Musical allsorts – take your pick

Left: Richard O’Brien. Right: Mark Sainsbury, not the newsreader.

I must confess that I like these columns to be ordered and tidy; it's long been a failing, but there you go.

On the other hand, learning to embrace chaos is an essential element in appreciating music, with most music relying on a judicious mix of the carefully planned and the freshly spontaneous.

That's equally true of wild rock ‘n' roll as it is of sophisticated jazz. An object lesson in the former is ‘Gimme Danger', the new documentary about Iggy and The Stooges – directed by the always-hip Jim Jarmusch – though jazz is possibly a more obvious example, mixing meticulously-arranged musical passages with intuitive improvisation, order and disorder balancing each other, side by side.

But that's music. I like to keep columns orderly: gigs with connections, an easy through line. And 700 words ain't War And Peace. At the very least it should tie together.

Not this week. I've got four gigs during the next month that I want to give a plug. They'll all be top class and the thing I hear most often is that people don't hear about gigs soon enough. But…

There's really no connection between them. Zip, zero, zilch. Not a sausage. The music is different, venues are different, times of day are different; prices are different. I have searched in advance and in vain for clever segues. Nope. No artful links. So I'll just take them in order and not waste space – here we go, get your calendars handy.

Gigs in February

First up is The HipShooters. You might remember them from last week's column. I was talking about this weekend when they're playing at Driver's Bar. It'll be a blast. However, if during this Saturday night's Hipshooting celebration of rhythm & blues you happen to be lacking a babysitter or going to a mate's 21st or washing your hair or one of the other thousand things that get in the way of live shows, the band is returning the following weekend and playing an afternoon gig at The Funky Lizard in Paengaroa, from 2pm on Sunday, February 19.

If you don't know it, the Funky Lizard is just after the new motorway starts, on the Te Puke road, and is well worth a trip for its food, drink, artwork and, well, general funkiness. I can't think of a much better way of spending a Sunday afternoon than watching The Hipshooters play there.

Second up is something really special that I'll try and come back to before it arrives. Consider this just a heads-up. On Wednesday, February 22, The Hop House at the Mount presents Mundy, with special guest Dezi Donnelly. I suspect that won't mean much to many of you. Mundy is a folk singer, Dezi is a fiddler. Trust me, they are really famous: having them at The Hop House or in Tauranga at all is extraordinary.

As I say, I'll come back to this but Mundy has, for example, performed for Barack Obama, teamed up with Pink Floyd, Culture Club, The Verve, and even Paul McCartney, and his albums sell in multi-platinum numbers. Seriously. Find more at:

Gigs in March

Tony Painting is an English guitarist I've long admired from his blues playing. He comes to town in a different guise on March 18 with his band The Power, bringing a Deep Purple tribute show to the Mount's Totara St. There's not a lot more to say. They're a good solid band and clearly brave enough to take on Deep Purple's very challenging material. Tickets are $20 from Eventfinda.

And last and definitely not least, I have word that Richard O'Brien's birthday celebration raising funds for Starship Children's hospital is already one-quarter sold-out. On March 24 Richard hits Baycourt for 75 Years Of Frock & Roll, a night of music, humour and generally glam fabulousness.

Richard will be joined by the legendarily whiskery Mark Sainsbury, who recently shrugged off respectability to don fishnets and play the narrator in ‘The Rocky Horror Show', and a bunch of highly-esteemed musicians for a night that promises more than a few surprises. What more can one ask?


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