Category Archives: festivals

been | Aldous Harding and Perfume Genius

The Auckland Arts Festival this year have offered a really impressive lineup of musical guests. On Thursday night the Auckland crowd was treated to offerings from kindred spirits, the extraordinary Perfume Genius and the stunning Aldous Harding at Silo Park.


Silo Park was home to Laneway Festival in previous years and it always had a great vibe to it right by the water. So it was nice for the Auckland Arts Festival to utilize the space for the musical events, combining it with a food and drink space and an art installation. Perfume Genius  was last in Auckland a few years ago and performed at Kings Arms to an enthusiastic crowd. Aldous Harding graced Laneway Festival here in Auckland only last month to some great reviews.


Perfume Genius kick started the evening’s festivities with such a stellar set. Drawing from his backlog and his latest acclaimed release No Shape. Performing classics such as Normal Song, Queen and the first single from the latest album, Slip Away he was such a delight to watch. Having just completed a string of concert dates in Australia, Perfume Genius wrapped up his tour here in Auckland to great applause.


It’s so electric watching an artist get lost in their music, gyrating and writhing with such fervour. Perfume Genius is truly a queer icon, allowing us to partake in such an indulgent and yet touching set. It was wonderful to have Aldous Harding share the stage for a beautiful performance of Normal Song.


Aldous Harding followed Perfume Genius with her own mesmerizing set. A bewitching performance that was perhaps better suited in a more intimate setting indoors. Performing songs from her latest release Party that included Imagining My Man, Horizon and Swell Does the Skull. There’s definitely no denying Harding’s talent. Her lyrics are delivered with such conviction and emotion it’s hard not to be moved by her. Her words enunciated in the dark of the night staying with you after a while.


Images taken by Chris Zwaagdyk.

FRINGE 18: Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster

Judge, Jury & Cookie Monster (created and directed by John Burrows) opens in dramatic fashion to the theme tune of Law & Order and the background voice of ‘that’ infamous Sesame Street character.  The stage is set like that of a criminal courtroom and stage show all at the same time, with the audience itself becoming the jury.

Throw in a plethora of widely known brands and allegoric puns surrounding baked goods, alongside popular daytime TV game-show references – and a night of irreverent slapstick ensues!

It’s main players: Courtney Eggleton, Kirsty Bruce, Lucas Haugh, Rishab Kapoor, Will Moffatt, Sneha Shetty and Kyle Shields become the: Shewsburys, Graham Crackers, Belgian’s and Swiss Cremes – a cameo panel of the accused and the accuser, each presented with the alleged crime and interrogated with the most ridiculous of motives.

‘Judge Jury & Cookie Monster’ uses the most entertaining and unusual of interactive theatrics to solve the crime, in the spirit of such game shows as: Deal or No Deal, The Chase and the contemporary social card game, ‘Crimes against Humanity’, as a process of elimination and acquittal of suspects one-by-one ….

A Krypton-Factor styled task to re-enact a probable crime-scene scenario, was extremely amusing and reminiscent of a skit from ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’, showcasing particularly clever mechanics by one very laterally thinking jury member.

Drawing us all to the conclusion of the show (and in turn the case itself).  Judge Jury & Cookie Monster sedge-ways into a conversation between the plaintiff and the judge, that exposes a most unexpected background story, and subsequently, the most unpredictable of outcomes.

With a surprise guest plaintiff each performance night and fantastic moments of comedic improvisation, you are guaranteed an evening of unbridled excitement, and if you’re so lucky, a complimentary cookie upon leaving the courtroom, being just the icing on the cake!


Now showing at the Q Theatre ~ 27th February – 3th March

been | St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2018 – Auckland

You know the buzzy feeling you get after a concert or music festival that lasts for a few days after?! Yea that is my current situation.

Auckland was treated to perhaps what felt like the hottest day on Monday with a sweltering 28 degrees Celsius! Being from Papua New Guinea you would think I would be accustomed to the heat but far from it! I avoided getting to the festival until much later when it was slightly cooler. And it seems it may have been a smart move with reports on Twitter about massive queues at the festival entrance and people waiting for up to an hour and 30 minutes to get in. By the time I made my way there, there were no queues at the entrance thankfully.

The organizers have created something special with hosting Laneway Festival right in the middle of Auckland City at Albert Park. The lush trees and gardens make such a huge difference to the whole vibe of the festival, definitely was feeling it on the day.

So onto the music. Who did I manage to see? Well quite a good number of quality acts for sure. Not knowing much about this year’s lineup and what to expect, I came away being a fan of pretty much most of the bands I saw.

Noah Slee – Image credit David Watson

Having read up on Noah Slee I thought I’d check out his set and to see what was up on offer. Slee is based in Berlin and hails from Tonga via Glenn Eden, West Auckland. He definitely tried to work the crowd up with some pretty sweet summer neo-soul tunes and mixed in Erykah Badu and Sergio Mendez tracks to the crowd’s delight. Slee had some great energy and finished off his set with one of his popular tracks Radar.

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals – Image credit David Watson

When I got to the main Rotunda stage 10 minutes early for Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals I was not expecting it to be completely packed out. Actually I haven’t listened much to Anderson .Paak but oh boy I was in for such a treat! Anderson had such great energy and the crowd absolutely loved it, I loved it!!! Mixing up some jazz, hip-hop, R&B, the whole ensemble had such a great vibe and everyone felt it. So I now completely understand why there was a massive crowd gathering around the stage way ahead of his scheduled performance.

TOKiMONSTA – Image credit David Watson

TOKiMONSTA served up some killer beats at the Thunderdome stage. It felt like it was the perfect time for it, riding on the high from Anderson .Paak. I wanted to stay for the whole set but ended up rushing back to Rotunda stage to catch the start of Bonobo.

Szjerdene + Bonobo- Image credit David Watson

Playing at the main stage Bonobo brought a live band with him which was great. Also featured was vocalist Szjerdene who has provided vocals on a number of Bonobo tracks including the sublime Transits. A few issues with Szjerdene’s mic meant it was hard for us to hear her which was a shame. Again, I wanted to stay until the end for the set but really wanted to catch The War on Drugs.

The War on Drugs – Image credit Connor Crawford

The War on Drugs played on the Princess Street Stage and it was a great way to end my night at Laneway Festival. After winning a Grammy for Best Rock Album earlier in the day, Adam Granduciel and the rest of the band must have been on such a buzz. Their set was amazing and I was left wanting more. Playing tracks from Lost In The Dream and their latest Grammy award winning album A Deeper Understanding, it was a definite festival highlight for me.

The War on Drugs – Image credit Connor Crawford

Featured image: Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern – Taken by Max Lemesh

been | The New Waves World Tour

The epitome of a Kiwi summer: Sun, wine, and beats courtesy of Kings, Nico & Vinz, P-Money and Six60.

On Saturday, as the sun was beating down and the wine was flowing; the beats were provided by an outstanding line-up of artists.  The ten thousand sold-out crowd were treated to a line-up of  worthy of a festival.

To begin the night, Kings, graced the stage. He set the bar high, performing tracks from his debut album, Chapter One, including Domino, We’ll never Know and his chart topping single Don’t Worry Bout It. The crowd were truly warmed up.

Kings | #IamNewZealand #NikonD7200

Next to take stage were Nico & Vinz. Bouncing and shaking across the stage, their enigmatic performance got the crowd, to part ways with their cheese platters and move to their choreographed dances. Hyping up the punters, they performed, their catalogue of chart topping singles including, That’s How You Know, When the Day Comes and ended their set with Am I Wrong, leaving us all wanting more.

Nico & Vinz | #NikonD7200

Keeping the beats going and getting us just that much more hyped; P-Money took the crowd on a musical journey playing a selection of hip-hop, dance and Kiwi classic tracks.

P-Money | #IamNewZealand #NikonD7200

With the sun finally setting, the warm summer air cooling, and twilight glowing, it was time for Six60’s homecoming. Eli, Chris, Ji, Marlon and Matiu glowed as they made their way to the front of the stage. Every single member of the audience were on their feet during the hour long set. Six60 performed classics including Don’t Forget Your Roots and RIse Up and an encore performance of Don’t Give It Up from their latest EP Six60. Their incredible performance also included Eli and Chris’ signature drum off.

Six60 | #IamNewZealand #NikonD7200

If I was ever asked what a Kiwi summer feels like, The New Waves World Tour at Villa Maria Winery would be a classical example.

Check out photographs from the show.  All photographs were taken on a Nikon D7200.  #IamNewZealand #NikonD7200

SFS | Amy Shark

Australian singer, Amy Shark has had a massive 2017; she’s toured with the likes of Vance Joy and Bleachers, headlined a string of international shows and won several awards including Best Pop Release and Breakthrough Artist at the Arias. This year, Amy will grace Laneway Festival and Flochella before heading to Austin for SXSW in March. Also, she just hung out with Diplo in LA.

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words…
Loud, sunny and boozy.

Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up:
Future, The Smith Street Band, FKA Twigs.

What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?
I just love festivals in general; it’s such a different show. I love intimate shows coz I get to really talk about my songs and really get close to the people…. but festivals, they’re like a big party! And I just love jumping around; it’s usually a bigger stage so I can jump around a lot. It’s a good time; especially if you’re on in the day or in the afternoon – It’s a really beautiful light and it’s a nice sort of feel.

Is your festival performance quite different to other live performances?
Yeah it is actually. Obviously the songs stay the same.. but just the way I go about a festival is very different to an intimate sort of show.

In your opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?
I really like Feels from Calvin Harris, I think that’s such a banger song! It’s got a real cool sitting by the pool vibe.

Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?
Adore is usually a pretty big song. Actually, Blood Brothers is pretty energetic. A lot of people sort of know Weekends now; it’s got a real sort of fun vibe. I dunno, I kinda love my whole EP… so I could keep going if you want… but I’ll probably just end up saying all the songs!

What’s are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?
I have a Pump Up playlist I play before every show, the top 3 right now are:
Go Flex – Post Malone
Don’t Kill my Vibe – Sigrid
Man of the Year – ScHoolBoy Q

What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track?
I love so many Destiny’s Child songs… and I love really old School RnB like Ja Rule. I love Teenage Dirtbag… then there’s a really slow sappy song that’s on Con Air – “How do I live without you….” I bust that out every now and then during soundcheck – so that one’s a really, don’t tell anyone type of track! It’s really embarrassing!

What’s your social media of choice?

Who do you follow?
Kendall Jenner
Joel Little

What’s your go-to festival outfit?
I usually just wear my bra and underwear….. just joking, that’s what everyone else wears.
Maybe a pair of black jeans, they’re usually torn to shreds. Maybe some converse sneakers and just a t-shirt. I keep it pretty simple. If it’s really hot, maybe a singlet… show off a bit of my arm; you know, get the guns out.

Music – Mine
Festival – Fun
Camping – Hard
Fashion – Awesome
Roadie – Always

This year marks 8 years of Laneway Festival in New Zealand and the second year in its dream location of Albert Park precinct. This boutique inner-city festival boasts a line-up showcasing some of the best new international talent. With four individual stages and an abundance of grass, shade and great music, Laneway Festival is set to be one of greats this summer festival season.

SFS | nomad

Christchurch band nomad have been winning over unsuspecting audiences with their heady harmonies and pop hooks. They made their musical mark on the charts with their undeniably catchy single ‘Oh My My’.  nomad are Will McGillivray, Cullen Kiesanowski and Aasha Mallard.  We chat to Will ahead of their RnV billing for 2017.  You can also catch the band at Homegrown 2018.

Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up…                                

Bon Iver, The 1975, Tame Impala

What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?              

Everything about it is fun, playing live mostly though!

In your opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?                                                                          

The new Tame Impala B-sides album will definitely be thrashed this summer!

Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?                                                                

Our single ‘Oh My My’ always gets the best reaction from the crowd, always great to play.

What’s are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?                                                              

  • Lisztomania by Phoenix
  • Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales by Car Seat Headrest
  • Me At The Museum, You In The Wintergardens by Tiny Ruins

What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track?                                                                                          

Into You by Ariana Grande

What’s your social media of choice?                                                                                             


Who do you follow and where?                                                                                                                    

I follow every musician on the planet and the kanyedoingthings instagram, highly recommend.

What’s your go-to festival outfit? 

Shorts and an oversized shirt + backpack for additional festival storage  

Word association:

Music –  writing

Festival  – Coachella

Camping – Insect repellent

Fashion – Shopping

Roadie – Singalongs

New Zealand’s award-winning NYE festival, Rhythm & Vines returns for its fifteenth year.  Boasting an impressive line-up of music and comedy, this year’s festival promises the perfect backdrop for welcoming in the first sunrise of the New Year. Find out more




SFS | Melodownz

Hailing from the West Auckland, Melodownz has been dubbed NZ Rappers favourite rapper. His latest project Avontales, a narration depicting events that took place in Avondale, took the NZ rap world by storm, earlier this year. He has worked Bailey Wiley on his latest track ‘The Anthem.’ Catch him performing at Wave Front NYE as well as Laneways in January.

Describe your perfect summer music festival in three words

Sunshine, Positive Vibrations

Name the top three artists who would make up your ideal festival line-up

Bob Marley, Linkin Park, Sade 

What are you looking forward to most about playing the summer festival circuit?

Road trips in the sun, the beautiful NZ scenery, meeting new people, eating, and playing shows.

In your opinion, what’s this year’s Summer Anthem?

This years Summer Anthem would have to be “The Anthem” Feat. Bailey Wiley peep that LOL.

Out of all your tunes, which one is the one that ‘never fails’?

The Anthem Feat. Bailey Wiley Prod. by Baccyard

What are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist?

ya’ll dont even wanna know, lol..

It’s Sade – Hang on to your love / Isley Brothers – Summer Breeze / Black Uhuru – Shine eye’d girl

What’s your personal ‘guilty pleasure’ track?

Creed, With arms wide open

What’s your social media of choice?

The Gram

Who do you follow and where? 

My nose, every day

What’s your go-to festival outfit?

Socks, slides, cargo shorts, visor, shades, throwback

Word association:

Music – vibration

Festival – Music

Camping – Tents

Fashion – Gucci Gang

Roadie – Oil and Water


Wavefront 2017 is all set to host an epic Coromandel event to celebrate the end of a fantastic year. Welcome in the tantalisingly new (year) with Alien Weaponry, Benny Tipene, Cymbol, General Lee, L.A. Women, and Melodownz at Williamson Park on New Years Eve.  Buy your tickets now.