Category Archives: music

heard | Thomas Oliver – new album + tour!

Our favourite Wellingtonian, singer-songwriter, Thomas Oliver, releases his debut album this Friday.  

Titled, Floating in the Darkness, the album includes his Silver-Scroll award-winning hit “If I Move to Mars” as well as his single, “Shine like the Sun”.

Thomas will be on the road next month where he’ll be joined by a full band (including Sam Notman, Ed Zuccollo, Johnny Lawrence, Bella Trotter) before finishing off with a string of solo shows.


Fri 5 May – Auckland, Tuning Fork

Sat 6 May – Leigh, Sawmill

Fri 12 May – Christchurch, Blue Smoke

Sat 13 May – Wellington, San Fran


Wed 24 May – Takaka, Mussel Inn

Fri 26 May – Queenstown, Sherwood

Sat 27 May – Invercargill, Repertory House

Sun 28 May – Dunedin, Pequeno Lounge Bar

Buy tickets herePre-order the album here

**We featured Thomas as part of our humans of mac+mae series – read his story.

heard | Laneway Festival New Zealand 2017 Line-up

Laneway Festival Lineup announcements are always great not only because of the lineup itself, but it’s a reminder that summer is just around the corner and heavy layers and brollies won’t be needed for much longer.

Laneway never fail to impress with their lineup and the first announcement surely will have something for everyone. Given the venue change for next year’s festivities (moved from Silo Park to Albert Park), it will be interesting to see how the organisers will make Albert Park their new home. Considering it is in a much more central location, almost a stone’s throw from where they have held it previously that one year at Aotea Square, it’s already sounding like a great venue. And there’s much more shade cover there, #winning so far.

The lineup in alphabetical order: AURORA, Bob Moses, Car Seat Headrest, Clams Casino, Cut Off Your Hands, DMA’S, Fazerdaze, Flight Facilities, Floating Points (Live), Fortunes, Glass Animals, Julia Jacklin, k2k, Mick Jenkins, Mr. Carmack, NAO, Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), Nikolai, Purple Pilgrims, Refused, Tame Impala, The Chills, The Julie Ruin, The Veils, Tourist, Tycho, White Lung, Whitney, Yukon Era.

Ticket sale deets:
Festival Members Pre-Sale: Monday 19th September, 9am – 5pm
General On Sale: Wednesday 21st September, 9am via

Jams from our favs and who we think you should be checking out on the day:

Clams Casino

Flight Facilities

Glass Animals


Tame Impala



Been | The Miltones – Golden Dawn

If you’re into Americana, early Seventies rock or the blues, then Auckland band The Miltones are an act you don’t want to miss. Playing at Golden Dawn last Friday, the five-piece group did not disappoint. Known for their unique sound, solid lyrics and infectious energy, The Miltones are a band that clearly love what they do and have a real passion for the art. This makes for some great listenin’!

The show opened with Firing Way, a catchy song which set the tone for the rest of the night. Upcoming hit Pursed Lips was a highlight, but the centrepiece of the night would have to be the foot-stomping country-blues tune Bleeding Blues. This is the sort of song that can get even the most dance-opposed person out on the floor, and in Golden Dawn’s smoky interior it almost felt like you could be in some dusty Southern USA joint. The gig finished with one of the band’s early songs, Gypsy Queen. An epic and emotionally strung-out piece, it was the perfect way to end the set.

The band work seamlessly together, led by vocalist and guitarist Milly Tabak, whose raw voice you won’t be forgetting any time soon. Lead guitarist Liam Pratt keeps the energy coming with banging solo after solo, while keyboardist and trumpeter Guy Harrison adds a touch of jazz to the music. Bassist Chris Marshall and drummer Tom Broome are solid, keeping the rhythm alive. While their sound is definitely original, fans of Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young would dig these guys for sure.

In sum: if you’re looking for a down-to-earth Kiwi band with a whole lotta soul, then The Miltones are it. Check them out.

the miltones

Been | Poppin’ my WOMAD cherry!

As I raced back to Auckland to catch the tail-end of another festival in what I can only describe as a tin can with wings, I paused to reflect on the WOMADness of the past day and a half, and I’m glad I gave into the FOMO epidemic that has gripped the nation (and my girlfriend).

heard | our top picks for WOMAD 2016

Leaves are starting to turn, days are becoming (somewhat) shorter and there’s a slight chill in the air – for the NZ Festival scene, it can only mean one thing – WOMAD is upon us!

In its 12th year, the festival returns once again to Taranaki, to showcase different cultures through music – this year, WOMAD will transport you to over 20 countries over seven stages, with 30 acts performing over 3 days. It’s a festival like no other. With so much choice, we thought we’d pick out some of our not-to-be-missed acts for this year’s festival.

been | Leon Bridges and the Texas Gentlemen – St. James Theatre

If you haven’t heard of Mr Bridges, you’re going to. The 26 year old Texan has been rapidly gaining attention since the release of his debut album, Coming Home, in June last year – and for good reason. ‘The kid,’ as backup singer Brittni Jessie calls him, is not just extremely talented, but refreshingly unique.

Blending raw soul and gospel with doo-wop and urban blues, Bridges’ sound takes you back to a time when music was about just that – music. With a nod to the great African American musicians of the fifties, sixties and seventies, Bridges’ style remains consistently ‘oldschool.’ Each number invokes a sort of nostalgia in the listener, a longing for a different time when things were more authentic. In keeping with the feel of his music, Bridges’ dress and mannerisms herald those of decades past. A single glance at his Instagram confirms this: monochrome photos of Bridges wearing trousers and collared shirts reveal a true dedication to his style and sound.

Ending his world tour in Auckland on January 9th, there’s no surprise that Bridges chose the St James as his venue. The historic building was a perfect match for an artist who has been hailed as a contemporary Sam Cooke or Otis Redding. When they arrived on stage Bridges and his seven-piece band, all immaculately dressed in fine suits, showed the crowd what a real concert should be like. There were no flashy sets, no costume changes and no awe-inspiring light displays. Bridges and The Texas Gentlemen simply played, filling the room with an energy and passion you really needed to be there to understand.

After an introductory song, Bridges proudly announced, in a purposefully Southern accent: “we are from Fort Worth Texas, and we rode in on our horses.” He then proceeded to play the entire Coming Home album, as well as a handful of new numbers. This was a foot-stomping, finger-clicking get-down-and-do-the-twist concert – everywhere you looked, people were dancing. While every song was amazing, there were of course highlights. The upbeat melody Twisting and Grooving, written about Bridges’ grandparents, was an instant mood-setter, as were new songs Let You Down and Mississippi Kisses. Bridges didn’t lose any power by slowing things down, however. The crooning number In My Arms was like something straight out of a 1950s dance party, while the rich, gospel song River was the climax of the show.

Ultimately, Bridges is well-worth going to see. And while he is clearly the star of the show, his band also has to be acknowledged. Without the amazing talents of saxophonist Jeff Dazey, who Bridges professed “has been with me right from the start,” and the flawless backup vocals of Brittni Jesse, the music would have quite a different sound.

A passion for real music is what immediately hits you upon hearing or seeing Leon Bridges and the Texas Gentlemen. Not one to let things go to his head, Bridges waited in the St. James foyer after the concert to take photos with fans and sign posters in an informal meet and greet. Did I meet him? Of course. He was soft-spoken and polite as he signed my poster with a quote from the album’s title song. More than that, he was appreciative. “Nice to meet you man,” he told my boyfriend. “Thank you.” Thank you, Leon, for giving us something to look forward to in the music world.

been | Naughty by Nature – 25th Anniversary Tour

Last Sunday (15th November) hip hop heavy-weights Naughty by Nature touched down on our shores for the last leg of their respective 25th Anniversary Tour.

Hot off the plane where they have been touring most of the major Australian cities, the irrepressible trio of Treach, Vin Rock and DJ Kay Gee have reunited to bring back their enduring 90’s East Coast sound.

Being my first-time witnessing a live performance by Naughty by Nature, I was a little uncertain about what to expect.  But once finding myself amidst the densely packed venue among the throngs of dedicated fans, I immediately felt at home in this den of hip hop.

A surprisingly full-house for a Sunday night gig in which one, could undoubtedly feel the anticipation and energy of those who clearly regard the influential triad, as a staple in music history.

My patience did begin to wane somewhat, as I found myself loitering for an extended time whilst I awaited their arrival on stage,  and once they did, an hour or so after the set time, they proceeded to play a plethora of other contemporary rap artists which as a genuine fan,  I found a little vexatious …….  But once they did get into the vast catalogue of hits that catapulted their success, they were unstoppable and brilliant, creating an enigmatic energy that was at the same time too, quite intimate and familiar; as the stage became abound with those die-hard followers of their ‘Illtown’ sound.   Hands and roofs were most definitely raised!

Immersed in such hip-hop anthems as ‘Hip Hop Hooray’ a classic from their debut eponymous LP, and ‘Craziest’ (from their follow up record ‘Poverty’s Paradise’) in particular, was performed with such raw yet authentic power that clearly resonated with those devoted to the ground-breaking group at the height of their fame.   Drawing towards the end of the long but worthy performance; the omnipotent artists reminded us what they were made of, with the indisputable no.1 hit from which their phenomenal success and universal presence came into existence – “OPP”

The night wore on well into the late hours, but the exhaustion and bleary-eyes were worth it in the morning, for a night of hip hop genius that I for one, will be ever thankful to have experienced.  Yet still I have one persisting question………………  What ever was with the baseball bat???