Organisers of recent festivals must be breathing a sigh of relief. No rain. That's top of the wish-list for any festival organiser. All of the bands turning up on time is highly desirable but you can work around that. But at an outdoor festival rain is the kiss of death.
But the fact is, as I write this column, it matters little that we seem about to be hit by a flood-inducing deluge. And even if it lasts until next weekend it won't make much difference because all of the events I'm going to write about are indoors.
Once again I'm looking a weekend ahead. Two reasons. Firstly, most people I know are now so busy – jobs, kids, and all of life's other little impediments – that they need time to plan. And secondly, it's a really busy weekend with a whole range of diverse stuff coming up.
And perhaps that last fact points to the development of Tauranga: there are still many things missing from the mix for making this a vibrant musical centre, but when you look at the variety on offer next weekend it does suggest a brighter future.
There's nothing thematically musically binding in any of these events so let's just take them in chronological order.
A year of film
And the first one isn't even music. The Tauranga Film Society starts its annual season on Wednesday, March 15. Screening at the Rialto Cinema the opening offer is George Cukor's classic 1939 comedy ‘The Women'. Films show every two weeks and the year's joining fee is $90, or seniors $80, for an eclectic line-up of movies old and new from around the world. To get full details of the programme and how to join, head to: nzfilmsociety.org.nz/tauranga.html
Next night is the biggest of the gigs. Thursday, March 16, Midge Ure is coming to the Totara Street performance venue. The Midge Ure. Yep, the ex-Ultravox singer and songwriter is bringing a three-piece to the Mount and promising to play all his hits. So expect ‘Vienna', ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes' and more; as well as early songs from his time in The Rich Kids and Visage.
In fact the band is promising one song from each of the frontman's many albums, right through the solo work he produced after Ultravox. Though one song he co-wrote is unlikely to get an airing: ‘Do They Know It's Christmas?' is still the second-highest selling single in the United Kingdom chart history but is probably best left for festive occasions…
Tickets? Get them from Ticketek, at $66.50 each.
Cheers to St Patrick
On to Friday, March 17 – St Patrick's Day! If there was ever an excuse for drinking heavily while singing rousingly sentimental Oirish songs this is it. And the place to do it is The Matua Pub.
Why do I say that? Well, that day marks the long-requested reunion of Tauranga's original Blarney Boys, Andy Craw and Robbie Laven. Andy and Robbie infamously “fell out” about six years ago and since then anyone in search of a little musical Blarney Boy lovin' has been crash out of luck. But plenty of Guinness has flowed under the bridge in the interim and at long last the pair are reuniting. If you want Irish music you won't find any better that day. From 5pm-8pm, no charge.
Or if you're at the Mount on Friday pop along to the Mount Social Club where you can hear the wonderful Alice Sea singing from 6pm. There's no charge.
Americana folk duo Hungrytown.
The Saturday trifecta
And Saturday, March 18, keeps up the pace. Take your pick of three events...
Back at Totara Street guitarist Tony Painting and singer Leon Ruwfiu are fronting a Deep Purple tribute show. Expect two-and-a-half hours of classic rock; it'll cost you a mere $20.
Meanwhile, at 8.30pm down at Bayfair in Imbibe, Auckland punk-metallers Ginzu And The Steak Knives are launching their new vinyl EP along with local heroes Super Narco Man and Auckland's Slumbug. The bands promise not only excellent riffs but free hugs, all for just $5.
And, finally, Americana folk duo Hungrytown, which have three albums and extensive tours of America and Europe under their belt, are coming to the Katikati Folk Club. I've seen them, they're terrific! It takes place at Katikati Bowling Club at 7.30pm, cost is$20 or members $15.