Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October

Sunday’s festival festivities had kicked off in the afternoon with Tirama at the Crystal Palace. I had been looking forward to this and I wished others had too, but the upside was that I had a booth to myself from the side of the stage. I looked over and could picture my tupuna out there, swaying along to the warm whanau interaction on stage and the sprinkling of sound from the guitars and traditional Maori instruments.

I love the opportunity to be mentally whisked away. At times I was enticed into believing that I was out on my own in the forest with liquid voices cascading down a gentle waterfall, then the feeling of tenderness when Mum carried me to bed and slid the blanket up to my face, lightly kissing my forehead; and the essence that this felt like a lovely lullaby version of the late night shed party sessions with the three chord strum and our cheap vodka drenched vocal chords bellowing out anthems. That feeling of warmth, comfort and grace, with the constant wave of goose bumps rolling through my body.

There was no rest for this blogger, a bunch of chores, a quick bite and then back into it for some back to back performances. Sitting in front of the Gifted set was an absolute visual pleasure; the simplicity of a writer’s life before the backdrop of the infamous hedge, strewn with paper, fragments of a fragile mind.

The three characters were charming in their delivery, as I had formed an emotional attachment to each one in the short space of time. Miss Frame’s nuances right down to her gait had the man next to me marvelling at its perfection as she tottered across the stage. Frank’s inquiring mind, insightful monologues and personality admirably complemented the other characters. The way he spoke is the way that I aspire to write. And Harry who was the crude godfather of classic Kiwi blokes, made me discover a new chuckle to chalk up on the list of NJ’s laughs.

I thought I had time to stay and chat, put on some more lippy and then mosey on into the X Space, but trying to tiptoe into Squidboy on a wooden floor wearing stilettos was no easy feat. Lucky his stage voice booming and echoing laughter muffled my clip clop. Trygve once again had the audience in doubled-over hysterics for his ability to deliver completely off the wall humour dressed as a man-squid in this storytelling session for adults; an intimate subculture of Anchorman-esque goodness.

I wanted to transport my friend Kat from the UK to sit here and lose it with me, our bellies rolling until we got abs. I also wanted to jump into Trygve’s mind just to wander around in his imagination for a bit because it appears that you could roam in the unfenced expanse of thought. No wonder this sell-out show had come with rave reviews.

A quick exit and skip down the stairs to the Crystal Palace where I had opened the door to a smokey 1920’s jazz club scene. Again more of the clip-toeing to a seat and then I was playfully slapped in the face with Tama Waipara’s musical notes jumping out and grabbing me. We meet again soothing voice! The first time I had heard him sing was on the RWC finals night. Listening to the gorgeous Julia Deans was like dipping a Whittaker’s chocolate bar into a hot chocolate, then letting the melted goodness glide down your throat. Dreamy. Jennifer Ward-Lealand was the soundtrack that begged me to bite into a fresh croissant while I walked the damp lamp-lit streets of Paris. And Jon Toogood’s multifaceted musical talent flicked its face to reveal another side to his voice with a hint of rock joie de vivre. It was a fascinating note to end the night on.

I’d love to swig back on a palate cleanser in between shows, but who has time for that!

Outfit of choice: A blue dress that I tried on in San Francisco and couldn’t take off and gold sparkly Guess heels that are loud in appearance and apparently sound.

Love ‘Can Someone Invent A Quiet Yet Stylish Pair Of Heels?’ NJ