Soundtracks, songwriters and Big Muffins

Music Plus
with Winston Watusi

I had intended to turn this week over to music reviews.

The lede was debut album 'Soul Exodus' from John Michaelz and the Black Brothers Band, local reggae in a very appealing package.

Then I was completely derailed by a night of pogoing at Frank Turner's invigorating Auckland show last weekend. He called it a “punk rock gig” and I neglected to factor in the knowledge that I am no longer 18 and to remember that one of punk's most important attributes is strong ankles.

Frank Turner.

So no reggae this week. But there is a new Knids' track up on Spotify. It's an alternative version of 'Promised Land', the opening song from their 2022 album 'Rescue Me', this time with a vocal by Mikey Knid rather than Chris Knid. It's very cool. Where Chris's impassioned vocal added a certain urgency this is a “straighter” take with the song again showing off that interesting intersection of guitar rock and eighties synth grooves which The Knids often inhabit.

Troy Kingi.

Without that other Tauranga release let me just inch sideways into the new offering from Troy Kingi. This album is the eighth in eight years of a widely-reported planned ten albums in ten years, each in different musical genres.

Called 'Time Wasters: Soundtrack to Current Day Meanderings', it is credited to Troy Kingi & The Room Service and is, as the name suggests, a series of instrumentals. They are funky, smooth and very groovy and all up the music works perfectly for what the title claims. Cool.

Big Muffin Serious Band.

OK. Let's move to a couple of gigs. Once again the Katikati Folk Club have pulled off a bit of a coup with their visitors on Friday December 1 being Hamilton's legendary Big Mufffin Serious Band. An offshoot – some 40 years ago – of political pioneers the McGillicuddy Party, you should expect harmonies, ukuleles, a tea-chest bass and, in complete contradiction to their name, excessive silliness. See the KKFC website for deets.

Closing off, I'd like to remind you of two upcoming sessions at Bayfair's The Freeport with Cleaver & Co. On Thursday November 30 Finn Curtis is hosting another 'Songwriters Session'. This time there are five songwriters featuring: Pete Fountain, Paul Moran, David Bower, Ed Rizzi and Tyran Curtis. The evening runs from 6 to 9pm; no charge.

Nikau Grace.

The following Thursday (December 7) blues-rock band Rehaab present two more hip 'n' happenin' 'Cleaver Indie Artists'. Firstly there's  Nikau Grace, who is on the cusp of doing extraordinary things. You might have seen her on TV3's The Project and heard her story of achieving the goal of singing at Spark Arena before turning 15 after being invited to perform with Sol3 Mio. She is a fine singer and budding songwriter.


The other feature act are hard-rocking young Taupo band Sonorous who made the National Battle of the Bands final in Wellington and are opening for Simple Minds and others at this year's Summer Festival. They really are pretty impressive. It's a 7.30pm start, again no charge.

Hear Winston's latest Playlist below: