Bic and I had a lot of hurried and pressured fun and amusement, working our collective asses off for the 20th Anniversary of the release of her many, many times platinum release, Drive.
Bic chose amazing female performers to accompany her onstage during her two-set performance, which also featured Shayne Carter, and her backing band of Cass Basil, Tom Healy and Kody Neilson. Bic’s performance at The Civic Theatre was welcomed by a powhiri, a powerful opening at Auckland’s loveliest venue, and a tribute to such a talented and respected music icon.
After announcing her tour on The Project, Bic appeard on the cover of M2 Woman, across all relevant local print media and featured on almost all local radio waves and many national television programmes. As she deserves to be, Bic was omnipresent.
Future Islands arrived in New Zealand at the end of a grueling, almost nine constant months of touring, yet some amazing things happened: A super delicious and generous meal at the home of Wellington’s biggest fan, the owner of chocolatier Baron Hasselhoff’s; Against all odds, Sam came alive on San Fran’s intimate Wellington stage for two sold-out nights in a row; Two of the touring party ran a half marathon; Their sold-out Powerstation show left the masses a jubilant, quivering mess, including our then-new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.
Orchestra of Spheres are unlike any other band, which most bands can’t honestly say. I mean, they might say it, but it’s just not true. Ethnomusicology meets outerspace, dancebeats meet psychedlia and prog. They have collectively exploded the minds of many international bands and confounded the brains of more Americans than I care to count.
They are exhilarating and bizarre, keeping people riveted with their mix of homemade instruments and unique stage presence.
The Residents for 2018? Beyond comparison to something even such as this? Whatever it is, Spheres are a refreshing and needed burst of genre-blending experimentation.
Annabel Alpers’ psychedelic space pop compositions are harmonic vocal symphonies. capturing the ears of listeners across the planet, with multiple European and United States, New Zealand and Australia tours. She has kicked ass touring with Beach House, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Low, and The Magnetic Fields. Her music can be found on the highly-revered label, Drag City, out of Chicago; Mistletone, in Australia, and Particle Tracks in New Zealand. Bachelorette’s music has been used in film, television and advertising in all the above territories, with several renewals.
Currently Annabel is working on soundscapes as art/music installation, soon to be premiered in New Zealand.
March 2003 was a busy month for bands! Trans Am toured Auckland and Wellington with the Fucking Champs, leaving waves of New Zealanders screaming for more of the Kiwi’s favourite Trans Am album, TA.
Trans Am was so psyched to be here that they threw the rental car keys into the bay of Opoutere from a trick swim trunk pocket and recorded their next album in Auckland.
The crowd was psyched to see Le Tigre at a tight Auckland date the day before they played their Big Day Out stadium show. There was madness at the front of stage, with people clawing through the cables - but too much! And one of the monitors became unplugged. The whole house pulled together to fix it as quickly as possible - go Kings Arms! People were brought together because of the great crumpled cable caper.
With guitar in full metal harmony, the Fucking Champs charmed New Zealand on their first Kiwi tour. The Champs are known to make people cry with their anthemic tunes and resolution, and their two shows here were no exception.
The Fucking Champs and Trans Am were an amazing tour to produce!!
Weird War came to New Zealand not wanting any days off, which is difficult to accomplish when you don’t want the band’s jetlag to bowl them over, onstage. After forcing them to take their first night in New Zealand easy, their slack time was made up to them by performing a concert at Ponsonby Intermediate School , which was, by Ian’s account, the most difficult show he has ever had to play. Weird War performed three other shows in New Zealand in more traditional venues, and they all rocked and created some Weird Wargasm in a purely clean, sou-shaking sense.
Will Oldham visited New Zealand two times under Mystery Girl Presents’s efforts: 2004 and 2006. The first run consisted of two shows in Auckland at the Dogs Bollix and one in Wellington, after spending an awesome first night in New Zealand out in the deep Waitakeres. Will’s second tour started as a small group, but grew to include Mick Turner from The Dirty Three; Kamila Thompson; Aram Stith; Gregg Cairns; and partners and children along the way. I just read that about this crazy, lengthy, NZ tour, Will said “She put together just the greatest itinerary of all New Zealand shows.” It was amazing. And pretty wild, by the end.
Bill Callahan supported Joanna Newsom at two shows, Auckland and Wellington. I always buy the bands I work with welcome to New Zealand packs, with things people wouldn’t be familiar with from outside of New Zealand.
I collected Joanna and Bill to perform at the Maidment Theatre, and Bill saw some juice he’d never heard of. He guzzled it down about ten minutes before he was meant to go on stage, and he broke out into hives. I was lamenting my choice of fruit, and Joanna was a bit freaked out. But, in his laconic way, he strolled out onto stage, played an amazing set, and returned into the green room hives completely dissipated.