It is rather stating the bleedin' obvious to point out that it gets busy at this time of year.
So busy that last time I missed out mentioning a fantastic show happening this weekend at The Jam Factory. I will make up for that this week.
But first I, and no doubt more than a few folk, am reeling at the discovery all Amazon stores except the American one have stopped delivering to New Zealand. As someone who does a lot of Christmas shopping on-line, particularly from Amazon in the UK, this is a crushing blow present-wise.
We of course have to thank the bloody government and its desire to load GST onto even the smallest foreign purchases. What it means here is a massive number of products – happily enjoyed by other countries – are no longer available to ordinary New Zealanders. Amazon have effectively said that this country is too small to bother with.
One of the big classes of item this effects is music. Yes, there are people who still buy music in physical form. There's a lot that will be very hard to obtain in this country now that we are banned from Amazon. That's not knocking music sellers in this country, it's just the reality: they can't stock everything.
This must be a good point to insert a quick plug for Record Roundabout. As mentioned a few weeks back, Record Roundabout, the on-again, off-again music shop for over 30 years, is now on again, down at The Historic Village.
I mention this as a reminder to local artists that Tony Pill, head honcho there, is a big supporter of local music and eager to stock and sell CDs, records and whatever paraphernalia you have. The latest Tauranga release you'll find in Record Roundabout is Ship Of Fools by B-Side Band.
This is certainly the most recent locally-produced album since it hasn't yet officially been launched. That's going to happen at the end of January – watch this space! Just in case anyone is looking for Christmas presents locally, now that Amazon has barred Kiwis, B-Side boys has made early copies available at the Village. You can probably also go through their website or Facebook page.
I've actually heard Ship Of Fools and although I'll save reviewing it ‘till the official launch I must say I reckon it's the best thing the band have done. More confident and focused with each release, this one proudly embraces their unique brand of Kiwiana Rockabilly.
Okay, since we're now at the Village, that leads nicely into tomorrow (Saturday 7 December) night's show there by the most excellent ground-breaking Gitbox Rebellion.
Gitbox Rebellion are what you might call an acoustic guitar orchestra, but only because there's no real term for an instrumental ensemble featuring eight guitarists.
Gitbox Rebellion were an early brainchild of New York-born Kiwi guitar virtuoso Nigel Gavin, veteran of the Nairobi Trio and Jews Brothers Band, who has played and recorded with Lorina Harding, Wayne Gillespie, Whirimako Black, Richard Adams, Caitlin Smith, the Blue Bottom Stompers, and many more.
When formed back in 1988 I think they were just called Gitbox, touring and releasing two albums. And so impressive that in 1990 legendary King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp came calling, inviting Nigel to travel to the US to teach Fripp's own guitar ensemble, Guitarcraft, some of his 'Gitbox' techniques and material. Following this international collaboration, Nigel was hired to tour around the world with Guitarcraft, giving concerts and workshops, as well as working on several of their albums.
Come 2017, after many requests, Nigel reformed Gitbox Rebellion. The new line-up features three original members – Nigel, Kim Halliday and Russell Hughes, along with five newcomers, and has been performing live and recording new works. They play mainly original compositions as well as a few well-loved guitar hero covers. If their earlier work and music on their website is anything to go by they will be spectacular, a wonderful treat for guitar and music lovers.
Doors open 6.30pm, tickets are $20 from Events Pronto (and perhaps the door).