Covid-19 Alert

NZ moves to the Traffic light system at 11:59pm on Thursday 2 December 2021 with Auckland at RED. The rest of New Zealand level is still to be decided.
Scan QR Codes & get your Vaccination Pass | Save Lives | Be Kind

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra

The Kid interviews Age Pryor about the upcoming shows and the debut album 9 years into their 'career'.

The Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra Launch Be Mine Tonite

Festival fav's The Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra are about to embark on a national tour in support of their debut, all Kiwi sing-along-able CD "Be Mine Tonight" which is due for release on iTunes and in stores on November 7th. The band has already been on the road and are just back for a quick home visit before heading back out again.  Taking a breather their recent excursion to China and Japan founding musician Age Pryor found a few moments to chat over the blower from his digs in Auckland.  Auckland, Age. Really?  Not Wellington? "Ah, yes.  I relocated up here about 6 years ago to teach music at Unitec part time."  But he's still a Welly at heart, he assures me. 

A few years ago Age led a number of projects including the Woolshed sessions, recorded on Jane Campion's Nelson farm and two solo albums.  These days his main focus is the 'Uke's' (as he calls them), with whom he plays and co manages with fellow musician Gemma Gracewood. "It's incredible," he remarks, "that the band is still together.  As such it's scattered to the four winds these days.  Some are back in Wellington.  I'm in Auckland.  Gemma's based in New York and there's another in Singapore."  Truly international locals!   

The band’s reputation has built up over the years based on a live show of madcap hilarity and spontaneous audience participation. But behind the hijinks is a finely-tuned musical group who've  have truly cemented their place on New Zealand’s entertainment scene. Their unique sound – a choir of gorgeous voices set to magnificent ukulele riffs and licks – is now in hot demand worldwide and they've long been the darlings of festivals and special events with tickets for their shows snapped up almost before they go on sale. The band's original line up has changed little over the years and includes session musicians, a member of twinset and occasionally Brett Mckenzie.

The last time I talked to Age must have been over 9 years ago, when the Uke's first was playing bars and Summer City gigs.  Right from the start the aim of the band was to be interactive.  Age relays tales of playing in morning cafe's and sending people off to their day happy and cheery having sung and boogied away to the Uke's interpretations of well-known songs, reinterpreted for the ukulele.  "The sign of a good song is that it can be played on a uke.  Like a school choir doing Beatle songs because their so easy to arrange.  Ukes have become the ‘new recorder’ - simple, interactive and easy to get into.  I read that we are in the Uke's third age.  The first was the 1920's, then the 40's and 50's when Pacific music was the rage.  And now there are a new generation of performers."  Uke music is everywhere - from the immensely popular Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain to the avant-punk of Amanda Palmer and the skilled quirkiness of James Hill, a favourite at the last International Festival of the Arts.  Hill also features on the new album.  James does a brilliant little solo on Aadarana's "wake Up".  "He recorded it in a hotel bathroom for us, when he was on tour, jammed into a tiny space."  Other guests on this all Kiwi repertoire include Amanda Billing (the recently deceased Dr Potts from Shorty Street). "Amanda's got a great voice, she does choir work too.  She's been in shows like Cabernet.  She'll be touring with us.  We got her to do vocals on "E Ipo" (an old Prince Tui Teka number)."  Although in hot demand by the likes of Fat Freddy's Drop and Neil Finn, of late, star vocalist Lisa Tomlins also found a moment to work o the project, with an old Aotearoa track: "Long Ago".  That one also includes Hawaiian uke specialist Pi’ikea Clark.  Age tells me that Pi’ikea is schooled in traditional Hawaiian music, "from the ones who were the keeper of the knowledge.  He is a really fine player and we really learned a lot from him traditional playing."

Recently the Uke's have toured Asia, opening them up to a whole new audience base.  "We found China very challenging, especially the language.  I don't speak Mandarin.  They don't speak English and even relying on gestures was hard because they do theirs different to us.  But we learned a lot.  Chinese audiences are very polite," Ages says.  Relying on a translator to convey their frivolous banter provided some extra complexities, too.  There were moments of blank-faced embarrassment. "Japan was different as we mainly did festivals and community events.  And English is not a problem.  Also the Japanese are less inhibited once they understand what you are doing.  They know about New Zealand.  So that helped."  So, how will Kiwi audiences react in the coming month when the Uke's arrive in their local halls and theatres?  One thing you can rely on - plenty of fun and hilarity.  "Be prepared to sing your lungs out - From Lorde to Sherbert, you'll know all the songs!"   

The Be Mine Tonight Album Release Tour:

8 Nov – Glenroy Auditorium, Dunedin
9 Nov – Stadium Southland, Invercargill
10 Nov – Alexandra Memorial Theatre
11 Nov – Lake Wanaka Centre
13 Nov – Ashburton Trust Event Centre
14 Nov – Roy Stokes Hall, Christchurch – JUST ADDED!
15 Nov – Roy Stokes Hall, Christchurch
21 Nov – Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North
22 Nov – TSB Showplace, New Plymouth
23 Nov – Great Lake Centre, Taupo
25 Nov – MTG Theatre, Napier
27 Nov – Baycourt Theatre, Tauranga
28 Nov – Wintergarden, Auckland 7pm SHOW SOLD OUT! 10pm show still available.
29 Nov – NZ Ukulele Festival
30 Nov – Turner Centre, Kerikeri
5 & 6 Dec – James Cabaret, Wellington

All ticket info can be found at


Friday, November 14, 2014

We're selling records from the Groove Vinyl vault today!

As part of our studio move we've decided we have more in our music library than we need so call us today if you'd like to buy any records.

Styles we have available include: 60's crooners, 60's R & R, Show soundtracks (e.g. Sound of music etc), 70's, 'Solid Gold' style compilations, 80's, Classical, old BBC sound effect records, Motown/soul, and, interestingly, quite a few German records.

Call us on 381 4766 today (or maybe tomorrow) if you'd like to come by Trades Hall in Vivian St, Wellington and grab yourself a Groove souvenir!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Packing up the Groove studio this week :(

Today was the day we officially moved out. A first for us was broadcasting/streaming for about an hour from a moving vehicle! I don't think anyone would have noticed.
By the way, if you need short term, high quality streaming (or FM) for an event you're organising we can do it at a far lower cost than you would imagine. Perfect if you have a conference that people in other parts of the country or the world can't get to.

A bit of a sad time as we dismantle the Groove studio after about 8 years at our current location...
A turning point for New Zealands only Cafe Style Radio station.
If you would like a momento of the station we have office desk's, chairs, coffee table etc for sale or give away. Call us on Wellington (04) 381 4766 to find out more.

To help keep the station around somewhere, see the deal a couple of stories below or donate to the right.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The CoffeeBar Kid Interviews the author of The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simpson

The Rosie Project author Graeme Simpson, on the rise of his book, why he wrote the sequel The Rosie Effect having promised himself that he wouldn't, progress on a film deal and why so many people have fallen in love with his unlikely hero, Don Tillman.
The CoffeeBar Kid had a chat to Graeme when he was in town last week

Monday, November 03, 2014

The CoffeeBar Kid Interviews Janet Hunt

Listen to the CoffeeBar Kid interview Author Janet Hunt.
A landmark book about New Zealand's marine reserves that connects readers to New Zealand waters.
This important book, written by award-winning natural history writer Janet Hunt, examines New Zealand's 38 marine reserves, and the need to protect and preserve our seas and foreshores in their natural state.

Each chapter contains features about outstanding plants, birds, fish, mammals, invertebrates and crustaceans as well as interviews and items of interest about people associated with marine conservation—divers, underwater camera operators, marine biologists, Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) people, including young folks who have had recent marine encounters.

From New Zealand's most distant marine reserves (the Kermadecs and the Auckland Islands) to the Poor Knights, and from the five reserves of the Hauraki Marine Park to the ten reserves of Fiordland, this book also covers New Zealand's marine animals and their unique environments. It's a fascinating tale, with stories of conger eels prowl for sleeping fish, mass gatherings of fish, tropical turtles, the snatch-and-grab habits of gannets and much much more.

Our Big Blue Backyard is based on a six-episode television series made by Natural History New Zealand and which is to be screened on TVNZ in late 2014 but it goes much further than the six episodes go. This entertaining, beautiful and engaging book about our little-known backyard oceans, the place where the world's largest marine predators and weirdest fish live, covers a wide variety of life from the sub-tropical seas to the sub-Antarctic oceans. It makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the sometimes contested waters that surround us.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WOMAD 2015 Launches

WOMAD NZ March 2015
Last night, Wednesday 22 October, at the Grand Hall in Parliament, it was announced that, once again, the world was coming to Taranaki in 2015.  Supported by speeches from sponsors, Arts Minister Maggie Barrie and their local MP Jonathan Young the Taranaki Arts Festival unveiled the line up for the 11th iteration of this immensely popular all ages festival. Director Emere Wano referred to her bill as "a box of chocolates", quoting Forest Gump gleefully.  As always the 3 day festival had a mix of classical, jazz pop, blues ethnic variance and performance art.  Headlining will be three acts exclusive to WOMAD – Irish pop diva Sinead O'Connor, West African Music legend Youssou N'Dour and Folk/Blues Pioneer Richard Thompson.  In the mix were also a Balkan beat band, Spanish soul singers, innovative newsreel mash-up crew Public Broadcasting Service, traditional Mali troubadours and a band who make all their instruments from rubbish.  Kiwi artists included rising Country star Mel Parsons, legendary reggae band Trinity Roots and Wellington based meteoric risier Estere who performed her funky single "Charlie" with Lola (her MPC) at the launch.  Early bird tickets are already on the festival website, where you can find the full line up and while you’re there, don’t for get to vote for your favourite local act.  The winner will take out wildcard stage spot for next year’s WOMAD.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WOMAD 2015 is set to be the biggest ever!!!

Tomorrow night WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) will launch at Parliament, hosted by the Minister of Arts and culture (Maggie Barrie, prev. Chris Findlayson - or both - we'll have to wait and see).  Two artists have already been announced - Rufus Wainwright and Youssour N'Dour but there are big names to come - so stay tuned to Groove for more....Dean and the CoffeeBar Kid will be at the launch to bring you all the news and updates... Remember folks, don't touch that dial! Go to the official WOMAD website or log in to Groove's Facebook page for all the skinny...

Groove Facebook:
WOMAD Website:

Monday, October 13, 2014

The CoffeeBar Kid interviews Editor Paula Green - A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children

Today the Kid interviewed Paula Green about her new book A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children.

The best New Zealand poems for children, collected by star New Zealand poet Paula Green and illustrated inventively by Jenny Cooper.

This exciting collection is truly a must-have for every home, school and library.

Bursting with wonderful poems that will make you laugh, cry, nod and ponder, this book is beautifully illustrated and makes a perfect gift book.

With a handsome modern design, it will make poetry fresh and alive to a new generation. There are poems by all the big names in both children's and adult writing, from Margaret Mahy and Hone Tuwhare to Denis Glover as well as some fresh new poets.
Useful Links:

Today Paula is setting off on a poetry tour to celebrate poetry for and by children, my two new books (The Letterbox Cat with Scholastic and A Treasury of NZ Poems for Children with Random House) and my blog NZ Poetry Box.

She will be keeping a travel diary on her blog over the month.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The CoffeeBar Kid's Been Reading

Head to to read 3 new book reviews : Simon Gault's latest, a book on smokin' everything and debut author Nic Low's new book 'Arms Race'.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The National party wins NZ general election

Image courtesy of the 'Electoral Commission' Surprisingly the National party has won the general election more convincingly than last time 'round to begin their third term in Parliament.

Final results (top 4 parties):
National 48.1%
Labour 24.7%
Green 10.0%
NZ First 8.9%

They still might change slightly when the special/overseas votes are counted (last time the Greens gained a seat).

Quite an surprising result when a majority of the country claimed to want to stop things like asset sales that National have been championing as well as all the accusations of dirty politics that have been levelled against them.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Check out the latest book reviews brought to you by the Coffee Bar Kid :

We talk about: The Keeper of Lost Causes - Jussi Adler-Olsen
The Thrill of it all - Joseph O'Connor
Tom Clancy's Support and Defend - Mark Greaney


Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Skeleton Cupboard by Tanya Byron

Every life has a story.

Inspired by Professor Tanya Byron’s years of training as a  clinical psychologist, The Skeleton Cupboard offers extraordinary stories of ordinary people struggling to cope with the challenges of life.

Through them we attempt to understand the line between sanity and insanity - and come to realize that it does not exist. The most fragile, vulnerable people can still offer strength and wisdom. Those hardened by cruel circumstance can show real kindness and compassion towards those who treat them. And those of us who outwardly appear untroubled can mask an inner life of turmoil.
With startling poignancy and powerful, affecting storytelling, this book is a testimony to anyone who has strived to make the journey from chaos to clarity.

A gruesome family death set Tanya Byron on the path to becoming a child psychologist, a journey she describes in her new book.

How did you get here? Why now? What is your story and how would you like it to continue? For 25 years, psychologist Prof Tanya Byron has been asking these questions of her patients to help them ‘make that journey from chaos to clarity’.

Last year, while writing The Skeleton Cupboard, a memoir of her early years training as a clinical psychologist from 1989 to 1992, she asked herself: ‘I first became fascinated by the frontal lobes of the human brain when I saw my grandmother’s sprayed across the skirting board of the front room of her dark and cluttered house. I was 15,’ she writes in the introduction to her book.

Dog will Have His Day by Fred Vargas

This is the second instalment in the chilling Three Evangelist Series, from quadruple CWA International Dagger-Winning author Fred Vargas.
Louis Kehlweiler has been a powerful investigator with the Ministry of the Interior. Since he was sacked by newcomers who didn't respect his powers he has still kept up his investigations with the help of his old cronies, with Marthe, an elderly prostitute, leader of the band. He still uses the park benches of Paris as his lookout posts which he has numbered for convenience up to 137.

One problem is that Marthe is getting old and confuses 102 for 107. Louis is also showing the strain and now that his latest girlfriend has left, the "love of his life" is Bufo, a toad that he carries with him almost everywhere except cafè's where Bufo gets a bit panicky and would do the same to the patrons.

Spying through the windows of a Paris flat belonging to a politician's nephew, Louis Kehlweiler catches sight of something out of place down on the footpath - an object, small and white, surrounded by dog poo.  A human bone!  But when Kehlweiler takes his find down to the local police station, he's ridiculed and teased. Yet this tiny fragment obsesses him so much that he starts to investigate, following the trail to the tiny Breton fishing village of Port-Nicolas where there's a dog. A dog that would take a bite out of anything. Even the foot of a corpse.
However, where is the corpse? Or the murderer?

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

This week it's the Jazz Festival!

Tune in at the earlier time of 6PM for a special pre-festival show.  we'll be attending a few of the concerts and reporting back next week but for now we'll give you a run down of what to see and groove to.  Tune in from 6.00PM. 

Go here to check out the programme:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

This week on the Adeventures of the CoffeeBar Kid - We preview the Wellington Jazz Festival

Yep. we have a look at the line up, just announced yesterday. 

Tune in from 7.30 tonite!

The festival features a variety of local and international acts including:







  • THE TOM JOBIM SONGBOOK: BEYOND IPANEMA (Alda Rezende Sextet with Doug de Vries – Brazil/NZ/Australia)


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

This week on the CoffeeBar Kid it's all about New Zealand Music Month

Tonight we feature plenty of new Kiwi music and
we are ready to go. 
Tami Neilson, Sola Rosa, Kimbra,
Clap Clap Riot, Tiny Ruins,
the Sami Sisters and plenty more.

See you at 7.30 on Thursday night!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

ANZAC Day 2014

The 99th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

Dawn service of remembrance and hope

5.30am - 6.30am, 25 April, Wellington Cenotaph, Lambton Quay

The Dawn Service honours the New Zealanders and Australians who died at Gallipoli, and by extension all those who've fought for New Zealand.

2013 Dawn Service

To view last year's Dawn Service, see:
Wellington City Dawn Service video

Monday, April 14, 2014

This week on the Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid - We go all French!

Indeed with an interview with, err Kiwi writer Sebastian Hampson plus we check out the Albums "So French, So Chic" (The official Album of the 2014 French Film Festival); 'Afrocubism' and "Rising Son' by Takuya Kuroda - See you at 8.30pm Thursday on Groove,
For more - read the Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid Website.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It's 30 year's since the Trades Hall bombing.

Yes, believe it or not it's 30 years since the Trades Hall bombing at 5.19  on 27 March. Groove is now located in the very same building these days and we are constantly reminded of the incident.  I remember it well as I was over at my Dad's warehouse waiting for a ride home from rugby practice when we heard the commotion.  I didn't actually hear the bang but we caw the smoke and the police, people pouring out of near by buildings in shock. It was a very confusing time.  We didn't learn the details until much later.

There is a Memorial Service at 5.19 at Trades Hall in honour of Ernie Abbott.  Read more about it here:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This week on the Adventures of The CoffeeBar Kid it's all retro

We head back to WOMAD to talk to Pokey Lafarge and we also check out the newest retro chick on the block - Tami Neilson. 

Pokey LaFarge is a musician, songwriter, bandleader, entertainer, innovator and preservationist, whose arsenal of talents has placed him at the forefront of American music. Over the last decade, Pokey has won the hearts of music lovers across the globe with his creative mix of early jazz, string ragtime, country blues and western swing. After signing with Jack White’s Third Man Records to release his fifth full-length album (Pokey LaFarge) in 2013, he performed as a musical guest on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show on Ireland’s RTÉ One network. Pokey’s rendition of “Lovesick Blues” with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, featured on an episode of Boardwalk Empire, was selected for inclusion on the series’ official soundtrack (Vol. 2). Additionally, Pokey appeared in Disney’s The Lone Ranger (both on screen and on the original score), was featured on A Prairie Home Companion and NPR’s World Cafe, and recorded a song for ATO Records’ Divided & United: Songs of the Civil War, produced by Randall Poster.
2014 looks to be Pokey’s most momentous year yet; by spring, Pokey will have brought his music to five continents, with international tours in India, Australia and New Zealand. In the past year, Pokey’s tour trail (consisting of over 250 shows) included appearances at clubs and festivals across the USA and Canada as well as two extensive tours in Europe. Pokey has played with the likes of Jack White, The Raconteurs, Wanda Jackson, Old Crow Medicine Show, and most recently, Carolina Chocolate Drops. As an opening act on Jack White’s Blunderbuss tour, he delighted sold out crowds at Red Rocks Amphitheater and Radio City Music Hall, among other notable venues in North America. Pokey is currently touring with a five-piece backing band, including his original bandmates (Ryan Koenig on harmonica, washboard and snare, Adam Hoskins on guitar and Joey Glynn on upright bass), in addition to Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet and TJ Muller on cornet.
At only 30 years old, Pokey’s career has not slowed in momentum since it began with his first release Marmalade (2007). Shortly followed by Beat, Move and Shake (2008) and Riverboat Soul (2010), Pokey quickly graduated from breakthrough artist to leading musical figure, receiving two consecutive Independent Music Awards for Best Americana Album (Riverboat Soul and Middle of Everywhere).
Pokey’s music transcends the confines of genre, continually challenging the notion that tradition-bearers fail to push musical boundaries. Rather than merely conjuring up half-forgotten imagery of days past, Pokey is a lyrical storyteller, the plot delivered smoothly through his dynamic vocals. Both on stage and off, his effortless wit never fails to charm audiences, giving way to a live music experience that manages to be grandiose and unassuming all at once. Born in the heartland of America and based in St. Louis, Missouri, Pokey’s Midwestern charisma welcomes his audiences with open arms.
Pokey LaFarge is on a mission, encouraging fans worldwide to think differently about what it means to celebrate musical traditions. Simply put, Pokey explains, “It’s not retro music. It’s American music that never died.”

With a soulful voice straight from the golden age of country and rockabilly music, Tami Neilson has been described as "A red-hot honky-tonker, somewhere between Patsy Cline and Wanda Jackson with perhaps just a little bit of Peggy Lee sophistication.” (-Nick Bollinger, NZ National Radio)

Singing her heart out along endless roads and stages, from her days as a young girl in the touring Neilson Family band opening for the likes of Johnny Cash to her full blossoming as a formidable talent in her own right, Tami Neilson has won the Tui Award for each of her past three albums.

In the past year Tami has performed at numerous international festivals in New Zealand, Australia and North America, headlined 5 national tours, working with “Grand Ole Hayride” and “The Gunslingers Ball”, opened for both Emmylou Harris at the Vector Arena and Pokey LaFarge and was chosen to pay tribute at Dave Dobbyn’s induction into the Hall of Fame in a stunning performance at the prestigious Silver Scrolls.

Now, with her explosive new album “Dynamite!” she’s bound to turn even more heads.

Her first album to be recorded solely in New Zealand at The Sitting Room in Lyttelton and produced by Delaney Davidson and Ben Edwards, “Dynamite!” showcases Tami’s skill at writing and crafting a song and her diversity as an artist.

Moving easily through blues driven numbers like “Walk (Back to Your Arms)” and “Dynamite”, Tami shows us new facets in the jewel, her soulful side with “Cry Over You” and her maple-sweetness in “Honey Girl”, before she kicks it up with rockin’ numbers like “Woo-Hoo” and “Come Over”.  Those familiar with her previous work will be happy to hear the country lament “You Lie” and her bell-like “Texas”, keeping one foot squarely planted in the country corner.

A couple of duets appear on the album: young Marlon Williams leaves us breathless while matching Tami word for word in the fun and frantic “Woo Hoo” , Ben Woolley croons with heartbreak of a spurned suitor in “Whiskey and Kisses”, while fellow hay-rider Delaney Davidson’s worries are kissed away in “Running to You”.

Steel playing wizard Red McKelvie came out of retirement to play on the songs after he heard the demos. The album also features Dave Khan on fiddle, mandolin and guitar, bass and backing vocals.  Joe MacCallum on drums & percussion and Ben Woolley (The Unfaithful Ways) on bass and backing vocals.

And check this out - a whole magazine about Vintage - Glory Days!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Groove is at WOMAD

For up to date photos and comments check our facebook page (click the link on the right)- and for interviews listen live! Groove Facebook

Groove heads to New Plymouth for WOMAD - now in its 10th year.


WOMAD Saturday 15 March. It's 7.30 PM on Saturday evening, and the weather gods are smiling - mostly at least. I'm sitting on the lake band between the Dell Stage and the TSB Bowl Stage, enjoying the wonderful samba-DJ mix from Jennifer Zea and Latinaotearoa. Zea's gig is just one of the highlights this weekend. While the rest of the country's diving for cover from Cyclone Lusi, the 'Naki remains, to date, at least, relatively unscathed. Rain has shown but the heat, both physically and musically has not been quelled. Tim Finn and the Bads (Dianne Swann and Brett Adams) opened WOMAD last night with a clutch of tunes from the Finn/Enz songbook. The man himself was sounding a little strained but the Bads' treatment of his material gave new life to stuff like "Fraction too much Fiction", some of his solo work and a bunch of ancient70's Split Enz numbers. Now while Finn was an attraction, the night was definitely owned by Kimbra. She 'arrived' resplendent and royal (pun intended) in a white cloak of shimmering stardom ready to take on all challengers! Her dress, a tutu styled cartoon number, was as loud as bombs as it almost threatened to drown out her own vocals! As if! She ran through a stunning assault from her new work (out soon) and her incredible debut Vows. Her vocal gymnastics, the power of big stage amplification and the size of the audience all added to her phenomenal presence.

Dean with Pokey LaFarge

Today began with West Papuan Aireleke, a dj/rapper/performed who mixes his traditional musical upbringing with colourful hip hop. He was a force for good! The afternoon saw Buika take to the stage - her magnetism and shear power was mesmerising. Fado singer Carminho has been the darling of the festival - singing (or battling) with/to Jax at the Taste the World and then twice on stage. Her sound mixes traditional and modern in its own elegant confrontation. Unlike others of the genre she is so fluent, you can understand on a lever almost beyond language. Sam Lee and friends proved to be more than just a Home Counties preservation society. Waiora, who specialise in traditional Maori instruments, brought a real depth of soul. Their performance was spellbinding, haunting, and impressive. By the way Google them up for koha/download of their sounds. Red Baraat brought the party back to the Mainstage with a full on percussive, brassy funk, mixing Indian Bollywood with Nu-York Jams. They had the whole bank up and dancing. Just say WOW! Pokey LaFarge showed why he's one of the headliners. His vintage, Southern charm warmed the crowd, as the moon cranked open the cloud-space and let the stars through. "This might not be the South but it's the furtherest south we've been," Pokey announced. His infectious retro-grooves even the teenagers boppin' in Charleston-style.

Mckenzie creating Gold leaves
on the Govett-Brewster Gold Tree sculpture

By far, one of the weekend's highlights was Roberto Fonseca. His Afro-Cuban Jazz is often to be found in the more 'academic' concert halls of residence but was a welcome alternative to funk-heavy party music on the other stages tonight. Fonseca is a real magician on the keyboards, as his fingers meld Mali rhythms with Afro-Cuban be-bop with hour, subtlety, precision and sometimes, urgency. And despite the potential polarisation Jazz can bring to festival crowds it's possible that he may have scored one of the biggest head counts of the night! For me, the night finished with Femi Kuti and his show. He performed at WOMAD 3 year's ago, and it was good to see him back. However, at a news conference earlier, he'd talked of the deep-seated corruption in his home country of Nigeria. Like his father, Fela Kuti, Femi too felt he could too stand as a people's representative. Yet, with the cancer so deep in the bone, he said, no single politician can ever turn around this culture. Sobering reflections indeed.

Pam enjoys the oppulent Media facilities

WOMAD Sunday 16 March. Holly Smith opened today with her "chur bro" charm and sonic soul. She ripped into a couple of impressive new ones, promising a new album - maybe - next March followed by a brilliant rendition of Hendrix's 'Little Wing' with keyboardist Guy Harrison doing a blinder of a solo. "you never know what the sun may bring..." croons Pokey La Farge, back for his second show, this time in full adoration of the Baby boomer Sunday-set. His perfect, crisp down-home retro Americana is still delicious highlight of the festival. Spot winners the Balkanista, a hotch-potch band of gypsy office-worker-cum-students from Welly brought their A-game, and the most flamboyant costumes, out site the kid's parade which the later led. Ann Brun showed her pseudo Celtic power on the Bowl stage later, performing a stormy she shanty with a rare driving shower appearing on cue for the ending. The rain soon cleared for Fonseca's second appearance.

Tim with Speech (Arrested Development)

Sadly, travel commitments meant that I missed Arrested Development's closing performance, the only one of the festival. But Speech was still everywhere - at Taste The World cooking turkey lasagne; In Conversation, raising his concerns about the commercialisation and violence of modern hip hop; and in a press conference back stage, swapping links to Kiwi hip hop and soul artists with me for his radio show. I also caught up with Kimbra and Pokey LaFarge back stage - interviews are on their way. Off stage there was a traditional tattooist, a weaving programme, a kid's area, street theatre featuring comedic crooning garbagemen, a pirate, fleabites and a solid gold tree in the park. 10 years in the 'Naki has seen this festival go from strength to strength an I'll guaranteed that this review will be only one perspective on this amazing three day weekend. It's never just about the acts; it's the atmosphere, the vibe, the 2000 strong tent village on the racecourse, and the love! A special thanks to the TAFT publicity crew and all the volunteers for making everyone so welcome and making Peter Gabriel's vision the best WOMAD festival in the world - hands down!

Check out our Facebook Page for more photos and info on what we got up to .... Groove Facebook

Monday, March 10, 2014


Prepare with interviews with the Balkanistas, Pokey Lafarge, Hollie Smith and Airleke on the upcoming Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid WOMAD Special - this Thursday Night from 7.30Pm only on

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

This week on the Adventures of The CoffeeBar Kid

Festival Time! The Kid will tell you what he's been up to, reviewing some of the music and shows on at the festival and he looks forward to WOMAD.  PS look out for a big pre-WOMAD show next week.  See you at 7.30PM on Thursday!

Also it's Writer's week - check out the programme.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Gather your friends and family together and head to one of the world's most stunning venues for a three-day celebration of music and global culture.

... And Groove will be there - DJ's Groovmiester, P-Huny and the Coffeebar kid will be on the ground reporting with Live Crosses to the Studio, and featuring tunes and artist interviews all WOMAD Weekend.

It's really about exciting music discoveries but there are some big names (Arrested development, Tim Finn, Kimbra, Moana and the Tribe etc). The full music lineup is here with artist Bio's and audio. We actually think it's the most entertaining lineup there's been for years! Grab the stage schedule or complete info booklet here to help you decide who to see when on the weekend.
The atmospheric site of the Womad sign reflecting off the
Lagoon by the Bowl stage.

This year there was a Band competition with the public voting on the website for the final spot to play at Womad, the winner being The Balkanistas, a 26 piece – yes 26-piece band, from Wellington.

There will also be a Cinema under the trees featuring short films and Len Lye movies!

And a little history ....

WOMAD was founded in 1980 by Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman, Bob Hooton, Stephen Pritchard, Martin Elbourne and Jonathan Arthur.

The first WOMAD festival was in Shepton Mallet, UK in 1982. The audience saw Peter Gabriel, Don Cherry, The Beat, Drummers of Burundi, Echo and The Bunnymen, Imrat Khan, Prince Nico M' barga, Simple Minds, Suns of Arqa and Ekome amongst others performing. Since 1982 WOMAD Festivals has travelled all over the world, bringing artists to numerous locations and entertaining over one million people.
WOMAD New Zealand 2013 is the ninth WOMAD to be held at the stunning New Plymouth site in Taranaki. Prior to shifting to New Plymouth WOMAD NZ occured twice in Auckland.

Ethos From the outset, the WOMAD name has reflected the festival’s idea; to be embracing but non-definitive, inspiring and outward looking; and more than anything, enthusiastic about a world that has no boundaries in its ability to communicate through music and movement.
WOMAD has always presented music that they felt to be of excellence, passion and individuality, regardless of musical genre or geographical origin. WOMAD encourages collaboration amongst the artists they invite to perform.

Adult workshops are taken by the musicians and will involve dance, musical instruments and discussions. Children's workshops involve painting, circus skills, graffiti, modelling, story telling and more.

Taste The World Musicians cook a choice of dish from their home country in front of an audience. Global Market. The Global Market sells international food and wares.

WOMAD in the UK takes place in the grounds of Charlton Park, a stately home in Wiltshire. The arena holds at least 8 stages with a further one in the Arboretum. An old fashioned steam fair, global market, children's area, wellbeing section is also found on the WOMAD UK festival site.

WOMAD happens in:

WOMADelaide, Adelaide, South Australia. WOMAD New Zealand, Taranaki, New Zealand. WOMAD Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi. UAE WOMAD Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain. WOMAD Sicily, Sicily, Italy. WOMAD Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain.

For the whole gamat of information go to

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How's your festival going?

Charles Bradley - James Caberet Friday 21 February 2014
Dean and I went a long to see this man - wow! I'm not sure if I was impressed with the act or the jumpsuits - or both - Here's my review: Coffeebar kid's Rip it up magazine review

Madeleine Peroux - Michael Fowler Centre - Sunday 23 February 2014
Ange and I got a chance to catch this show - what a chanteuse! Shame the sound man was asleep: 
The kid's Rip it up magazine review of Madeleine

Looking forward to:

Brel: The Words and Music of Jaques Brel - Friday 28 February 2014

Cabaret noir comes to the James Cabaret as Kiwi rock stars Jon Toogood and Julia Deans join singers Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Tama Waipara to interpret Jacques Brel’s infamous songbook.
A major influence on modern music, Brel’s dark, sardonic and witty songs have been covered by legends like Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Nina Simone. Directed by Michael Hurst and featuring a stellar band led by Leon Radojkovic, Brel will move you with its raw emotion and musical power.

 Power Plant 28 Feb – 16 Mar

Step into an enchanting night time world of light and sound at the Botanic Garden, as five artists transform one of Wellington’s most beautiful locations.
More than a walk in the park, this spectacular array of installations has entranced audiences young and old the world over with its “sudden bursts of firefly radiance” (The Guardian). Electric flowers whirr, insects of light buzz and propane-powered Pyrophones belch flames into the sky in an unforgettable feast for the senses. Open your eyes, open your ears and prepare to be amazed.
Important information
  • Please wear comfortable shoes. There are steep hills and steps on the walk.
  • We recommend you do not bring buggies or strollers as the track is not suitable in parts.
  • Return Cable Car tickets are available for $6 when you book your Power Plant tickets.
  • Parking is very limited; please arrange to be dropped off or use public transport if possible.
My Stories Your Emails - 8 Mar – 15 Mar

LOOK OUT For the interview with Ursula coming soon on Groovefm

“My Stories Your Emails is a consistently hilarious exploration of the gap between her idea of herself and those projected on to her. The show feels like a reclamation.”

Fame, obsession and censorship in the brave new world of social media are examined in this hilarious and thought-provoking solo show.
Based on Ursula Martinez’s own experience of internet infamy and combining spoken word and character comedy, My Stories, Your Emails is about being judged – by ourselves and the world at large. Discover the ordinary and extraordinary characters in Martinez’s life and inbox in this “cunning exploration of identity, intimacy and fantasy” (The Age).
This event is being intepreted in New Zealand Sign Language on Friday 14 March, 8.00pm
Directed by Mark Whitelaw

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This week on the Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid

We take on The International Festival of The Arts with an interview with Yo La Tengo and music from some of the featured artists.  Plus that Paul Moon interview we promised.  See you at 7.30 on .

Check out the festival programme at the link above.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thursday night on the Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid

Welcome to Thursday Night.  The Kid is back with interviews with Jon Toogood and author/historian Paul Moon.  We also dig into a box of new music from

Read down for more:

The Jac
Formed in late 2010, The Jac started out as a rehearsal band for students and tutors at the NZSM jazz school in Wellington, transcribing and performing charts by New York and San Francisco composers. Before long they began writing and performing their own music, and Nerve is the result, a suite of intelligent, dynamic compositions for jazz octet.

Brad Dutz Quartet
Oboe and cello are rarely associated with jazz, a form that allows relatively more freedom than is usually found within classical forms. Consequently, no other group sounds quite like the Brad Dutz Quartet, which over four albums has created a body of music that is challenging, at times difficult, but always fun. Peripheral Hearing is no exception, a richly rewarding album of 21st-century music. 

The Voyagers: Remarkable European Explorations of New Zealand
Paul Moon

In The Voyagers, Paul Moon tells dramatic stories of Europeans discovering and exploring New Zealand during the first half of the 1800s. Ocean adventures, cross-country trekking, imperial and spiritual conquests, first contacts with Maori, artists seeking the 'sublime', scientific discovery and commercial pursuits all intertwine to form a fascinating portrait of a land undergoing immense change.

 Jules Dumont d'Urville, Samuel Marsden, Ferdinand von Hochstetter and Charles Heaphy complement an array of lesser known but no less intrepid explorers - soldiers and sailors, travellers and settlers, missionaries, artists and officials - all of whom ventured from their homelands in search of new horizons.

 The Voyagers is a perceptive and absorbing account of nineteenth-century exploration, and of the very human characters who helped put New Zealand on the map.

Brel: The Words and Music of Jaques Brel

Cabaret noir comes to the James Cabaret as Kiwi rock stars Jon Toogood and Julia Deans join singers Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Tama Waipara to interpret Jacques Brel’s infamous songbook.