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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Groove at WOMAD

The Coffee Bar Kid and DJ Dean had a fantastic time at WOMAD 2009 in New Plymouth. Huge ups to Lauren Clough and Lisa Mullen and all the fantastic people in the Media Centre. We rubbed shoulders with Natasha Atlas, Members of the Jerry Can Band, Anika Moa, Mihirirangi, Shona Laing and Warren Maxwell from little Bushman, amongst many others. We took many photos and you can see those on our flickr site Highlights would be Seun Kuti (son of Fela) who's live energetic show was amazing - the man is tall and dominant on stage - challenging the "rulers" of Africa he communicated with his audience with his funk overdrive. Dean commented that the guitarist was able to maintain the same chord riff for over 20 minutes. Apparently their timing is within 1000th of a Second - It showed. Little Bushman was another highlight, as was meeting Warren Maxwell - whom we interviewed - stayed tuned for details of when that will play. Warren was definitely buzzing after his performance.

If you've never been to the Bowl of Brooklands, you are missing a treat. A natural vocanic bowl, it makes a oerfect ampitheatre, music from the mainstage drifts up through the bowl. We arrived on Friday night and the sounds of an Indian Group was wafting around the setting. The night was very still and the lighting of trees, awnings and the Gables (an old house once used as a hospital) was very pretty, very serene.

The WOMAD venue had 7 stages, all changing each hour. Seun Kuti commented that he'd never performed with a clock on stage. Artists get exactly an hour to play, then in the hour's down time the crew set up for the new show. Meanwhile on another stage, or even two new acts are going on. To cover the possibility of missing an act all artists perform at least twice.

Acts we made sure to catch on the second show were Gurrumal and Dengue Fever. Gurrumal, , Blind from birth, is a very shy yet still charasmatic performer. He was very gentle on stage simply singing and playing with his small band, but clearly in charge.

Dengue Fever are an interesting act, a band fronted by a genuine Cambodian pop star, and 'staffed' by a Sikh, a very tall Afro American, a Moslem (I think) and a Chinese drummer, a truley international band. These guys were certainly an eye opener, as was the film about their trip back to Cambodia and their interest in Cambodian surf music, which played after their show that night.

Other highlights were the Children's Parade. WOMAD has taken care to include children, who were everywhere at this event. There was a large kids area with a zoo, crafts, music and entertainment, plus a project to work towards: the kids parade - all the kids made the banners, floats, signs and all the costumes. Well done to all who participated. And to the Otters in the petting zoo - enjoy the quiet days ahead, it's all over now.

But what isnt over is the interviews and music we brought back. Over the next few weeks the Coffee Bar Kid will bring you sights and Sounds and Musical samples from WOMAD 2009 - checkout Adventures of the Coffee Bar Kid - Thurs 6-8 PM only on Groove 107.7 FM. And now back to the music....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Groove goes to Womad 13 - 15 March

Yes you heard right. Groove will be at WOMAD in the 'Naki all weekend. We'll bring back interviews, photos and hopefully some CDs too. It should be a fantastic weekend. Groove will be in full on camp and groove festival mode. Stay tune for more reports from the big festival. In the mean time check out the line up and the events at Womad. Go to :

Wellington Jazz Festival - Check Out the Pictures

Friday, March 06, 2009

Otis Taylor - Wellington Jazz Festival 5 March 2009

Despite a few technical hitches with pedals, Otis and Dughter Cassie managed to pull off a great informal blues soaked nite. Cassie, his daughter who plays bass came out singing an a capella version of 'Mona Lisa' before Otis strung up his banjo for a few no.s from his atest 'Recapturing' the banjo. bluegrass this aint as he pointed out this is African music. Otis who originally hails from Chicago later demonstated his Hambones, a knee slapping,rhytm thing which he extended to a song accompanied by two impromtu 'dancers' he'd plucked from a visit to Te Papa earler that day. the guys were on stage performing Haka in tie to Otis' harmonica and Cassie's throbbing bass. An interesting, humerous twist. You couldnt really say that Taylor was all blues but his stuff has appeal at many levels. His version of 'Hey Joe', a rare cover brought the house down, especially the guitar solo performed by one of his band mates ('When BB King plays my songs, I'll ply his"). Taylor uses a throbbing strum, in a cyclic motion to build up the rythm section of his songs, no drums required, although in his case un-needed. He uses distortions, via the elusive wah-wah peddle to create sound scapes ove which come the convention and familiar gravelly vocals and singalong choruses. Initially I was sceptical of his inclusion at a Jazz Festival, as he's more a pop/blues thing. but over all, and given his popularity with the crowd, this was a great and enjoyful choice.

Check our Photo album for more photos of the gig.

Photos of the Pacific Blue Lounge - Jazz Festival 4 Mar 200

Wellington Jazz Festival - And Otis Taylor

Wednesdays Night kicked off the Wellingotn Jazz Festival with a very nice Corpoarate do and some fine music. The Pacific Blue Lounge, the major venue for the festival is actually the Wellington Town Hall. With a difference: By 'recycling' the floor from Last Year's festival show 'The Black Watch' back into the Edwardian designed Town Hall, the crew have raised the floor to the level of the 1st flr Balcony: 'We lowered the ceilng by raining the floor' - fran Wilde Festival Chairwoman. Cassie Taylor, daughter and Bassist for Otis, told the assembled that they'd 500 8 yr olds earlier that day 'testing' it out, as part of a workshop they held - and the floor was safe. thank mingus for that!

The intro evening went off wth a Bag! The Kid met Kirsten Johnstone from Music 101, Cassie Taylor, Members of Twinset and Fat Freedy's Drop plus Chilean Bandleader Cristian Cuttorufo (who played one wicked jam during the intro nite). Also plaing was LA Mitchell (Who brought the house down with her powerful voice, especially on Hall and Oates' "Rich Girl"), Mike Nock who palyed some introspective ditties and Otis Taylor - who'd already done a blues for Children workshop earlier that day ( See pic above).
The Coffee Bar Kid is in two minds about this year's festival. While this year it's gone big time as an alternation with the International Arts Fesitval and run by the International Arts Festival Team, the underground, skoey independence has gone. Gone, too is the intimacy of some of the venues. the Pacific Blue Lounge is great, but still an auditorium. BUT, but this year's international line up far supercedes what previous festivals could attain, given the sponsorship deals and team now on the board. Let us thank many times over the previous chairs and organisers and thank the new crews too for a great Festival. Last year's Venue Happy was just a little too dingy, so the new venue the Pacific Blue Lounge, uplifts and does give one the chance to pack in the Punters.
I also want to personally thank Sarah at Transmit, who understands that while Groove is a smaller pplayer, we can contribut to the Media mix. Sarah sends us CDs, interviewees and keeps us in the loop re the festival and many other artist endevours - Kia Ora, Sarah! Oh and love those funky hats!
The Kid took a couple of Photos of thePacific Blue Note which are on the next Blog - Check 'em out.
Laters - Coffee Bar Kid

We're BACK!

Hey. Hey. Coffee Bar Kid Here and back on line. Life has been full on for the Groove Crew. Dean has had a new Kidney replacement, The Kid's new daugther, Katie was born on 15/2 (Forever to be known as DJ Demitasse - get it), and the Wellington Jazz Festival is up and running. Plus, Groove Goes to WOMAD in New Plymouth next week. Whew!

OK, first tings first. Big ups to the mysterious donor who provided Dean, our Station Manager with the kidney. Dean had been suffering from a condition that slowly saw the shut down of both hiskidneys and had already forced him on to dialysis. thanks to the gerous donation, Dean was able to re-gain his life, and dignity again. it also meant he could look forward to working full time again (Dialysis involves long periods of down time while the 'blood cleaning' process goes on - 12 hours every 2 nights on average, it varies) What that means, is that the possibility of leading a life, less a night life is severly restricted. When Dean went on holiday a couple of years ago he had to drop into prescheduled hospitales to dialise - you get the idea of how diabilitating this can be. So long story short, Dean's op went well last year and an enjoyable, relef-ful, Xmas was held. Dean's now back on his feet, gainful employment has smiled on him, and perhaps love, too. Yes you heard right. Welcome to the lovely Pam, who is frequenting Dean's new life.

Speaking of Greeting, the Kid would like to say a big Theankyou to Katie-Kat - who has now departed us to Christchurch. Rergular Thursday listeners will have heard her and the Kid on Air late last year getting up to all hhi-Jinx. We'll Miss Ya, Kat. Aroha!

And welcome to the new Kat. Bearly 2 weeks old she's already grooving to Sola Rosa's new album, Kate Elizabeth Gruar joined the home crew at the Kid's house on 15 February, after the usual birthing excitements. Kate, DJ Demitasse, to you, loves pink, milk and sleeping but is keeping her options open - not dought her sister McKenzie will be looking for oppotunities to subject her to Hi-Five and Hannah Montana. But you'll be please to know, Baby Jazz, the CD is very big at the residence right now, thanks Mingus for that!

Speaking of Mingus, the Mingus Big Band plus loads of others are at the Wellington Jazz Festival this week! Yo Yo Mama! As is the Sexy Melainie Pain, whom I saw in a little off-festival bar show last nite, what a voice, babies! Sarah at Transmit very kindy hooked the Groove team up with some Tickets to see shows, Roy Ayers and Otis Taylor were fan froggin'tastic. See my review on the next blog.

Finally Groove will be doing the Do at WOMAD (you heard us!) Next weekend (13-15 March) in the 'Naki. The artist list is massive check the links for the scedule - Looking forward to seeing Anika Moa, Speed Caravan, Gurrumul and Fat Freddy's Drop to name but a few.

Well I gotta blog more often - my fingers are burnin' Blog soon Groovers, Ka kite Anou - Coffee Bar Kid