Save the date 2021 Festival 21-31 October
It’s difficult forging a career in music in New Zealand. From my not very scientific research I have concluded that this is because

1. We are little and so it seems that we have to prove ourselves more, jumping up and down saying “Here we are! Over here! Look at us!”
2. We are kind of stuck out in the ocean by ourselves at the bottom of the world, so it takes longer to do things such as getting to America or England.

Most musicians in New Zealand have to take the hard road. The Do-It-Yourself road. Luckily, that is one thing that kiwis have been doing since the beginning of time, and it seems to work for us.

Ria Hall for example- our stunning songbird who opened the festival. Did you know that in 2013 she won the self-managed artist award at the NZ Music Managers’ awards? Amazing.

Three other musicians who have put in the time are Tama Waipara, Julia Deans (Fur Patrol), and Annie Crummer. It was a beautiful experience to watch them perform together last night at the palace. These are three of New Zealand’s most successful artists, and yet they kept it so real it was like hanging out at a house concert. The set was predominantly acoustic- a guitar, a drum, and a bass.

Tama played the clarinet, like I’ve never heard it played before. He even threw in a little squeak at the end of a particularly hard part, which added even more charm, especially when he mocked himself about it, like a true kiwi. He played another song that sounded like Proud Mary at the start, but we got it wrong- it’s Proud Maori, apparently.

Julia sang a song about a “really sh***y breakup”, to which Tama and Annie replied, “Ooooo…. angers”. Love it.

Then Annie told us that she doesn’t really have angers much, before launching into a brilliant and hilarious song called “Had it coming”. She also played “Romeo and Juliet” on the ukulele, captivating us from beginning to end. And she was just doing simple thumb-strumming (the guitarists will know what I mean.)

In summary, listening to these three seasoned artists perform was a treat for this musician who is not as far down the road. It was so encouraging. Julia Deans even told me that she loved my hair. She also reminded me that she’s coming back to the palace on Wednesday, to sing backing for Mel Parsons.

So you know where you need to be on Wednesday.

Come and meet our kiwi musicians as they travel the hard road.

With love from a kiwi musician who knows what it’s like…
Leah (Carroll) x

You’re on your own,
And you know what you know.
And you are the guy
Who’ll decide where to go…
-Dr Seuss