Sum­mer­sounds a spe­cial af­fair

Kaikoura Star - - FRONT PAGE -

Kaik­oura Sum­mer­sounds mu­sic fes­ti­val has a di­verse range of mu­sic for a wide range of peo­ple, who come to Kaik­oura for two days in Jan­uary for some­thing of a spe­cial gath­er­ing.

One half of the Sum­mer­sounds team was co-pro­moter of the Kaik­oura Roots Fes­ti­val that fin­ished in 2012, and now Sum­mer­sounds is build­ing to re­place this as a ma­jor event on the sum­mer mu­sic cir­cuit.

Kaik­oura Sum­mer­sounds fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers Leo Har­nett and Darcy Suther­land, say the fes­ti­val caters for a broad range of peo­ple with a broad range of mu­sic.

In its idyl­lic coastal set­ting, backed by moun­tains and near the beach, it at­tracted 2000 peo­ple last Jan­uary.

‘‘ Kaik­oura Sum­mer­sounds re­ally is about the mu­sic, not pos­ing.

‘‘The site is fan­tas­tic, fac­ing the moun­tains, next to the beach,’’ says Suther­land.

‘‘We’ve cho­sen ev­ery act for a rea­son and across many gen­res - funk, dub, blues and reg­gae. Ours is a small fes­ti­val and we have the lux­ury of mak­ing it more per­sonal,’’ he says.

‘‘We get all kinds of peo­ple. Peo­ple you wouldn’t think would come to Sum­mer Sounds.

‘‘We sell tick­ets all over the world, I can tell you.

‘‘And tourists see ‘mu­sic fes­ti­val’, they’re along too.’’

‘‘Camp­ing is free, we don’t charge any­thing ex­tra.

‘‘We in­vite a do­na­tion to the hos­pi­tal fund in­stead.

‘‘It re­ally is a great spot, and we want every­body to en­joy it,

‘‘We have a full bar, but not just cases of RTDs.

‘‘We al­ways get a good crowd, a well-be­haved crowd, a fam­ily crowd,’’ he said.

Har­nett says he’s glad to wel­come back reg­gae gi­ants Kora, and Ahoribuzz, who wowed the fes­ti­val last year be­hind gui­tarist and front­man Aaron Tokona, per­haps best known from po­prock Kiwi group Weta.

‘‘Jon Toogood of Shi­had ranks [Tokona] as the best gui­tarist in the coun­try right now,’’ says Har­nett.

Tokona says the fes­ti­val sea­son seems re­ally healthy and Kaik­oura is ‘‘like a sum­mer hol­i­day’’.

‘‘You get the sense it’s get­ting big­ger and big­ger.

‘‘ It re­ally feels like a home­grown event, Kaik­oura is so non-cor­po­rate, not all about ad­ver­tis­ing.

‘‘It’s kind of home­grown and it’s a beau­ti­ful set­ting.

‘‘I like that when peo­ple are in a good mood al­ready when you play, and in a great place like that you’d have to be happy,’’ Tokona said.

‘‘When you’re on that side of the stage, look­ing out, then tour­ing is like a hol­i­day.

‘‘I re­mem­ber com­ing out to play and the moon was ris­ing, the sun was just go­ing down, the dol­phins were jumping. Magic spot,’’ he says.

Per­cus­sion­ist Michael Barker agrees and the first thing he says about Kaik­oura’s fes­ti­val, echoes Har­nett’s aims for the fes­ti­val.

‘‘There’s fes­ti­vals and there’s fes­ti­vals.

‘‘ Some are just peo­ple drink­ing in a carpark, spon­sored by who­ever’s sell­ing the drinks. But I’ve been a few times now and Kaik­oura cares enough to cre­ate a re­ally won­der­ful site,’’ he says.

Barker is an or­ches­tral­trained per­cus­sion­ist and has played with the New Zealand Sym­phony Orches­tra,

Last time he came to Kaik­oura he was with United States- Aus­tralian blues oufit the John But­ler Trio.

This will be his first Kaik­oura fes­ti­val with Swampthing, a two- man ‘‘ blues roots jug­ger­naut,’’ with gui­tarist and friend Grant Haua.

‘‘I’ve played a lot of dif­fer­ent types of mu­sic, be­ing a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian you do some­times have to play a cer­tain mu­sic.

‘‘But th­ese days I’m try­ing to play more of the mu­sic I like.

‘‘What does ‘blues’ mean? A lot of things.

‘‘What is roots? It’s African re­ally, that’s what roots re­ally is.

‘‘I play drums, sure, but also play some­thing called a kee­bass. It was made in the 60s by hot wa­ter company Rheem. Yeah it’s re­ally a ‘ bass key­board,’ it’s cool,’’ he says.

The fes­ti­val will also fea­ture head­line artists Kora, Tiki Tane, Wellington reg­gae out­fit New­town Rock Steady and New Zealand Mu­sic award win­ner for best elec­tronic artist, Opiuo.

The Aus­tralia- based Kiwi Opiuo has remixed for some of the top live acts around, and has taken his dance elec­tro mu­sic to fes­ti­vals all over the world, in­clud­ing Glas­ton­bury and Coachella.

Fes­ti­val held cor­ner of Har­nett’s and Old Beach Rd, Kaik­oura, on Satur­day and Sun­day Jan­uary 17 and 18. Tick­ets are $150. Visit kaik­oura­sum­mer­sounds.co.nz

Ahoribuzz: Gui­tarist and front­man Aaron Tokona brings his un­pre­dictable psy­che­delic three-piece band to Kaik­oura for Jan­uary’s Sum­mer Sounds Fes­ti­val.

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