Gigs, past and future

Apollo Steam Train.

Sometimes there's just too much to fit in.

There are upcoming gigs to plug, past gigs to recall, and then albums for review started arriving out of the blue last week. So much music, so little time.

Or, as Ritchie Pickett used to say “So many drummers, so little time.” I was reminded of that at the launch for Graham Clark's new book about Ritchie which attracted a packed crowd at No 1 The Strand last Sunday and brought together old musical buddies of Ritchie's from as far off as Rotorua, Hamilton, Wellington and Whangarei.

In fact, two members of New Zealand's top country band, the Wallace Family, drove down from Whangarei especially to play a few songs and commemorate the life of their old mate. It was a great day. If you want a book and missed out, contact Graham through the Brilleaux website.

And, showing there are plenty of people looking for music on a Sunday afternoon, it was also packed across town at The Matua Pub where The Blarney Boys were performing for a final time. Andy Craw (or as Ritchie delighted in calling him, ‘Randy Claw') has sold the bar and, with the possibility of their Sunday music ending, everyone went down for one last bash with Andy, Chris Gunn, Mike Kirk, Robbie Laven and others playing to a raucous house.

Actually, this Sunday is Andy's last day and Hamilton's Tim Armstrong will be playing; I imagine it will be just as crowded.

Coming soon

Now some upcoming gigs.

It's heartening to note that Shane Cortese's rock 'n' roll show at The Entertainers Club on Sunday, July 9 has sold out. That's the second month in a row that the club has had sold-out events so congrats to Nicole Stagg who books the bands and has obviously got her finger on the pulse of exactly what attending punters want to hear.

But, before that, there's a gig at Drivers Bar in the 11th Ave Shopping Centre (by Maccas) where two widely disparate acts are on display. I've always found Drivers to be a slightly strange venue in that it's kinda small and doesn't really look like a music bar. But, despite those limitations, owners Pete and Deb have been loyal supporters of the music scene and have hosted numerous fine gigs, many of them featuring original music. Hats off to them.

This Saturday, July 1, sees local act Apollo Steam Train putting their wares on display. They've been busy since their last Tauranga gig, playing in Palmerston North and Hamilton and recording an EP. They had the pleasure of working with international producer Greg Haver and his team at Neil Finn's Roundhead Studios in Auckland and are currently setting up promotion for the release of the EP's first single.

I'd describe their music as ‘mainstream rock' but that obviously covers many bases so you may want to check out their recent single at

Before them – doors open at 8pm – are oddly theatrical 70s retro act Sonic Surfer, led by keyboard player Anthony Coulter. The evening costs $10.

Totara St

And, in case space closes up and I can't mention these next time, there are a couple of nights of aggressive overkill coming to Totara St performance venue at the Mount.
I got the new CD from Sean Bodley last week but haven't had time to listen beyond the first couple of tracks. It sounds magnificent, another triumph of instrumental guitar music, dazzling as always. He's playing with The Eternal Sea on Saturday, July 8 when they support Hamilton's Alien Weaponry. Also on the bill are Auckland's Average Mars Experience. Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 (pre-sale) on Eventfinda – expect the ground to tremble with extreme heaviness.

And – just a heads-up – another album that arrived last week came from Aussie punks The Pinheads and they're heading to the Mount a week later on Friday, July 14. I should mention that their self-titled album is certainly the most ‘authentic' punk record I've heard in years and they have a fearsome live reputation.

Be warned.

Next week: album reviews.


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