April/May 2016

Hi folks

Just one gig for April but what a fantastic event it was. We were one of a number of acts invited by Geoff Mutton to perform on his Variety Charity Concert held at The Orchard Chapel in Te Puke on the 30th of April in aid of the local rescue helicopter which raised around $5000-00. An awesome line up of talent was gathered together by Geoff and his team which in my opinion treated the audience to one of the best shows that we have been involved with for a very long time. A very talented group of muso’s made up the backing band which consisted of Phil Reha on drums, Shane Reha on bass, Dion Hobson rhythm and lead, and musical director Michael Tipping lead and rhythm. Backing vocals were provided by Sharon MacIntyre and Ali Blue ever the professionals thank you ladies and thank you to a fantastic backing band, great work. Along with ourselves the full line up was MC Kylie Austin, Amelia Rose Tappin, dance group Lip Sync, Daniel Cosgrove, trio Cheyanne, Melissa and Chet O’Connell, Lance Murch, Georgia Baker-Trebilco, Keith Pereira, Lesley Nia Nia, Dennis August and John Fletcher. Thank you to everyone that supported this outstanding show. Also thank you to Evan and Pauline Andersen from The Beacon Motel for providing accommodation for ourselves and the other artists. It was very much appreciated. Geoff certainly has great support from the local community and it is well deserved.

Due to a clash of dates sadly we were unable to attend the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival this year. We apologize to all our fans and hope to see you all at next year’s festival.

ONorfolk Island 2016 Groupn Saturday the 14th May we headed down to Auckland to meet up with some of our Norfolk Island tour group at the Heartlands Hotel where we had arranged a pre tour dinner get together. Our local The Toby Jug was under renovation so we had to settle for the Szimpla Gastro Bar which was more than adequate and everyone present had a great meal and a few laughs before take-off.

Sunday morning we checked out and headed to the airport to meet the rest of our group, check our bags, iron out any problems and head through customs ready for our flight at 3:30pm and the beginning of our 9th tour to the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival.

First thing on our agenda once everyone was settled into their accommodation at either the Aloha or Crown motels was our welcome dinner. We were again at the Leagues Club for a lovely buffet dinner which was followed by a special welcome concert arranged by club manager Kim Davies and featuring ourselves, Grant Reha – Timoti, Kylie Austin and local entertainers Kim and Bong. This was a great start to the country music week.

Monday morning we had arranged a slightly different Island tour with help from Megan at Baunti Escapes. It was a mix of their Norfolk Today tour and places that we wanted our tour group to see. This included a drive down to Ball Bay where the fuel ships unload, a tour of Quality Row, Lone Pine Point and the Kingston Jetty then heading to the top of Mt Pitt where we were given a short talk by Craig from the Parks Department on the islands fauna and flora, then over to Cooks Memorial for lunch and time to enjoy the scenery of this amazing spot. Thanks to Chrissy and Bec’s for arranging an awesome lunch which was totally enjoyed by everyone. We then headed to Saint Barnabus Chapel for a short history lesson and a song or two from Annette and myself. From there it was back to our accommodation to get ready for the New Zealand Show case. We must thank Rachel and Eddie, our bus drivers, for their wonderful commentary during the day tour. They were both very knowledgeable and informative one of the best tours that we have had.

The evening saw us at the Kiwi Showcase which again was very entertaining with appearances from MC Kylie Austin, Danielle Rigby, Chet and Melissa O,Connell, Neillyrich (Husband and wife duo expat kiwi Matthew McNeilly and his Aussie partner Amelia Richards), Phil Doublet and Headliner expat kiwi now residing in the USA  Jackie Bristow ably supported by the Huckleberries and Echo in Harmony.

Tuesday morning we were up early ready for the mini golf competition. Teams and team names had been selected prior to arrival and this year it was to be men verses ladies. Men’s teams were Foodlands Old Farts, RSL Rascals and League Club Legends. Women’s teams were Sweet Shop Sweeties, Cyclorama Mamas, Pete’s Place Pretties and Liquor Bond Beauties. Captains were chosen costumes fitted and the games commenced. Once again a lot of fun was had by all but in the end it was a clean sweep by the men 1st Rob Kay, 2nd Len Field, 3rd Des Fatt with the winning team being the Leagues Club Legends. Most golf played was Noeline Copedo, my mum. However mum redeemed herself (and the family name) by winning this year’s challenge which was to be photographed outside all the team name businesses which she did with the help of her traveling companion Ann Gordon aka Saint Ann. Tuesday evening before the Aussie Showcase Annette and I played our twilight gig for our good friend Terence Grubb at the RSL where we entertained island locals and tourist alike. Then it was off to the Australian Showcase to be entertained by Bennett, Bowtell & Urqhart ( Kevin Bennett, Lyn Bowtell & Felicity Urqhart),Luke O’Shea, Tanya Cornish ( 2015 TTEOY winner) with MC Matty Zarb and backed by Aussie band 4Play.

Wednesday was a free day for the group where they could take in the sights of this beautiful pacific island or do some more shopping or just take time to rest up. Wednesday evening was the Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year Awards which saw five Kiwis and four Aussies vying for the title. There was a great variety of performers this year with any one of them capable of winning. This year however it went to Kiwi Kelvin Cummings. Congratulations Kelvin and well done to all the Kiwi performers; Phoebe Ball, Gina Keating, Tegan Reid and Zara Buckton.

Thursday morning some of the crew had booked to go on a fishing trip with local wood turner and fisherman Darren Bates of Advance Fishing. It was a beautiful morning for fishing and on their return a large group had gathered to admire their catch and watch the feeding of the sharks as they filleted the fish. Check out the photos and videos. The day was once again free for the group to do their own thing until the Fish Fry at Puppy Point in the evening which was again one of the highlights of the tour even though it was a bit cloudy to see the sun setting but where else would you want to be anyway. Following the Fish Fry some of the group ventured out to Up Country to party the night away. Luckily they could sleep in on Friday morning. For some of us Friday was a full on day with the first stop being Culla and Co Clydesdale horse wagon ride with local identity Culla ( Elton Graham). This was another fantastic morning with these beautiful horses and humour and commentary from Culla himself and the magnificent views around the coastline of Norfolk Islands Steels Point area. There was no stopping for Annette and myself as we headed to the RSL with our tour group for our lunch time gig 12-2pm to once again entertain for the lunch time diners be they locals or tourists. We must thank Terence, Liz and the rest of the staff for the opportunity to sing at the RSL. Over the years we have built up a great friendship with Terence and many of the locals that come and listen to us at the RSL and it has always been a pleasure and a privilege to do so. We look forward to 2017 and entertaining you all again on our 10th anniversary tour. But the day wasn’t over yet. We had organized a farewell BBQ and sing along for our group at the Crown Motel and we had to get there to set up. A big thank you again to Chrissy and Rebecca for all their help arranging meat and salads for the evening and for the Crown for allowing us to use their departure lounge and BBQ. Also thank you to Karl, Brian and Des for cooking all the meat it was much appreciated. The night was finished off with a great sing along with cameo performances from Alan, Len, Peggy and Ken just to name a few before some of us took a well-earned rest and others once again headed to Up Country to party the rest of the night away.

Saturday, basically the last day for us began with a free morning before all the Kiwis met at the Leagues Club for a wind down concert and a special performance from Award winner Kelvin Cummings. Saturday evening a few of us had booked the Night as a Convict dinner. This was one of the best ones we had been to for a long time with great entertainment from Commandant Lully, plus the lady convicts with a beautiful meal thrown in for good measure. On a sad note however we say goodbye to Jo and Wayne Greig who have decided that 2016 will be their last Country Music Festival after 21 years of attending the festivals. It has been a pleasure having you both with us. We have learnt so much from you both and hope to catch up in sunny Nelson sometime in the future. Thank you and God bless you both.

Sunday morning was an early start as the first flight home departed 9:20am. Everyone was tired but happy and wishing that there could be another week on the Island as one week isn’t long enough to see or do everything that the Island has to offer. So maybe we will see some of you next year.

If you would like to see our Norfolk Island 2016 photos click here.

Don’t forget 2017 will be our 10th ANNIVERSARY TOUR. Des and Sharon are already saving for it so I am told as it will also be their 10th anniversary of touring with us to beautiful Norfolk Island. We have Registration of Interest Forms available now so just drop us a line if you would like one or look out for our 2017 TOUR PACKAGE coming soon.

Until next time remember to take care and keep it country.

Best wishes

Annette and Kim