Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fat Freddy's Hit The Road This Summer





Photo Credit: Harry A’Court at Inject Design

Fat Freddys Drop are stoked to announce Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be joining them for three of their NZ Summer Tour shows, in Auckland at Western Springs,  Christchurch's Hagley Park and in Queenstown at John Davies Oval.

Fat Freddy's Drop are currently in the midst of an epic European tour that has been running since August and goes through to mid-November encompassing 30 shows. After playing some of the biggest EU festivals and selling-out Zitadelle, Berlin at 10k capacity, the band have already sold out upcoming shows in Brussels, Copenhagen, Manchester, Glasgow and Friday 8th November at O2 Academy Brixton in London.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra are also on an epic tour run across the globe in support of their latest album Sex and Food and have just finished their NZ Tour culminating in the triumphant sold-out performance at Auckland's Town Hall.

"UMO's show was an insane journey from hardcore psychedelic rock, to pop punk to alternative/indie and was an astonishing performance from all members of the band." - Radio 13

"The vibe was electric and emotional - audience members still wanted more" -

Freddy's MC Slave is the band's number one UMO fanboy, remarking, “They’re bad-ass musicians who’ve been trail blazing around the world big time. We’re lucky to have them with us for our New Zealand summer roady”.

Fat Freddy's Drop new single 'Trickle Down' has been heating up since its worldwide digital release. The electronic-driven reaction to the politics of the day – the false economic principle of wealth trickling down from the 1% to the 99% hit #1 on the Top 20 Hot NZ Singes chart.

Recorded at the band’s BAYS studio in their Wellington hometown, 'Trickle Down'  is a slice of the new album they’re cooking up as a follow-up to their earlier releases; BAYSBlackbird, Dr Boondigga & The Big BW and record breaking Based on a True Story.  'Trickle Down' is released digitally now and a 12” release to follow.

Fat Freddy’s Drop NZ Summer Tour 2019 dates:

Thursday 3 Jan : Toll Stadium, Whangarei
Special Guests The Black Seeds, Norman Jay MBE, Troy Kingi

Saturday 5 Jan : Wharepai Domain, Tauranga
By Special Arrangement: Salmonella Dub feat. Tiki Taane, Norman Jay MBE, and Troy Kingi

Monday 7 Jan : Thames Racecourse, Thames - Coromandel
Special Guests The Black Seeds, Norman Jay MBE

Wednesday 9 Jan : Neudorf Vineyard, Upper Moutere, Nelson
Special Guest Norman Jay MBE Legendary 3 hour DJ set

Saturday 12 Jan : Hagley Park, Christchurch
Special Guests Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Black Seeds, Norman Jay MBE, Ladi6
More to be announced

Monday 14 Jan : John Davies Oval, Queenstown
Special Guests Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Norman Jay MBE

Saturday 19 Jan : Western Springs Park, Auckland
Special Guests Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Norman Jay MBE, Ladi6, Troy Kingi, Silva MC, Logg Cabin

Monday 21 Jan : Williams Park, Days Bay, Wellington
Special Guests Norman Jay MBE - Legendary 3 hour DJ set

Tickets Available Now from Ticketmaster

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Today - 125 years of Women's Sufferage in New Zealand

2018 marks the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.  On 19 September 1893 the Electoral Act 1893 was passed, giving all women in New Zealand the right to vote.  As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
This Tier 1 Commemoration is being led by the Ministry for Women and supported by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.  We are working to connect events and activities across the country. Branding, social media and web platforms are being developed to facilitate these connections and establish a national programme of events to celebrate this significant anniversary.
Visit the Suffrage 125 facebook page here.

Throughout the year you'll see the above symbol on Suffrage 125 related activities. Be sure and keep an eye out and support the individuals, groups and organisations that are participating across the country. Details about wishing to use the Suffrage 125 symbol are here.
Suffrage 125 pins can be purchased through the National Council of Women, the National Library of New Zealand's gift shop and also Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga properties.   
Suffrage 125 aims to:
  • develop a commemorative programme that is relevant, meaningful and attractive to a diverse range of New Zealanders;
  • highlight previously untold stories of people who contributed to achieving suffrage in NZ – particularly stories from Māori, Pacific, and Chinese communities;
  • celebrate game-changing individuals of a range of ages and cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, who do extraordinary things to create positive social change for women and New Zealand; and
  • create a forum for conversations about our future and the importance of civic engagement and participation.
Key dates are:
  • 19 September, anniversary of when all New Zealand women over the age of 21 were granted the right to vote
  • 28 November, anniversary of when New Zealand women voted for first time.
A $300,000 contestable community fund has been launched to celebrate Suffrage125. For more information and how to apply for funding go to the Ministry for Women. Visit Creative New Zealand’s website for details about potential sources of funding for arts projects. You might want to visit the Lottery Grant’s website for other funding information.
Visit the NZHistory website to view a database listing the names that appeared on the main suffrage petition submitted to Parliament in 1893.

What’s happening so far?

These are just some of the organisations and proposed initiatives to celebrate Suffrage 125.
  • Royal New Zealand Ballet is proposing a programme of commissioned works by international female choreographers.
  • He Tohu at National Library will run a series of public programmes during 2018 focused around the suffrage petition.
  • Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision is working on an online exhibition of 125 people who have contributed to women’s rights in New Zealand, as well as a screening series and discussion forum.
  • Te Papa is publishing a book on 12 objects and essays exploring topics such women’s rights and suffrage.
  • Auckland Museum is holding a major exhibition exploring suffrage within a contemporary context.
  • Ministry for Education is seeking submissions on Suffrage 125 as part of Ministry in Māori Medium, bringing Māori history to life to Te Reo Māori learners.
  • Ministry for Culture & Heritage is developing a Suffrage 125 web page on NZHistoryfeaturing educational content, timeline and an online exhibition juxtaposing women activists today, 1970s women’s liberation and the 1890s suffragists.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The CoffeeBar Kid talks to Amy Shark

Aussie singer/songwriter Amy Shark is in town.  So, Groove's CoffeeBar Kid rang her up for a bit of a chat about her music and tour.  Details on that are below:
Amy Shark is an indie-pop songwriter who grew up in the Gold Coast, Australia. Before the success of Amy’s debut single ‘Adore,’ she had been a video editor for the Gold Coast Titans and a resident of Broadbeach Waters with her husband Shane and was an active musician on YouTube since 2014.
‘Adore’ was released in July 2016 and the track was almost immediately added to  Triple J, where it eventually peaked at #2 on the Triple J Hottest 100.
The single has accumulated over 60 million streams worldwide, debuted at #3 on the ARIA Singles Chart, peaked at #1 on the iTunes AU Singles Chart and Shazam’s Australia Top 100 - proving the hit to be a huge success in Australia, and is now certified three times platinum.
The video clip for ‘Adore’ was shot and edited by Amy herself and has had over 7 million views on YouTube.
Last year she was the winner of two ARIA awards (Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist) and her debut EP Night Thinker exploded into the top 10 on iTunes in 15 countries. Amy also became the first-ever Australian Apple Music ‘Up Next’ Artist.

Amy’s success story continues to grow both here and abroad. Her latest single ‘I Said Hi’ has reached 2 x platinum sales in Australia.

The Powerstation, Auckland            Thursday 13 September   
The Foundry, Christchurch               Friday 14 September        
Hunter Lounge, Wellington             Saturday 15 September    

Tickets to Amy Shark’s Love Monster tour are on sale now at              

Amy’s last NZ tour was a sell-out, more recently she performed at Auckland’s Laneway Festival, where she met this mum to be....

Sunday, September 02, 2018

The Adults - Meow (1 Sept 2018)

After a 7 year hiatus, Jon Toogood's The Adults project is back with a new band and a new direction that celebrates women from the Middle East and embraces the music and rhythms of Sudan. 
Tim Gruar (aka The CoffeeBar Kid) popped along to their debut show at Meow Bar over the weekend.

What a thrill to see Jon Toogood back on stage with this side project.  The frontman for New Zealand's hardest workin' rock act, Shihad, has been, err, maturing over the years and branching out into other styles and genres outside heavy metal and power rock.  His first venture as a 'grown-up' (hence the name) kicked off around 2010 as a Kiwi supergroup, a musical collaboration involving many established New Zealand musicians, including Shayne Carter, Julia Deans, Anika Moa, Tiki Taane and Ladi6.

The Adults released a self-titled album in 2011 which reached number four in the New Zealand album charts. The Adults has also been nominated for Album of the Year at the 2012 New Zealand Music Awards, and the single Anniversary Day was on the long list for the 2012 APRA Silver Scroll award.

I can remember seeing them at the last Big Day and was well impressed by the diversity of the material.  And this time, 7 years on from their debut, Toogood has assembled a different line up to make considerably different music.  Inspired by his wedding in Khartoum, his writing has been definitively defined by Middle Eastern themes and chants.  Haja draws from Sudanese folk music Aghani-Al-Banat.  It is African music performed exclusively by women.  However, Toogood doesn't just appropriate, he showcases it.  Most of the songs on the album are sung by women.  And you can hear this on the opening track.  Sadly Chelsea Jade, who sings the actual vocals on the song was not present tonight but Rapper Raiza Biza was, alongside the wonderfully talented Estère, who delivered the percussion lead groove Bloodlines.  This one mixes ancient Arabic drum tattoos with heavy electronic layers and reedy chanters.  Her voice was finely tuned and as impressive as her elegant attire.  This lady is all class and delivered perfectly.  She told me after that the rehearsals had been short and intense.  Toogood seemed pretty nervous on stage, lest we didn't like what he was bringing.  The distance from Churn and Haja is vast - at least on paper.  Yet musically, it's not really that far.  After all, heavy rock gods Led Zep managed it.  Take Kashmir, for a start.

Percussionist Steve Bremner
That Gold was originally done by Aaradhna but guitarist Emily Browning and Estère gave us a really powerful rendition.  With help from Raiza Biza on rhymes, this track had the potential to be huge.  However, Meow's living room/lounge room space and sound system don't really give the bass power the track really needs.

Most of the set, with the exception of Nothing to Lose and the big wig out encore Short Change, came from the new album.  Despite knowing their roots, to me, all of them had an indeterminate Middle Eastern flavour to them.  So, it was hard to actually pinpoint exactly where influences come from but that didn't really matter.  Only Gisma, the final song on the album was specific in its identity - being a dedication to one of the musicians who played on every track.

Raiza Biza opens the show with his jazz-based rap
The songs weren't overly long, as that could easily become mundane and repetitive.  Some hinted at the kind of Raga that Paul Ubana Jones does so well.  In the mix was dance, pop, hip-hop, reggae and a bit of the old Toogood indie (think Home Again) - all glued up with moody bass lines played by Toogood himself and backed by some superb percussion from Steve Bremner and Trinity Roots' Ben Would.  The latter two made some excellent tribal beats which weaved themselves through the tracks seamlessly.

The lead single Bloodlines remains a standout, boasting Estere's ethereal vocals and Jess B's insane bars which at times seem to flow with barely a second to breathe.

The most redeeming track tonight is the single Take it On the Chin, originally done by Kings, originally lacked the female voice that was present elsewhere on the album but that was rectified with both ladies on the song's vocals tonight.  It would not be right to call this album, or Raiza Biza's opening slow jazz rap set, 'Girl Power' but you definitely felt that there was a huge amount of respect being paid here.  And that needed to be acknowledged.  For an opening show, it was short and painless.  Not entirely overwhelming, but a good start made from the security of a stage in a room that was only just a little bigger than an oversized living room.  Just wait until they get to Auckland!

Tim Gruar (