experience. A group of dancers
demonstrated at half time....Ceroc perhaps or something similar. They were very
good. Also met a very nice bloke who wrote a musical about Jean Batten, staged
it once in Opunake, and then had to shut it down under threat of legal action
from the copyright holders of a Batten biography.

Drove up to Dawson Falls and had coffee & muffins and a guided tour of the
lodge, which was made over in the '70s by a bloke called Keith Anderson, who
hand-carved all the room fittings, doors etc and themed every room individually
(there are 12) and the whole effect is startling. Very 'Swiss Alpine Chalet'.
Took a wet 5 minute walk to Dawson Falls - very spectacular.

Played in the lovely Hawera Memorial Hall last night to a rowdy crowd which
included some old friends. Mr Glen Nevis joined us afterwards for celebrations.


Monday, July 26, 2010

AOTNZ tour Dunedin

Dunedin gig fantastic. Steve Thomas from AOTNZ joined us for dinner at a pub (Mannequin?) across the road from St Martin's Hall , had a superb steak & kidney hot pot. We were delighted to see maybe 250 crammed into the old hall while singer Lindsey Shields played a lovely 30 minute set. Our stuff went down very well and we sold a few CDs. The New Edinburgh Folk Club had supplied some lights and what a difference it made.

Up at 5.00am yesterday to catch a flight to Welly - no hitches (except the one I am reading about). Finished a new song about concrete block motels. We're all enjoying 24 hours at home and start in Opunake tonight.


AOTNZ tour Fairlie

Frustrated with unusable internet at the motel we fled to EAT Cafe where the fire was roaring, the coffee was delicious and the ultra-fast broadband was free. Sorted the correspondence and read a long interview with Hitch from only a fortnight ago - post cancer diagnosis - no indication of religious conversion. Bullied Billers into an admission that he'd been having me on. Accused him of having no sympathy for a fellow hack.

Curried snarlers and a bottle of Pinot for dinner and off to a nice gig at the local Golf Club. About 110 turned out and the ladies did supper afterwards. They didn't know the phrase 'three buttered and two iced'. Maybe it's a Waimate thing. No bar service!

On the road to Dunedin we see the sun for the first time since Roxburgh. Tonight we farewell the South.


Friday, July 23, 2010

AOTNZ tour Waimate

Oamaru as cold and dreary as I recall from two years ago. Whiskey shop closed on
a Friday - of course. Had great mutton & plum pie from a Dutch bakery next door.
Arrived in Waimate and checked into 'yet another concrete block motel' - another
song idea I remember discussing with T & Nils in this exact part of the country
two years ago.

Very well looked after pre-gig by Linda and Rob at the beautiful Awatea Retreat
and B & B. We were royally treated here two years ago and nothing has changed.
Interesting chat with a city girl turned farmer's wife who introduced us to the
country saying 'three buttered and two iced' - an instruction relating to
shearing gang catering. Might be a song there. Responsive crowd at the Criterion
Hotel and an early night.

Off to Fairlie after being hastened out of our Waimate digs. Bought the possum
socks, thus contributing to the local economy in a modest way. Both Waimate and
Fairlie motels advertising wireless internet but both useless for any practical
purposes. Continuing amusing text dialogue with Billers concerning his claims
that Hitchens has converted to Christianity in the face of a cancer diagnosis
(very unlikely but he refuses to stump up with any journalistic evidence) and
that Dylan is a lousy harp player and a fraud (as Joni Mitchell claims). He's
certainly right about the first but I'm sure that history will disprove him
about the second.


AOTNZ tour Gore

And oysters there were. A dozen each with pepper and lemon juice. And crumbed
butterfish and bok choy on rice in our motel room courtesy of chef Terry. Gore
was sulking under a vindictive cloud that looked as brown as the over-grazed
paddocks outside town - which of course were bathed in brilliant sunshine, as
indeed was the entire countryside South of Roxburgh. But a lovely appreciative
audience and memorable hospitality from our host Jim Geddes at the Eastern
Southland Art Gallery.

Free internet at the Digs so we caught up on some correspondence. Saddened to
hear of Hitchens' cancer diagnosis. A cryptic message from Billington reporting
his (Hitchens') 'coming out'. Seeking clarification I am advised that this
'outage' refers to a latent religious belief rather than a public reversal of
sexual preference. I find this hard to believe of one of the World's most high
profile atheists so will need to grill Billers about it further. I suspect he's
just being mischievous, knowing how much it would upset me.

Off to Waimate for Wallaby pie and possum socks. Maybe stop at the whiskey shop
in Oamaru. They have a tasting facility from where, on our last trip, we
purchased some of the last remaining stock of the old Wilsons distillery.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AOTNZ tour Roxburgh

Stayed a while at the Warbirds Museum....very moving. Evocative of a time of
gallantry and chivalry even amongst enemies. Not sure the same mutual respect
and gentility would apply today. Short hop to Roxburgh. Pretty cold but warm
reception from the good citizens at the Town Hall - excellent venue with
dressing rooms and everything. 'Let's Have Friends Around for Dinner' shaping up
- also my new song 'Any Time at All' (I think sufficient time has lapsed since
the release of 'Hard Day's Night' for me to get away with the title) which seems
to suit James' low 'D' whistle adequately. Am enjoying Christopher Hitchens'
memoir 'Hitch-22', which I bought when faced with the seven hour bus trip
crisis. Terry still ploughing through the Denniston Rose. We'll swap shortly.
Another short hop to Gore - only an hour or so we think. There is talk of oysters.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

AOTNZ tour Wanaka

The best laid plans. Flight from Queenstown eventually cancelled. Seven hours on
a bus to CHCH eavesdropping on a 20-yr old Australian oaf in the seat behind me
trying to chat up a much smarter and worldly 24 yr old English girl with a
triple degree in archaeology & English Lit & some other stuff - way out of his
league but he valiantly persisted with such priceless pickup lines as 'So have
ya ever tried a saki bomb?'

Got to CHCH but too late for a flight - stayed over with the Driftos and got the
6.45 to Welly. Train to PPM but they announced at Paekak that we would transfer
to a bus to go the last leg. Was having none of it and had K pick me up. Lovely
24 hours with the family then into town to catch the 9.15am to CHCH - no
problems this time and back in QTN for lunch. T & J had spent a day or two with
rellies, James even venturing out on a snow boarding expedition. Gig at Luggate
Hall sold out with about 140 crammed in, had pleasant dinner beforehand with
Festival director Philip Tremewan. Home to Wanaka for an appointment with Mr
Jameson. Off to Roxburgh today - James wants to check out the Wanaka Warbirds
Museum on the way.


AOTNZ tour Bannockburn

Sunday 18 July

Stuck at Queenstown Airport. Very flash these days. Good coffee & poached eggs
with mushrooms. Shouldn't have had the time but flight delayed from 9.00am till
1.00pm. Low cloud. Read Sunday Times in the crowded cafe. Listening to
Wellingtonian Mel Parsons' CD we were give by her proud parents at Cape Foulwind
Tavern. Bloody good. Weather was fab yesterday as we farewelled the Coast,
coming over the Haast to the majestic splendour of Central Otago. Great gig last
night at the Bannockburn Hall to about 60 - near capacity I would think. Old
mate Dave Marsh turned up and has offered to pick me up from QTN on Tuesday,
saving T & J a trip from Wanaka. Gig at Luggate Hall for Wanaka Arts Festival on
Tuesday night was sold out a fortnight ago apparently. We were joined afterwards
at the Motel by Mr Jameson from Ireland. Left the bottle for T& J as I head home
to see K & the kids for a couple of nights.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

AOTNZ tour Okarito

Arrived at Okarito after a brief detour to scout Franz Josef Glacier. Incredibly
warm welcome from a community that numbers about 35 when everyone's home. Used
to be the third largest port on the West Coast during the gold rush of 1866 with
a population of about 2500. Pot luck dinner with the entire population then a
great gig in Donovan's store which has been there since late 1800s and used to
be a brothel. Holly and Carl put us up at the Beach Houise, ironically the most
luxurious digs we have had. Okarito has a huge shallow lagoon full of trout,
salmon & flounder which can't get out at the moment as the bar has silted up.
They open it up with a digger every now and then. Lee gave us flounder for
breakfast and then off to Raewyn's for coffee and whitebait patties. Set off at
11.00am for Cromwell. Still glorious weather all down the Coast road. Lousy
coffee in Haast. Should get to Crommers about 5.00 to set up at Banockburn Hall.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

AOTNZ Greymouth

Big day yesterday for the tourists. Stopped at Punakaiki and oo-ed and ah-ed at the rock formations etc. Very warm. Diverted to Blackball....cold & foggy - this is more like it. Had a pint of Miner's Dark in the (formerly) Blackball Hilton and went to the famous sausage shop. Bought a salami and were given a freshly cooked black pudding, which we had sliced on the NO Memorial Sandwiches we made at the skate park. Got to Frank's in Greymouth about 4.00 and set up. Nel had her Tibetan Chef whip up some pork & spinach dumplings to see us through till after the gig.....brilliant. The cafe was packed and the show went well. It's all falling into place.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

AOTNZ tour Westport

Westport last night. Fabulous new venue called the NBS Theatre. Seats about 400 and we must have had 50 at the most but it felt great anyway. Fantastic acoustics and effective lighting. Excellent crowd including an old mate from Wanganui I haven't seen in years. Debbie the manager was terrific and sold CDs for us. I feel that the repertoire is at last falling into a logical sequence, and we included the debut performance of 'Let's have Friends Around for Dinner'. Forgot the words of course but the punters laughed at that as well. Inspired by our detour to Denniston a couple of days ago Terry bought 'The Denniston Rose' (Illustrated) and the sequel all-in-one and is right in the thick of it. Now he wants to go work in the mines. Apparently we are in for a big night at Frank's Cafe in Greymouth.....plenty booked and the town is on tenterhooks awaiting our triumphant arrival. I may be getting a bit carried away. I wonder if the interest they say they are experiencing is due to our having played there before? Still beautiful weather....apparently Central Otago is like Antarctica at the moment - we will find out on Saturday.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

AOTNZ tour Karamea

We have been royally looked after in Karamea by David & Cathy at the Last Resort. We spent the morning rehearsing 'Karamea Cowboy' so we could pull it off tonight, also a couple of new ones. Interesting experience with the laundry lady. She took a bag of washing off each of us, mixed it all up in the washing machine, and delivered us each our own bag a couple of hours later with all our washing sorted out.....everyone had their own stuff in their own bag again. How did she do it? Working on a song about the West Coast Washerwoman. Then we drove half an hour North to Kohaihai and walked the first few kms of the Heaphy Track. Stunning bush and shoreline. Met a weka and peeled a banana to feed it but the stupid thing ran off with the banana peel. Back in time to set up & eat, then play the gig to a small but very enthusiastic crowd of about 20. Met some folk we got to know on the last couple of trips up here. It really is a special place. Kind of like Golden Bay in its isolation but in a different way....it's a bit less laid back....the West Coast influence perhaps...people here still have to carve a living out of a pretty wild landscape. It's not a forgiving piece of geography.


Monday, July 12, 2010

AOTNZ tour Reefton

Reefton. Bloody Hell. A town carved out of a coal seam. Significantly better than our gig two years ago, we had about 18. Not a lot of response and I felt we were going over like a cup of cold sick but they all thanked us effusively afterwards and seemed to have genuinely had a good time. Daisy, the organiser from the Inangahua Community Arts Council, is a delight. We dined in style at Alfresco's restaurant just up the road from the motel. The waitress had to wear a ski jacket as she had to go outside between the restaurant and the kitchen, and it was very cold. She was doing the cooking as well. From time to time the caretaker would pop in and tell us the rugby league score and all about his knee operation. We drank them out of pinot noir (they had two bottles) and slid home along the frozen footpath. The Lantern Court Motel was luxurious. They rushed us out at 10.00am so we stocked up on groceries and took off for Karamea through thick fog, emerging into brilliant sunshine at Westport where we assembled the Nils Olsen Memorial Sandwiches and Terry made coffee with his portable stove. Diverted to Denniston en route to Karamea and were all fascinated by the history up there on that bleak plateau. Must read the book. Karamea very quiet - apparently they have a few booked in tomorrow night.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

AOTNZ tour Mussel Inn

Long drive from Rangiora to Onekaka in Golden Bay but a beautiful day. Stopped on the side of the road at Murchison to make a sandwich, which contained, amongst other things, some Nils Olsen Memorial Gherkins. Nils was most particular about his gherkins on our last AOTNZ tour two years ago. Sunny but deceptively cold and we were back in the van after half an hour. Also stopped for a cuppa at Terry's brother Ian's home in Motueka,. Said g'day to Ian's old dog Robber, who is 114 in human years. His front legs go faster than his back ones so he rolls down the steps rather than walking. Apparently possessing an active libido as a youngster, Robber was once caught 'in flagrante delicto' with a sheep on a visit to Great Barrier Island. Touring can be exhausting but educational. The Mussel Inn was packed and we did an extra set because we love it so much. Still probably the best venue in the country. Delighted to see Julian & Sally Manning from Pete Findlay's old gang there, also Philip Woolaston whose winery we played at a few years ago, also the venue for a brilliant Emma Pask concert there last January. Realised kind of late this morning that our gig in Reefton today is at 3.00pm. Should be there by 2.00 if we're lucky. Last time we played there the crowd numbered about 6, all related to Terry - we're hoping to build on that.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

AOTNZ tour Rangiora

Rossburn Reception, Rangiora. That's more like it. Great venue with an attentive crowd,
close on 200 I would think. Standing room only. All organised by Sandra and
Dorothy from 'Events with Attitude', who have plenty themselves. Rossburn is the
home of Dawn & Richard Spark - Richard has lived there for 66 years and has
never thrown anything away. He has more sheds than NASA and a museum that would
rival Te Papa. Home cooked apricot scones (Richard has a sweet tooth) and a
typical South Island breakfast with home grown bacon & eggs. We had the best
Thai takeaways I have ever had before the gig. Mr & Mrs Drifto came out so we
could Ride With Bob and it was lovely to hear those lyrical guitar lines wafting
around. James sang 'Night & Day' and they were swooning all over the place. Bob
sang 'Your Feet's Too Big' and brought the house down. Sold a swag of CDs - even
a couple of our recently-reduced DVDs. It's 9.30am, just gassed up, it's a
glorious day and we are on the way to the Mussel Inn - it doesn't get much
better than that.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

AOTNZ tour Methven

Long day to get to Methven yesterday helped by Felicity the GPS girl. Stodgy
corn fritters at Robert Harris in CHCH opposite Steve's AOTNZ office at the Arts
Centre (what a building!). Passed through interestingly-named towns Glentunnel
and Windwhistle. Luke at the Blue Pub seemed a likeable enough fellow,
surprising as he is an ex-professional Australian cricketer. We soon got over
that shock and were able to be civil to him tho. He could not have been more
generous and hospitable. Big nosh up before the gig and a lovely Barossa Valley
Merlot after. Difficult gig tho - half the audience had bussed in from Ashburton
and knew what we were about, the other half were skiers just in off the street
who really weren't interested so it was too noisy to do our usual schtick. Nice
breakfast at Cafe 131 - eggs benedict & tomato juice. Once we got away that is,
after James locked our bags in the pub. stupid boy. Rangiora apparently sold out
tonight at 160 pax. Drifto will be there so there will be Riding with Bob.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Bent Horseshoe

It's often very difficult to put your finger on exactly what it is that makes a gig 'work' or not. We've had disastrous gigs in luxurious venues and fabulous gigs in very unpretentious venues where we had no expectations. Last Saturday at Tokomaru's Bent Horseshoe Cafe was an example of the latter. Steve & Robyn have created a really intimate and cosy venue in an old schoolhouse in the foothills of the Tararuas about 2 kms up into the hills from Tokomaru. We had about 50 people packed in enjoying good hearty Kiwi tucker and a cheery log fire, and it was obvious from the start that everyone was going to have a good time. It worked particularly well for us because we like to be close to the audience to get some spontaneous rapport happening, and all min all I would have to say that I cannot recall a more successful gig from an audience response aspect. They have loads of music there.....get along some time and check it out.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lake View

Drove to Wanganui last night - took Billers who is great company on a road trip - I can ask him one question when leaving Wellington and, if I've asked one that requires an in depth answer, he finishes about the time we are entering Levin. If I don't have any more questions he pulls out a harp and plays a concert. We repeat the process coming home after the gig but I don't get a concert as he's just blown his backside off for the previous couple of hours and has somewhat run out of blow/suck! Never a dull trip with Billers.
Andrew on fire as he had just came back from a gig in Invercargill the night before and was wanting to vent some steam which resulted in a sopping wet shirt. In all, a good energetic gig.

Cheers, Terry

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Weekend

Had the wonderful Fiona Pears with her lovely piano-playing husband Ian up from Christchurch for a couple of gigs - one at Old St Paul's on Good Friday and the other at the Lembas Cafe in Raumati - both great venues and Fiona turned on her usual impeccable and energetic performance much to the delight and satisfaction to all concerned. It is always an incredible experience to perform with Fiona and Ian and we always look forward to them - Andrew was on fire even more than usual.

Cheers, Terry

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jazz On Bells

Lovely day in Blenheim yesterday (Sunday 21st). Flew down early and went straight to the site amongst the vines. Listened to the very excellent Marlborouigh Girls & Boys big bands and a great little Cuban quintet & played two sets. Extremely hot but very pleasant and receptive crowd of 500-odd. Had to stretch the last set out to fill in time so threw in Eric Idle's 'Galxay Song' and Pat Donohue's 'Would You Like to Play the Guitar'. James TJ is getting better & better and is such a good singer that we may have to fire him. The Blenheim Rotary folk who organised the gig were fantastic and treated us like royalty. We didn't break anything or offend anyone as far as we know so a very satisfactory visit all round. Also had a typically lovely evening at the Lake View in Wanga-vegas on Friday - great crowd who laughed in all the right places.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekend with Adams & Gavin

Just completed a very pleasant series of gigs with Richard Adams and Nigel Gavin of the Nairobi Trio. Old St Paul's on Friday night, Lembas Cafe, Raumati on Saturday afternoon then off to Martinborough in the Wairarapa to play at a private function on Saturday night - phew!! On Sunday picked up Neil Billington and went back to Carterton in the Wairarapa to play at a choice little venue called Lounge. Today Andrew is off on a well deserved holiday to somewhere in the region of Whitianga.

Cheers, T