Favourite Wellington Music Moment

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    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment: Rob Joass & Hobnail

    20.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Rob Joass.
    Rob moved to New Zealand from his native Sydney over 25 years ago. Since then he has maintained a consistently high profile in folk music circles in New Zealand, having released 10 albums with his bands Hobnail, Too Many Chiefs and The Shot Band, and touring the country regularly. He has been a finalist at the NZ Music Awards 3 times (twice for best country song, once for best folk album) and has had songs covered by bands in New Zealand and Canada. His third solo album “Pencarrow” was released recently to rave reviews.
    “…a songwriter’s songwriter…beautifully done, understated and allows the songs to breathe.” 4/5 stars – music.net.nz

    I have organised a charity fundraiser supporting DCM’s work with the homeless in Wellington for several years. Everybody I approached from the industry, including many of the most successful musicians in town, didn’t hesitate to offer their services. No egos, no demands, just a willingness to help out. In fact one of my favourite things about making music in NZ is that the most successful people are often the nicest and most generous people you can hope to meet.

    It has been 25 years since Hobnail (then Hobnail Boots) made their first tentative steps in the world. Rob Joass and Jo Moir had previously played together in the short lived Wild Blue Yonder, an acoustic folk/pop band influenced by the likes of Paul Kelly and The Go-Betweens (career highlight – opening for Suzanne Vega!) Hobnail Boots was an altogether different animal, starting life as a party band playing celtic and country music, but always with a solid slice of original material thrown in. Finding their original material as popular with audiences as the cover versions, they started taking things a bit more seriously, recording and touring their own music, and were invited to play in North America on the back of their first 2 albums. Since then Hobnail has continued what they have started calling their endless tour, performing all over NZ (including the Mercury Bay Music Festival, Christchurch Folk Festival, The Caroline Bay Festival and a wonderful Lazy Sunday at Hagley Park to an estimated 3,000 happy fans).

    It’s the eve of their 8th and 25th Anniversary Best of album release “Boots And All” in late June, with a tour reaching far and wide planned during June and July. In the lead up they have recorded a ripping version of the 1983 classic Sierra Leone by Coconut Rough. Built around the driving violin of Jo Moir and sung by bass player Hamish Graham, this version pays due respect to the original while giving it a definite Hobnail spin. Hobnail have always drawn from folk/rock influences, and while their take on Sierra Leone falls towards the rock end of that spectrum it will not disappoint long term fans of a band who have always taken an eclectic approach to cover versions to go alongside their respected catalog of original music.

    I was engineering a session at Mediate Music a little over 25 years ago. A “Medieval Folk” group called The Caught Jesters were in the studio. The percussionist had a variety of instruments, including ankle bells. We spent quite a bit of time working out how best to capture the magic of that particular instrument. Lets just say he had a unique approach to music. And life. That was Hamish Graham, who I have now worked with continuously ever since. No more ankle bells, but still most definitely unique.


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    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment: Josie Moon

    17.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is independent pop singer & producer Josie Moon. Josie began to make music as a way to move forward with growth and self improvement from a period of depression, and released her first single Satellite 2 years ago when she was only 19. She has since gone from strength to strength with debut E.P Rose Tinted and an opening slot for Tash Sultana.

    One of my favourite moments tied to music in Wellington was last year in summer. I used to work at a hotel and I would write a lot of lyrics on my waiter note pad during my shifts, and then when I finished (usually around 10pm) I would walk down to the waterfront and write for an hour before I got my bus home. It was still warm enough outside and a lot of people would still be going for walks on the docks with their partners or dogs. It was a gentle and welcoming atmosphere to get some of my work done in after I had been sweating all night waiting tables.


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    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – The Polly Johnson Set

    15.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is The Polly Johnson Set, who released their self-titled full length debut earlier this year.

    A couple of years ago we had a gig at a venue we’d been desperate to play for ages. We were super excited. Turned out to be a total wreck, our worst gig ever. Mic stands collapsed, instruments were dropped and damaged, one of us had a coughing fit mid song, another tripped over, songs were forgotten, major feedback issues, not to mention the punter standing by the sound desk who kept leaning on all the controls and sending them way out of whack! A classic case of if something could go wrong, it did. We finished that gig totally demoralised. But ultimately it made us stronger. It made us understand our weaknesses, accept what we could and couldn’t control, and commit to being the band that we knew we could be. That gig did us a favour and gave us a kick up the ass, and we’re a better band for it.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Jack Panther

    13.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is upcoming indie-pop artist Jack Panther, who writes ‘sad boi pop’ and has just released his debut E.P Retrospect.

    The track I’m proudest of from my debut EP is ‘Closer’. This took me around 5 years to write, from start to finish. I first wrote the chorus when I was around 15/16 years old and then finished writing the pre-chorus late last year. It only took me so long because I struggled to execute the tracks “vibe”.

    I was inspired by a night out going to one of my favourite events in Wellington; Eyegum at San Fran on a Wednesday night. Each week is something exciting and different. I’ve seen and discovered so many cool and amazing bands play over the years. I was inspired by an especially different Eyegum, where I had just started seeing someone, who at the time was about to leave the country. I guess you could say it was a bit tumultuous. The last act was finishing up and I got a text from him, saying “I’m outside”. I headed straight outside because at the time I was drunk, and may or may not have possibly been high.

    I stumbled out onto Marion Street where he stood, leaning against his motorbike; it was something like out of an 80s movie. Now, I knew he had a motorbike but I never thought I’d actually get to go on it.
    We exchanged hugs, he gave me his helmet, he sat down on the front and revved the engine. Still in awe, I sat down on the back, closed my eyes and held onto him. I had to take off my glasses to fit the helmet, so I was gripping on for dear life as we drove down Vivian Street, into the dead of night. It was such a thrill, passing all the street lights and I looked up into the sky, seeing a blur of what must’ve been a full moon.

    I think of that night fondly; I fully came to life – I probably just loved the feeling of danger.

    Lyrics:
    “I can’t replace it,
    Motorbike under the moon I’m holding onto ya,
    No I’m not gonna let go,
    It makes my heart shiver,
    It’s scared when we’re not together,
    But if I pull on ‘Closer’ to ya,
    Would you let it all go?”


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Grayson Gilmour

    10.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Grayson Gilmour, solo artist, band member and film composer. Starting with solo CD-Rs at 16, he formed So So Modern at 20 who, after seemingly endless tours around the globe, achieved an underground cult status for their unique electronic/post-punk sound, intense live shows, and ridiculous costumes. His solo releases caught the welcoming ears of critics over the years, and eventually the attention of NZ’s iconic Flying Nun Records, who made him the first signing of their 2010 re-launch. Since composing for film, Grayson has received awards for ‘Best Score’ at the NZ Film Awards for The Most Fun You Can Have Dying, and ‘Best Original Music’ for Consent at the APRA Silver Scrolls. While undertaking his Masters in Composition at the NZSM, Gg’s 2014 solo release, Infinite Life! was nominated for ‘Best Alternative Album’ at the NZ Music Awards, and the critics choice Taite Music Prize. Having released his latest album Otherness to critical acclaim, Gg is currently lecturing at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts in between film scoring projects and rare live performances.

    So So Modern played almost 400 shows across 21 countries, and it all began on an empty floor, in an inner city building, in Wellington central. Terrible landlords have a bad reputation, and rightly so, but sometimes their incompetence turns into opportunity for young and hungry artists. This was definitely the case with SSM — a floor to call our own; hang out together, skate, ride BMXs, jam and make music that would take us around the world.

    So So Modern’s first ever tele-feature with John Campbell shows the rehearsal space that Grayson talks about above.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Blue River Baby Band

    09.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Up next is Cam from Blue River Baby Band, with a cool memory of taking their music outside Wellington to a bigger audience.

    A Favorite memory for me would be playing NYE in Nelson, and watching a sea of 20,000 people dancing and moving in unison to our music, a totally euphoric and humbling surreal experience, we all had smiles for a few days after that. There’s nothing like the buzz of playing live, 1,000 x better than any drug out there.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – DEAF

    08.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Luke from DEAF, a Wellington Postpunk band formed in 2018. The band were handpicked to open for Peter Murphy and David J from goth legends Bauhaus and have opened for Jesus and The Mary Chain & Drab Majesty.

    One of the best musical memories I’ve had is playing Wellington’s now sorely missed Mighty Mighty.
    The shows that you would play there were so shambolically brilliant and there was a great sense of community there. There’s been a cavernous space in Wellington’s musical landscape ever since it’s demise.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Wallace

    07.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is future-soul singer Wallace. Wallace Gollan spent her early years in New Zealand, and still has strong memories for her hometown of Wellington. Now based in Sydney she has won a swag of glowing reviews from international taste makers and publications; high profile international supports such as Slum Village; winning the JJJ unearthed Listen Out slot for Sydney; high profile playlist adds on spotify and collaborations with acclaimed international acts such as Kraak and Smaak and outstanding Australian peers such as Sampa the Great. Her latest track Pantone Home is essentially a walk through the duck egg blue house she grew up in, where everything in the song is 100% true.

    “Wow, what a voice… Just good soul music” – Gilles Peterson

    Wellington is so special to me, my heart has been growing fonder and fonder over the past 7 years I’ve been away. I’ve actually written two songs about our little harbour city. ‘Pantone Home’, which I released last year, takes you on a tour through the colourful house I grew up in high in the hills of Brooklyn.
    The other track Ae Fond Kiss is waiting in the wings to be released later this year. It’s inspired (and named after) a Scottish folk song my dad used to sing to me and also features our fierce Wellington wind.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Liam Poole

    03.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    First up this time is Liam Poole, a singer-songwriter originally from Nelson but now based in Wellington. He gigs regularly around town at the Night Market & various bars, and was part of the recent Cuba Dupa Festival. He currently has 2 EP’s on Spotify and iTunes: Fly High EP & Wake Up EP.

    My fondest musical memory was creating my ‘Wake Up EP’ in an intimate basement studio. In particular, watching two pros, my Producer, Mark McKenzie, and the saxophonist, Simon Williams create the incredible Saxophone stabs for the track ‘Change Me’ from scratch.

     


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Flo Wilson

    23.05.18 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Flo Wilson.

    One of my favourite memories of Wellington music was now destroyed Munki Studios; it was a concrete building off Taranaki St run by Mike Gibson that was formerly run by the NZ Secret Service. My favourite part of that space was walking into the drum room which was once the vault! You felt like you were performing in history. Mike was also one of the only male studio engineers I’d come across in my early years as a musician who also pointed out blatant sexism/ gendering of studio equipment. Awesome guy!


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