Southern Odyssey Tour
I've just returned from a hugely successful North Island tour promoting my award winning album Southern Odyssey. Audience numbers were good at most concerts and more than a few encores came my way. Probably the most interesting happening was in Hastings, where Roger Stonehouse sat down at the piano during the afternoon sound check and promptly found himelf press-ganged into accompanying me on Becalmed at the Bluff for the evening concert. His piano playing was an absolute delight and really helped make the occasion one of the highlights of the tour for me.
I had a great first up concert night in Carterton, where I caught up with a few old friends such as Miles Reay and also met up with some Garland family relations I'd never been aware of before. Many thanks to my old mate Barrie Saunders for allowing me the use of his PA system for the evening.
I performed outdoors at Cavan & Penelope Hayes lovely property in Otaki, but the night turned rather chilly halfway through the concert despite the patio heaters working overtime to keep us all warm - however the audience response was pretty warming, which certainly helped me overcome the rigors of a wintry evening.
The following day saw me heading off to Palmerston North for a concert in the Theosophical Hall - which serves as headquarters for the local folk club. It was a small but friendly audience (as always) followed by a bit of a session. Next morning I was backtracking to Upper Hutt for a Mainly Acoustic club concert and hosted wonderfully (yet again) by Kevin & Sue Meehan. I stayed a couple of days with them and managed to visit David Dell at his N.Z. Sheet Music Archive in search of some early Kiwi music. I came away with close to 30 interesting lesser known pieces from our musical past and looking forward to incorporating some of these on future albums. After a couple of days rest in Upper Hutt, it was back to the business at hand and I hit the road once again for Hastings.
The Hastings concert was held in the Hall at the local Steiner school before a wonderful turnout - I thoroughly enjoyed this evening especially with some musical assistance from Roger Stonehouse (as mentioned earlier). I managed to catch up with Trevor Ruffell of Kiwi Pacific records the next day and took delivery of more Southern Odyssey CDs to augment my rapidly depleting stock. I bade farewell to Hastings the next day and boarded the bus for Tauranga en route to the next gig at Katikati.
Katikati folk club meets in an old Packhouse right by the water's edge and I was delighted to share the billing here with the Penman family. Once again the audience gave both the Penmans and I a warm reception - it's a great venue and I can thoroughly reccommend it to anyone else touring in that part of the country.
The Bunker at Devonport is always a great venue and as usual lived up to its reputation, despite the lousy Auckland weather on the Sunday night - there were a few new faces present, but I was delighted to catch up with my old mates Alan Young and Peter Gross - great hospitality as always from Roger and Hilary. I stayed over an extra night in Devonport so that I could catch up with David Calder performing his Kiwi songs the following night at the Bunker. It was well worth staying for and always great to see and hear another of our fine musicians presenting an evening of great New Zealand songs.
Thanks to everyone involved for their warm hospitality in looking after me during the tour. It was greatly appreciated.