So – now we get to the reason for the trip away.
The main event was attending “The More FM Winery Tour ”
– which does not, despite the name, mean that we got to tour a bunch of wineries. The only people touring a large number of wineries are the performers giving the Tour. (Well, I believe there are a few fanantical followers of one or other of the musicians who have bought tickets to every single concert over the whole country. (I guess those people have no jobs and lots of money …… hmmmm…… seems an unlikely combination…….))
Opening act – Boh Runga & Che Fu,
The main thing – Bic Runga, Tim Finn & Dave Dobbyn.
This was the line-up for most of the performances around the country, but a few of the bigger centres also had some other bands or local artisits. Dave Dobbyn is my all time favourite New Zealand musician – he writes and sings the kind of stuff that has layers of meaning anyway, and added to our own memories and experiences that these songs have been the backdrop for means that I shed the occasional tear during some of the songs.
This is the music all New Zealand has grown up with, so everyone was there from the grandmas & grandpas to the babes in arms. The atmosphere was fantastic and the police officers on duty should have been glad to be getting paid to attend a great evening out – ‘cause they sure didn’t need to be doing anything else much to earn their pay.
In front of us were a group of older (well, late middle age!) couples and then beside them two families with pre-teen and young teen kids. I think the craziest dancing was done by one of the older guys – especially towards the end of the evening when he’d had a few drinks!!!
We were sitting about 2/3rds of the way back, so we don’t have great photos – but here they are. (Charliebug – Tim is there especially for you!) And following our photos are a couple of reviews from the local newspapers in the area. I can’t really top anything the reviews have said.
ARTISTS Villa Maria Estate, Blenheim – 12 Feb 2010
Dave Dobbyn, Tim Finn and Bic Runga provided a revolving door of Kiwi classics and the crowd loved it at the More FM Winery Tour concert at Villa Maria Estate on Friday night.
The show was opened by Boh Runga who played from her album Right Here, which was released last July.
She was joined by Che Fu for a duet rendition of Come Together by the Beatles.
Their 40-minute set saw those dancing in front of the stage slowly grow in number.
Then the three Kiwi music powerhouses took to the stage to a loud reception, playing Crowded House’s Weather With You, which had people flooding to the front.
The sun was hot until it sunk below the hills and the event was nestled away from the wind providing the perfect setting for doing just as Dobbyn instructed: “letting your hair down and getting a bit of culture”.
As the light began to fade the once-orderly rows of spectators at the front had dissolved into a writhing mass of singing and dancing.
During crowd favourites such as Split Enz anthem I See Red, Bic Runga’s Sway, and Dobbyn classics Slice of Heaven and Loyal, dancing punters could be seen in all directions, silhouetted against the stage lighting or fading sunlight.
Finn was as energetic as ever, especially during I See Red where he was practically bouncing around the stage.
They left the stage after 50 minutes, and the crowd’s cries for an encore were granted.
The stage lit up to show Runga, Dobbyn and Finn without supporting band members, sitting on stools with acoustic guitars playing Runga’s Something Good.
Then the electric guitars and the band returned for some more popular tunes.
They signed off with Dobbyn’s sing-along Welcome Home and the massive throng before the stage roared its approval with the fading music.
Michael Berry – Marlbrough Express
ARTISTS Fine talent captivates all
With a mysterious intensity that made every woman aged over 50 swoon, Tim Finn stole the show last night.
Alice Cowdrey, Nelson Mail – February, 2010
Breaking out into the possessed dance moves he refined back in the days if Split Enz, Finn was a bright spark you couldn’t drag your eyes off during last night’s gig.
Wearing a black coat lined with red, Finn’s tortured genius dance moves had him working up a sweat as he pulled out all the Enz classics – Couldn’t Be Done, Dirty Creature, I See Red, and Six Months in A Leaky Boat. One of the 1800 strong crowd favourites was Finn’s 1983 hit Fraction too Much Friction, with hoots from the audiences and a lighter happy fan getting a bit close for comfort.
The tour is the first time in 10 years the legendry trio have shared the stage. Back in 2000, they released the Together in Concert album and last night played many of the tunes on that album as if they had been practicing every night since.
These included Dave Dobbyn’s tear jerker Beside You, and his Kiwi classics Whaling and Language. Bic Runga’s gentle tune Sway and Finn’s well known tunes Weather With You and Persuasion.
The night opened with Bic’s sister Boh who was accompanied by Supergroove’s smooth and soulful Che Fu. The pair, who are performing together for the first time during the 18-date tour have perfectly suited voices. Che Fu did a lighter version of Chains, as well as Fade Away and Misty Frequencies, with Runga performing solo tracks and songs from the Stellar* songbook, including radio pop hit Violent.
The main act, however was worth the wait and exceeded expectations. The trio played a good mix of each other’s songs and the tracks people wanted to hear, such as Loyal, which dragged even the less enthusiastic on to their feet.
The sound of “da-da-da” would have been heard for miles during Dobbyn’s Slice of Heaven, and Welcome Home was the cheery on the top for many.
Dobbyn was, as usual full of good graciousness and feel good messages for the crowd (“God Bless” and “you are in fine voice and great heart”) and the backing band was tight. Backing vocals were performed by soul jazz songstress LA Mitchell, whose live sound never fails to impress.
The scene on the night was a happy one, but my only grizzle is that the venue, as always was squashed. The mob of dancers had to spread out onto people’s picnic blankets and I think I stood on someone’s bacon and egg pie. Sorry.