January 2020, I played a gig in Colville on the Coromandel Peninsula totally unaware that a world wide pandemic would soon make global headlines and bring live performance to a halt. By March 2020, New Zealanders living overseas were scrambling to get a flight home as they began to realize the seriousness of what was to come. It wasn't until the first week of May, when the New Zealand Government began loosening restrictions after a month-long lockdown, that the long term reality began to set in for touring musicians. I had a tour booked in Germany over June and July 2020. As expected, the tour and local gigs were canceled.
Naturally I was disappointed to lose the European shows but thrilled when I finally got to play at The Bunker in Auckland again in October.
A couple of local venues I have played at for years are still out of action as I write in December and will never return to what they were.
There has been time to reflect on all of the magical musical memories I've had over three decades, starting with a debut gig at The Gluepot in Auckland. The following links give details on some of what followed from there.
NZ Music Commission
Metro Survival Stories
The Nutters Club
In Monitoba, Canada, for the opening of the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival 2017, I was referred to by festival director Jim Compton as "New Zealand's Lucinda Williams", which as a long-time fan of Ms Williams, was very humbling. Here's a couple of quotes from the media.
"She writes with the poetic economy of musicians like James McMurtry and Dolly Parton, and authors like Appalachia's Ron Rash, in that she can sketch in a story in a few words".
Graham Reid - Elsewhere N.Z
"Not many artists have the imaginations of a Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. Or the creative lunacy of a John Prine, Randy Newman or Tom Waits. This is why many good musicians have short careers. It is not as easy to be consistent and creative as you may think. This is Americana music of the highest quality".
John Apice - No Depression Magazine U.S.A
Image by Angel Tyla