Catlins spoilt for choice


Catlins res­i­dents have been spoilt for choice in the last week, with en­ter­tain­ment on Friday night from Neil and Liam Finn, then the fol­low­ing evening by Flora Knight and Sean Don­ald.

The Finn con­cert, Where’s My Room Tour of Aotearoa 2018, was held in the old Purekireki Hall, af­ter the acous­tics in the Owaka Me­mo­rial Com­mu­nity Cen­tre were found want­ing.

Peo­ple at­tend­ing said the hall’s floor was rock­ing with the music, which was out­stand­ing, with many old favourites played.

Neil and Liam were ac­com­pa­nied by ‘‘the whanau, most of whom had names end­ing in Finn’’, ac­cord­ing to one per­son, re­fer­ring to the back­ing peo­ple.

The old hall has no power, so gen­er­a­tors were brought in to pro­vide light and sound.

Por­taloos were also avail­able out­side, as was a bar pro­vid­ing drinks.

The hall only fits a max­i­mum of 200 peo­ple and was sold out days be­fore.

It’s not of­ten peo­ple here get a chance to see an act as fa­mous as Neil Finn.

The tour took place in small and large places the length of New Zealand from Piha in the north to Purekireki in the south. Ours was the sec­ond last show, with one at Mil­ton the fol­low­ing night.

On the Satur­day, I was present when Flora Knight and Sean Don­ald put on a fid­dle and guitar per­for­mance at the Owaka Me­mo­rial Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

They played to about 50 peo­ple with pre­dom­i­nantly Amer­i­can coun­try music, which was a mix of tra­di­tional coun­try, blue­grass, jug band, Louisiana-style, in­ter­spersed with older songs and the New Zealand class Blue Smoke and jok­ing asides or fillers.

They were joined at one stage by Bill Clem­mer with her har­mon­ica.

The au­di­ence was foot and hand­tap­ping through­out and one brave cou­ple, Alma Collins and An­drew Dau­man, took to the dance floor be­hind the au­di­ence when in­vited, and showed great flu­id­ity with their waltzes and quick­steps.

In con­trast to the Finn show, this one was at the start of the Arts on Tour pro­gramme, which takes in 20 other venues as far north as Kaitaia and end­ing on Fe­bru­ary 27 at Fair­lie.

There is only one other tour ar­ranged for Show­time in The Catlins, ac­cord­ing to or­gan­iser Mary Suther­land, to­wards the end of the year.

Flora Knight and Sean Don­ald.

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