Keep­ing faith and reg­gae

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

Mu­sic fans will get to hear reg­gae with a spir­i­tual mes­sage at to­mor­row’s Grey Lynn Park Fes­ti­val.

Sandr ing­ham- based band Solomonix will take to the main stage in the af­ter­noon for its first fes­ti­val per­for­mance.

In­stru­men­tal­ist and pro­ducer Will “Willi the Kid” Brown, also known in lo­cal mu­sic cir­cles as Iron Will, says the band will make the most of the op­por­tu­nity and play a one hour set of its reg­gae sound.

Al­though the band has only played a few gigs, he says au­di­ence re­ac­tion to date has been strong.

“We’ve had a lot of re­ally strong, pos­i­tive feed­back.”

Solomonix has about 20 mem­bers in­volved in its mu­sic and pro­duc­tion but its new al­bum Bene­dic­tion, which it hopes to release next year, is the work of four mem­bers.

Main vo­cal­ist Sol Heke started the band in 2000 when he was liv­ing in the Bay of Plenty.

He was work­ing as a farmer but when the mother of his chil­dren passed away, he turned to mu­sic and his faith.

When the orig­i­nal five band mem­bers went their sep­a­rate ways, Sol kept the name and moved to Auck­land where the mu­si­cians he met en­cour­aged him to con­tinue with his mu­sic.

“Most of the three years I’ve been here I’ve had noth­ing, just me and my two chil­dren.”

Then he met Will and they cre­ated the foun­da­tion of the cur­rent band.

Along with mu­sic, to­mor­row’s fes­ti­val also fea­tures art, craft, mul­ti­cul­tural food and dance.

There will be a gypsy vil­lage, rides and an Eco Space where peo­ple can be in­tro­duced to lo­cal gar­den com­mu­ni­ties and sus­tain­able ac­tiv­i­ties.

A Ma­chine Park for steam en­gine en­thu­si­asts will also be a fea­ture, and lo­cal schools and com­mu­nity groups will per­form on the Whanau Stage.

The fes­ti­val runs from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Small do­na­tions are sought to sup­port the fes­ti­val and its 25th an­niver­sary next year. Se­cure park­ing is avail­able at Grey Lynn School on Sur­rey Cres.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Spir­i­tual reg­gae: Solomonix mem­bers, from left: Patsy Chan, Will Brown and Sol Heke.

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