May 2018

Hi Folks

Well it had been about 3 years since we last performed at the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival and we were certainly looking forward to being back for the 2018 festival and performing with “The Mountain Mist Band” once again. We had decided to busk as well and although the weather was a little inclement we managed to get a few hours in on Friday but Saturday was a washout. However we were looking forward to our weekend gigs and catching up with acts that we have not seen for a while. The Headliners for the festival from New Zealand were The Toner Sisters and the amazing Warratahs. And from Australia Michelle Plozza.

We enjoyed successful gigs at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, Paihia Sports Bar, Duke of Marlborough and the Kingsgate Hotel over the weekend. With only a couple of practices under our belts we were more than happy with the end result. The guys did an awesome job as usual. Thank you Richard, Tiny and Andrew for supporting us. Andrew stepping up to handle all the lead breaks as Ian was unable to make it up to the festival. But he had given us full warning that he may not be able to make it. We missed you Ian.

It was great to catch up with friends Raymond and Esther Solomon, Gray Bartlett and Brendan Dugan, Marian Burns and Matt Zarb, Carylann, Craig and Katrina Adams, Robert Antonio and his wife and my cousins Craig and Donna Robertson. Before we knew it the weekend was over and we were getting ready for our next engagement.

We had not intended to take a tour group to Norfolk Island in 2018 as we had made the decision in 2017 to make that our final trip to the festival. However the call came from The Travel Ctr on Norfolk Island about 3 weeks out from the festival to help fill a second charter on a 47 seater Chatham Air convair 580 turbo prop aircraft to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival. This would be the first time this type of aircraft has been used to bring people to the festival. It was too good an opportunity to pass up. On short notice we managed to get a group of 13 adventurous people to join us for this inaugural flight. What an adventure it was as well. It was like stepping back in time. We had a great flight up and back and were well looked after by the Chatham Air staff. It is hoped Chatham Air will start regular weekly flights to Norfolk Island if it is feasible. We certainly hope so for the sake of all our friends on Norfolk who desperately need the regular service from Kiwi.

With little time to organise activities for the group on Island we decided to play it by ear and arrange things as we went along. We had organised 3 gigs at the RSL during the week and a half day tour was included as part of the tour. A BBQ was organised at short notice before one of the evening shows and Ken made an emotional speech during the proceedings which was very touching thanking Alex for phoning and asking if he and Elaine would come on the tour with him. We also had an hilarious afternoon of mini golf with the men’s winner being Allan Lappin and the ladies winner after a playoff hole was required being Jo Dickson. We also had a wonderful picnic lunch at Cooks memorial. This is an amazing spot and the weather was magical. Our good friend Dids Evans allowed our group to visit their property at Flagstaff which overlooks Kingston and the group was blown away by the views and the generosity of Dids and his wife Gaye. It was so nice to catch up with all our friends on Norfolk Island and we hope to see you all again soon.

It was such a great week of country music with Aussie Headliners Troy Cassar Daley and Travis Collins with guest artists Fanny Lumsden, Johanna Hemara and 2017 Trans Tasman Entertainer of the Year Mason Hope and Kiwi Headliners Dennis Marsh and The Topp Twins with guest artists Farmer and Doublet, En-Tranzet and NZCMA Intermediate Entertainer of the Year Jaydin Shingleton. Backed once again by 4PLAY and The Huckleberries respectively with BVs by Echo ‘n Harmony, Sharon and Rosemarie. And not forgetting the local Norfolk Island band which helped begin the first festival 25 years ago reunited for the celebrations “ The Nightriders”. The weeks celebrations were topped off with a performance by Aussie singer Shannon Noll as a special treat for all the volunteers that have made it possible over the years for the festival to reach the 25 year mark. Well done everyone.

As mentioned in our previous Newsletter we are getting ready for our trip to Australia at the end of July beginning of August for the Barham and Lockington country music festivals and are very excited to be doing a couple of guest spots at country music clubs in Geelong and Adelaide. Follow this link for dates and times plus read about the Morning Melodies and Evening Shows we will be doing with Bidge Boyd and Alan Webster along the way.

Before then we will be on our first visit to the Henderson RSA on the 29th June. Hope to see you at one of these venues. Until then remember to take care and to keep it country.

Best wishes

Annette and Kim