Two gigs – take your pick

Skiffy Rivets.

I've got two gigs for you this time. They're both next week and, wouldn't you know it, they're on the same day.  

Having said that, they're so different I can't really imagine anyone wanting to do both, unless your tastes stretch from melodic folk music to massed heavy metal.

At the end of March I wrote about a Canadian folk outfit who were – in the absence of a Te Puna Hall – playing in Rosie's avocado orchard shed. It was a brilliant concert and the shed turned out to be a good little venue. Sure, numbers are confined to not a lot more than 50 but the acoustics are good, and it has a genuinely funky “down-home” feel.

The success of that was enough for Rosie to press ahead and next Friday, May 19, she has Pete and the Skiffy Rivets from Auckland. That's Pete Parnham - long-time folkie, founder member of The Remarkables - and while they fit the “folk” category Pete says “the band is all about singing great songs borrowed from different genres”.

Their recent album, Elbow Room, has material stretching from 1930s swing, to the Eagles, to Brandy Clarke, performed on acoustic/slide guitars, mandolin and upright bass; the key strength being two terrific female singers, Holly Carrington and Sue Tearne, as adept at fronting songs as providing close Andrews Sisters-style harmonies.

For the limited $20 tickets you need to contact Rosie email or phone 07 552 6291.

Getting Heavy

The same night at Totara St performance venue is a feast of heavy rock. Auckland alternative rock band Coridian are celebrating the release of their new single “Reflections” with support from locals Legion of Dissent and Hamilton heavyweight, Checaine. But the other local act interests me most.

The Eternal Sea released a very good album last year which sorta got lost in the shuffle.

Next Friday the band and the album are getting the relaunch they deserve.

The self-titled CD was written by singer/guitarist Mark Wright after ending his previous band Machete Justice. He enlisted the rhythm section of Simon Power and Jared Dykes, and Sean Bodley on extra guitar for the album release, but the boys never did much promotion or press. Nonetheless NZ Musician said this: “it's time to sit up and take notice. From the quality of the recording, to the songwriting and playing, to the album artwork… it's a class act all the way”. Last December Simon and Jared departed to be replaced by Ian Clark and Tom Roach on bass and drums respectively. And Sean re-joined full-time. Now the band are freshly motivated, working on material for a second The Eternal Sea album, planning more gigs and better promotion.

I haven't seen them live but I suspect they take no prisoners; the album is very impressive. On Friday all four bands will cost a mere $10.

A Renaissance Man

And one last not strictly musical thing...5pm Saturday night, May 20, at Zeus Gallery, Dave Roy previews a retrospective exhibition of his artwork - running till June 3 - called 29 Years. Dave has, as you might possibly guess, been following his eccentric art world path now for 29 years.

He has created in many mediums, including mixed media assemblies, straight painting, printmaking, and designing garden installations.

Perhaps the most striking of his 16 solo exhibitions explored his own battle with depression. He even created one of the trophies for the National Jazz Festival's Youth Band Competition.

I mention the exhibition because, on a parallel path, Dave is also a singer/songwriter who has recorded well over a dozen albums at Whakamarama's Boatshed Studio. Again, they are eclectically diverse. One has a song for each country Dave visited, each in the style of that country, each mentioning the country's favourite drink. One is all cover versions but with different tunes and rhythms. Most are Dave originals.

And he uses the best musicians around, the like of Marion Arts, Robbie and Oscar Levan, Trevor Braunias, Beano Gilpin, Mike Kirk, Sonia and Grant Bullot, often doing strangely left-field things. This is Folk Art: art created from imagination and spontaneity - imperfect, funny, touching and enjoyably warped.

Dave been plugging away, creating, for nearly three decades, delighting and perplexing people.

We're lucky to have him.                       


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