May 2015

Hi Folks
May 2015The month of May brings two major events on our gig calendar. The first was the Bay of Islands Country Rock festival. This year held from the 8th- 10th of May. The weather was a bit dodgy on
Friday but by Saturday morning it had cleared and the 26th festival was bathed in sunshine. A wide range of acts had been assembled by convenor Shirley May and there was something to please every ones musical tastes. The headliners were New Zealand’s country legends Suzanne Prentice, Eddie Low and Brendon Dugan with support from Aussie acts Rodney Vincent, Tom Gordon, Callum Gleeson and Stephen R Cheney and a host of kiwi acts to fill the bill.

Once again we were supported by Andrew, Tiny, Ian and Richard aka The Mountain Mist Band. We are so lucky to have these great muso’s playing with us. We had 4 gigs during the weekend
kicking off at the Paihia Pacific on Friday night where Alexander Gramse was the soundman. It is always a pleasure to work with Alexander. It was also Annette’s debut playing the mandolin and she did a great job. We also had a great gig at the Paihia Ex-servicemans Club on Saturday night with a fantastic crowd turning out. We managed to catch up with a few of the other acts including our very good friend Graeme McCardle ably back by our Pedal steel player Andrew Paterson. I also had a bit of a family reunion with my cousins Craig Robertson and John and Jackie Herkt. Craig was one of the acts for the weekend and John and Jackie had travelled up from Whangarei to take in the festival.

Before we knew it the weekend was over and another successful festival had come to an end. Congratulations to Shirley and her team we look forward to festival number 27 next year.

Norfolk Is 2015The following Sunday we headed out to Norfolk Island with a group of 28 country music lovers to take in the sights and sounds of the 22nd Norfolk Island Country Music Festival held on the beautiful South Pacific Island. It was nice to see a mixture of old and new faces on our tour again this year. Des and Sharon Fatt haven’t missed one since we started in 2008. We had a full week of activities planned for the group starting on Sunday evening with a welcome dinner at the Leagues club with awesome entertainment by local singer Lully. That kicked the week off nicely. Our good friend Leo Nola joined us for dinner as well. We usually stay with Leo on island but due to Alex being with us this year as part of our tour we required a disability shower so opted for a unit at Hibiscus Aloha. Everyone was thankful for a lie in on Monday morning and time to sort out cars and groceries. The afternoon saw us on our half day tour to familiarise everyone with the island and its amazing history.

Monday evening was the New Zealand Showcase with Headliner Suzanne Lynch supported by Glenn Moffat, James Ray Still and 2014 TTEOY winner Cheryl Anderson. The show was mced by Kylie Austin with backing from the Huckleberries and Echo’n’ Harmony providing bv’s. Tuesday morning was our regular mini golf competition including dress up and special team names,
Golden Orbs, Ferral Chickens, Old Brown Cows, Raucous Roosters, Turn Back Terns and Dopie Island Dogs. The individual winner was Des Fatt. The team names were used for a little photo competition that we had for everyone to participate in and the winners of that were Carol and Dave Digby with runners-up Bev and Lloyd Gravatt well done both couples for entering into the spirit of things.

Tuesday evening brought on the Trans-Tasman competition, 5 Kiwis against 5 Aussies. Tanya Cornish from Australia took out the 2015 title. All the kiwis sang exceptionally well and were unlucky not to be recognised for their performances.

Wednesday was a free day for most with some of us taking advantage of the Culla & Co Clydesdale horse and carriage excursion which was fantastic again this year with a beautifully fine morning and amazing cliff top views. Those with platinum and gold passes were treated to an afternoon acoustic concert with some of the headliners. That evening Annette and I performed at the RSL from 5-7pm for the locals and those on tour who wished to attend the show.

Thursday was the Island Fish Fry at Puppies Point. It was a bit chilly but fine with some amazing colours at sunset. The group was entertained by Trent Christian, a descendant of the Pitcairn
Islanders, and there was fish for Africa. Following the Fish Fry we headed back to Rawson Hall for the Aussie showcase with Headliner James Blundell supported by Anne Kirkpatrick, the daughter of Slim Dusty, Roo Arcus and Tori Darke. The show was mced by Cameron Syrett with backing by Five Play. A great concert.

On Friday Annette and I had our second gig at the RSL this time from 12-2pm. Our group had a great lunch and an awesome sing- along with special appearances by Mary Mac, Ken Foster and Shaun Ryland to top the afternoon off and not forgetting our lovely local Vonny. Check out the photos. They must be somewhere on facebook or this website. Friday night most ventured to the Hoedown but Annette, Alex, Jo and Wayne made it to the Night as a Convict and had a great time by all accounts.

Saturday was a full free day for everyone. A time to do last minute shopping, catch the ship unloading, which is always an interesting sight or check out those hidden spots that the island has
and you hadn’t been able to get to during the busy week and just soak up the peace. To cap the week off we had our Traditional Norfolk Dinner hosted by Baunti Escapes. This was a final chance to
get together and thank everyone for joining us on Norfolk, hand out the prizes for the photo comp. and enjoy one another’s company before heading home on Sunday. We had a great week and hope that everyone on the tour did as well. We look forward to next year now and already have some people rebooked which is just awesome. If you would like to join us as well please contact us
through our web site, email or Facebook and we will send out the Registration of Interest forms so that you won’t miss out on this great week of country music on this beautiful South Pacific island. Come join us we would love to meet you.

Until next time take care and keep it country.
Best wishes
Annette and Kim