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Friday, September 28, 2018

World of Wearable Art 2018 TSB Arena 26 Sept 2018

Groove photographer, Tim Gruar was privileged to be able to attend this year's WOW Show dress rehearsal.  He brought back thousands of photos.  Here are just a few.   For the full experience, you'll have to see the show for yourself.  Go to for more information.  Thanks to Sophie at

WOW 2018 - Interview with Paul McLaney (Musical Director for WOW 2018)

This year's WOW show has been musically directed by Paul McLaney. He talks to Tim Gruar (AKA The CoffeeBar Kid) about the process of making music for one of the most iconic events in the arts calendar.

He tells Tim that the music is a little different this year as each section will feature the talents of an individual New Zealand composer covering a wide range of genres. His role is to facilitate, steer and direct those compositions into the body of a consolidated show. In a recording and performance career spanning 20 years, Paul’s music offerings have spanned the acoustic music of his solo career, the rock and pop of Gramsci, and the ambient electronica of The Impending Adorations. “The WOW Awards Show lives outside a strict narrative arc, and to my mind that suggests a sort of dream state logic where multiple aesthetics and suggestions are made. I believe that’s a huge part of its success – it really is like a dream from which you don’t want to wake up.” - Paul McLaney In a recording and performance career spanning 20 years, Paul McLaney’s music offerings have spanned the acoustic music of his solo career, the rock and pop of Gramsci, and the ambient electronica of The Impending Adorations. Added to this is his ever-expanding body of work for the theatre. There is a common thread: “I believe that the essential ingredient for a piece of music to work is empathy. One mind speaking to another, and for there to be a consensus of thought and feeling in that conversation. It follows then that within this there must be a fundamental truth that is communicated honestly.”

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“To take art off the wall and out of the static display. To adorn the body in wildly wonderful ways. To celebrate creativity in a lavish and unique on-stage spectacular that will inspire us all." Dame Suzie Moncrieff, WOW Founder

The original WOW concept was founded and created by Dame Suzie Moncrieff in 1987. The first WOW Awards Show was staged in rural Nelson as a promotion for a rural art gallery for an audience of just 200 people. Dame Suzie, who was a sculptor at the time, had the vision to take art off the wall and exhibit it as a live theatrical production. In its third year, the WOW Awards Show moved into Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre, establishing itself as a must-see annual event, before moving to Wellington in 2005. By the end of the 2018 show season, almost 770,000 people will have seen a WOW Awards Show. After 30 years, Dame Suzie continues to be a driving force behind WOW, acting as a guide and mentor to the wider creative team.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

WOMAD 2019 - First 3 Artists Announced

WOMAD 2019 have announced the first 3 artists as a taster for what's to come.  The remaining will be unveiled at a special ceremony on 10 October in Parliament.  For now, we know:

Having found his voice at an early age, 23 year old Teeks is a young artist with a big future. Steeped in old-school soul and yet glimmering with golden moments that capture the strength of youth, Teek’s velvety voice and boldly honest lyrics have already attracted a legion of devotees, as well as a milkshake named in his honour. Prepare to be mesmerised by New Zealand’s up and coming soul sensation.

In 1980 Talking Heads’ Remain in Light album, heavily influenced by the music of West Africa, caught the attention of a young Angelique Kidjo in Paris. Hearing it again years later sparked the idea of a full circle deconstruction that seemed only natural. Using Afrobeat horns and percussion, and infusing the lyrics with new meaning, Grammy Award-winning Angelique brings her stunning twist on a classic album to WOMAD in March.

Founded by superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Silkroad Ensemble is a Grammy Award-winning collective of musicians and composers from more than 20 countries. Their music is a vibrant odyssey-scale celebration of world music and the beauty of converging cultures and instruments – from tabla to bagpipes, shakuhachi to strings… a Silkroad performance is nothing short of exhilarating!

And this year there's even a 'first artist announce' Spotify playlist for you to get familiar with our artists. 

Start your WOMAD journey of discovery today!

#WOMADNZ #Experiencetheworld 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Claim HMS Endeavour is found, solving one of the great maritime mysteries

Marine archaeologists believe they have finally identified the resting place of HMS Endeavour, the ship James Cook commanded to New Zealand on his first voyage of discovery, an achievement that would solve one of the greatest maritime mysteries of all time.

The breakthrough has raised hopes the vessel will be excavated next year, in time for the 250th anniversary of Cook's arrival in Australia. The ship is historically significant to many countries - including the US, Britain, New Zealand and Australia - and its excavation could spark a battle over where the wreckage should be housed.

The breakthrough, to be officially announced on Friday, follows an arduous 25-year search for the historic ship off Newport, Rhode Island, on the north-eastern coast of the US.

Archaeologists from the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project will release a detailed 3D image of the site in Newport Harbour where they believe the ship is located.

Peter Dexter, the chairman of the Australian National Maritime Museum, is travelling to the United States to attend the event, as will Australia's consul-general in New York, Alastair Walton.

Over 25 years, marine archaeologists have narrowed down the search for the Endeavour from a fleet of 13 vessels to five, and have now pinpointed one extremely promising site.

The site is located just off Goat Island, a small island in the Narragansett Bay.

Dr Kathy Abbass, director of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, said: "We can say we think we know which one it is.  "It is exciting, we are closing in.

"This is a vessel that is significant to people around the world."

Abbass said she was hopeful the ship could be excavated next year, in time for the April 2020 celebrations marking 250 years since Cook's arrival at Botany Bay.

She said the identity of the ship will only be definitively proven after its excavation, which will require significant funding.

The Endeavour was purchased by the British Navy in 1768 for a scientific mission to the Pacific Ocean and to locate the mysterious southern continent then known as Terra Australis.

Cook departed Plymouth in August 1768, travelling through the Pacific Islands before arriving in New Zealand in September 1769.

In April 1770, Endeavour became the first ship to reach the east coast of Australia, when Cook arrived at the site now known as Botany Bay.

The ship was sold in 1775 and renamed Lord Sandwich 2. It was hired as a British troop transport during the American War of Independence and was scuttled in a blockade off Rhode Island in 1778.

Volunteer researchers from the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project began their study of the group of vessels believed to include the ship in 1993.

In recent years, the Australian National Maritime Museum has provided grants to help fund the deep-dive and remote sensing studies that have helped narrow the search for the ship.

"Now that RIMAP [Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project] and the ANMM [Australian National Maritime Museum] have identified a possible site in Newport Harbor that might be the Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour, the detailed work must begin to prove it," Abbass said in a statement posted on the group's website on Tuesday (US time).

"Therefore, fundraising is ongoing for the artefact management facility needed to process, store, and display the artefacts that will emerge from the planned 2019 excavation."

Learn more:

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 (