Category Archives: music

heard | Start planning your Soulfest experience!

Great news for fans that are unable to attend SoulFest for the entire event – there is a new release of limited offer special SoulFest Twilight Tickets – on sale now!

Soulfest Twilight Tickets enable entry from 6pm on show day, and allow access into the Rear Field GA area only.

These tickets will be available at the special price of $99.00**

Please go to: or 0800 111 999 for full information on offers.

**Please note: Transaction fees, processing fees and other charges may apply. Offers are limited and are strictly subject to availability.

And here is the SOULFEST TIMETABLE 2015 so you can start planning your SoulFest experience!


Tickets on sale now from: and

For your listening pleasure, the official SoulFest 2015 line up playlist can be streamed on Spotify here

Check out our favourite Soulfest collaborations here.

seen | An Evening with the Incredible Mr Capsis | Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall

images-3     Hot on the heels of such a rousing performance by the amazing Camille O’Sullivan, it was truly shaping up to be a hard act to follow ……….. But Australian cabaret extraordinaire Mr Paul Capsis certainly lived up to the challenge!

With a refreshingly satirical mood and an edgy ambiance to the show, it was a somewhat lighter, yet in no way less impressive, transition from the all encompassing show previous.

The heavily tattooed and made up Paul Capsis presents himself and in drag,  a surprise to my senses as I was not quite sure just what to expect from this 5 time Helpmann Award Winner, but was readily impressed.

Drawing inspiration from some of Divas’ royalty, (Garland, Janis Joplin, Nina Simone) and as clearly distinguished by his costume choice, the tragically young Amy Winehouse.  Paul Capsis has a definite affinity for the strong and influential soulful greats and delivers a show in the true style of Cabaret.

Among them included a contemporary rendition of ‘Sweet dreams are made of this’ and Nancy Sinatra’s classic ‘BANG BANG’.

Mixed with great comedic timing, simulated multiple personality disorder/exorcism, with intermittent references to the state of Australian politics,  Mr Capsis shows us that he is not only funny, but has depth and layers of character and is also very passionate about his heritage.

‘Lady Sings the Blues’ is an amusing irony that springs to mind whilst listening to the artist project such powerful gospel ballads in a lusty and feminine voice that defies his gender, traversing between costume changes with hilarious storytelling.

Closing the show with a beautiful performance alongside a live double-bass player and rest of band, echoing the sounds that of a didgeridoo reminiscent of Paul Capsis’s homeland and a quintessential tune from Lou Reed, this arresting and diversely entertaining evening proved that it may have indeed, been my ‘Perfect Day’ ………….


Monique Perera ~ 3/09/2015


been | Camille O’Sullivan – ‘Changeling’ | Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall


Wow.  Simple words just cannot express how a single performer was able to exceed my already lofty expectations of them,  but one such remarkable artist managed to do just that (a thousand times over), the delightful and extremely charismatic Irish/French chanteuse, Camille O’Sullivan.

The much lauded Auckland International Cabaret Season returns for its triumphant second year to titillate and tantalize our fabulous and flamboyant senses with 7 amazingly original (and some risque) acts and I was lucky enough to score an invite to two of these, beginning with an incredibly moving and stellar production of Camille O’Sullivan’s  ‘Changeling’.

In the elegantly set cabaret hall with its sumptuous and grand curtain backdrop, we are immediately brought into a very intimate and comfortable setting,  made even more so with the sudden emergence of the femme fatale herself, sleek and sultry dressed all in black, and surprisingly rather tactile with the audience, carrying the unmistakably warm and friendly air of the Irish.

Going by all previous reviews of just what one should expect from a show by Camille, with eclectic and soulful renditions of some of musics most revered; David Bowie,  Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen (to name but a few),  I was not left disappointed.

She is joined onstage with some pretty impressive musical assistance by a cool and collected backing band, opening with a hauntingly beautiful version of Nick Caves, ‘God is in the House’.  With such strength in her voice, faultless and smooth delivery, it is just a taste of what our ears will be treated to, throughout this one hour show, and so begins our musical journey ………

Camille definitely lives up to the flamboyant and dramatic expectations of a Cabaret artist, in ruby red slippers reminiscent of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, energy of movement alongside very effective lighting and set design, she is also however very unique in her ability to go beyond that, with humorous repertoire and diversity in her musical choices.  From one particular rock track executed in a style echoing the mood of an old Irish ballad to one of the more recognizable closing tunes, ‘Is that all there is ……..?’  All delivered with silky smooth precision in Camille’s uniquely raspy and  powerful, yet beautiful tone of voice.

A truly special and enigmatic performance, that left all those lucky enough to have been a part of it, incredibly moved and wanting more …………..


Monique Perera ~ 3/09/2015


heard | favourite Soulfest collaborations

With Soulfest only 14 weeks away we thought we’d compile a list of our favourite collaborations by some of the artists who will be performing at the festival this October. With such an impressive lineup, there was quite a selection to choose from.

Jhene Aiko has come a long way from being a backup vocalist for B2K, more recently she’s collaborated with Glasgow producer, Hudson Mohawke on a stellar track titled Resistance, about a doomed romance.

Eric Benet was a household name in 1999 when the following song dropped. Featuring Faith Evans who was in her prime with the Bad Boy family.

The undisputed Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has many collaborations under her belt so it was rather hard to choose one. Her recent venture into dance music with the likes of Disclosure resulted in some great tracks but she did join forces with another Brit earlier in her career which we loved. The video’s pretty awesome as well cause you get many Marys in the one video.

Jill Scott is such a beautiful poetic soul that writes intelligent, sassy and honest lyrics that hit you right where you need it the most. This track definitely does it for us with saxophonist Mike Phillips taking this track to another whole level.

Floetry are Natalie Stewart and Marsha Ambrosius who hail from the U.K. They’ve collaborated with the likes of Raheem DeVaughn, Mos Def and Common. It’s the track with Common that we can’t stop listening to. Ambrosius’ vocals are just beautiful on this track.

Miguel with his sexy smooth vocals could perhaps steal anyone’s heart. The collaboration that sticks out the most to us is the one where he sang with the only artist to have a number 1 single every year in the 90s.

When L. Boogie burst onto the scene in the early 90s with the Fugees, you knew there was something special about her. Embarking on a solo career in the late 90s, she released her debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill which became an instant classic and sold millions worldwide. She collaborated with a few artists on there including Mary J. Blige, John Legend and Carlos Santana. More recently she has worked on the soundtrack of the Nina Simone documentary where she’s covered a couple of her tracks. Her rendition of the Bob Marley track Turn Your Lights Down Low is pretty special, though.

Charlie Wilson has been described as the essence of soul. The former lead singer of Gap Band, his career has spanned forty years and has amassed quite a few collaborations. He’s been featured on quite a few Kanye West tracks, but it’s the iconic “Beautiful” with Snoop Dogg & Pharrell that we can’t get out of our heads.

Hip-hop legends De La Soul have been going hard for 20 years and they’ve collaborated with quite a few people and we couldn’t go past the Chaka Khan feature on All Good.

Soulfest will be happening on Monday 26th October (Labour Day Holiday) at Western Springs Stadium and tickets are still available from and with more information on

reviewed | Paper Towns OST

The album is pure indie-pop crack, pulled together to form a cohesive list of summer anthems the songs (some new and some old) should nicely complement the film once it’s released. We anticipate how each track will be used in the film, because even on their own it’s a good listen to imagine them accompanying a film adaptation of Paper Towns by John Green- directed by Jake Schreier.

With tracks from HAIM, Santigold, Sam Bruno (whose Search Party track is already a summer jam in the states), Vampire Weekend, Vance Joy, Grouplove and Nat (who plays Quentin) and his brother Alex Wolff, you know it’s going to be great.

‘Radio’ by Santigold is arguably one of my favourite tracks from the album, it’s anthemic, something you want to listen to while driving down a highway.

However you also get some laid-back tracks too like ‘Used to Hunt’ by The Mountain Goats, nice track you can chill out to.

Sam Bruno’s track, ‘Search Party’ was released a month or so ago and certainly seems to embody the film’s essence. Check out the music video, below.

Get the album on iTunes.

See the whole tracklist below:

1. Santigold – Radio
2. Twin Shadow – To the Top
3. Sam Bruno – Search Party
4. Kindness – Swingin Party
5. Vance Joy – Great Summer
6. Vampire Weekend – Taxi Cab
7. Son Lux – Lost It To Trying (Paper Towns Mix)
8. Saint Motel – My Type
9. Galantis – Runaway (U & I) (Svidden & Jarly Remix)
10. HAIM – Falling
11. Grouplove – No Drama Queen
12. De Lux – Moments
13. Alice Boman – Be Mine
14. The Mountain Goats – Used To Haunt
15. The War on Drugs – Burning
16. Nat & Alex Wolff – Look Outside

NZICF15 | Ben Defend New Zealand

We Kiwis have heard it all before, from the dirty sheep jokes to the prime minister’s hair pulling, it is time we take the stand to defend our nation. Come watch New Zealand’s very own Ben Hurley defend our country against three international guest comedians. Each night invites a different line-up of comedians keeping it ‘fresh as’, this is a great chance for you to sample what NZICF2015 has to offer. I attended a Thursday night show in week two with guest James Roque, Tevita Manukia and Steve Wrigley.

If you constantly tune in to watch 7Days on TV3 then you would know that Ben makes regular appearances on the show, but did you know he also is the head writer for it? This man is just as funny as he is on television. The sense of humour flows strongly in this one and he has a God given talent in public speaking. I had put my name down to see Ben Defend New Zealand not because of the funnies but the ‘burns’ I wanted to witness. Part of me wanted to see some serious word battles of the century, I wanted to see some tears of defeat among blood shed. In my mind I had a vision of one man up against three in a boxing ring with microphones.

What I had imagined didn’t quite turn out that way so to all you peace lovers out there, no one gets hurt. Instead of a boxing ring where people thrash words out like ‘are you mad bro?’ it was Ben one side of the stage interrogating the three poor guest speakers on the other end. Okay, so I may have exaggerated a little bit, it was more like a small quiz on what they know about their own country. I enjoyed this show not because of what I expected to see or hear (obviously), but the fun and games that it turned out to be. The whole show became a hilarious conversation about countries, traditions, habits and strange news. The only issue I had with this event was it wasn’t long enough, this needs to last the whole day darn it!

Here is a tip for this show do not avoid front row. If you think you can avoid being picked on by avoiding the front row you are wrong as proven by a lady I met at the venue. She was waiting for people to fill the front row so she could sit a row or two behind to avoid embarrassment, it didn’t work out well. When you’re target for the comedian you will be one no matter where you are in the room. So my tip is sit in front row if you can, don’t miss out on the full experience just to avoid a small chance of being teased.

Ben Defend New Zealand is showing in Auckland only and is happening at Q Theatre’s Loft. Tickets are available to purchase here on Q Theatre’s sessions page, this show ends this Saturday (16th May) so book your tickets now and don’t miss out.

WHEN:  10:00 pm   Wednesday (13th May) – Saturday (16th May)

WHERE: LOFT @ Q Theatre, 305 Queen Street AUCKLAND 1010


Adults $25.00
Conc. $20.00
Groups 4+ $20.00

Cheap Wednesday $20.00
Thursday Special $20.00

* service fees may apply

Check out New Zealand International Comedy Festival’s Website for more fantastic shows and acts to see. Click here to visit Ben Hurley’s website and follow the links on his website to stalk him on social media.

seen | Pitch Perfect 2

According to the world wide web, namely our trusted friend Wikipedia, Pitch Perfect 2’s May 7th release in Australia and New Zealand is a good week before the US and the rest of the world. Say what? Yes, that’s right! We get first dip down under. For once.

The entire cast – well the main ones anyway – is back. Nobody in their right mind would turn down the opportunity to cash in on the first movie’s sweet success. Question is, how does one beat themselves at their own game? Sequels will always be under much worse scrutiny than its predecessor. So shake off all that preconception, expectation or die-hard fan love for the first Pitch Perfect before heading into your local  cinema, you’ll enjoy this sequel so much more.

A cappella goes international this time, while the storyline no longer focuses solely on Beca and Jesse. There are plenty of cutesy romance, A-ca faceoff’s, embarrassing moments and random yet hilarious punch lines. Looking for those hallmark catchy cover tunes? They’re definitely there, better than before, especially with the captivating and fierce new comers Das Sound Machine. Fingers crossed, they’ll form a real group in their own right.

Unlike the “Cup” song which turned into an overnight original sensation, it’s reverse marketing this time around, I’m sure Jessie J’s Flashlight had already done enough publicity for Pitch Perfect 2. So be a sheep and go watch this movie. It’s a guaranteed feel-goodie!