Big break for Opiki school band
When self-styled Manawatu¯ ‘‘renegade folk Americana’’ band Winsome Lost plays the last Hokowhitu Bowling Club gig of the year, they will have some pintsized competition.
Opening the Saturday night Palmerston North show for the band that wowed them so much at the 2017 Golden Shears they received an unprecedented invitation to perform again next year, will be the piki School Band.
piki, where the potatoes come from, is 15 kilometres south of Palmerston North on State Highway 56. Its six-room school has a roll of 150 pupils.
Six of those pupils were members of the school band, and gave up their Friday lunchtimes to rehearse in the school’s makeshift music room, converted out of the former dental clinic.
Tutored by Christian Stafford from Palmerston North’s Soundworks Music School, the sestet have kept fellow pupils and staff entertained at school assemblies, but on Saturday they’ll be on a main stage performing for a wider audience.
That’s thanks to Steve Tolley, a relieving teacher at the school, who also runs the regular Hokowhitu Bowling Club concerts.
‘‘He might have been at assembly when we did a couple of performances,’’ said guitarist and vocalist Sam Moleta, 12.
It promised to be quite an experience for the youngsters, but vocalist Sapphyre Cassidy, 11, seemed to take things in her stride.
Sapphyre has experience being one of three with Sam and guitar- ist Aydin Newell, 12, who played in the band last year.
‘‘It was a pretty good band last year, but this one is better organised,’’ Aydin said.
It will be his last year at the rural school. Next year Aydin heads to Palmerston North Boys’ High where he’ll be looking for a band to join.
The band’s youngest member is 10-year-old drummer Hunta Beales who provided the rhythm section with bass player Christopher Brider, 11.
Sosefina Kaufusi, 10, shares the vocals with Sapphyre.
The set list of six short songs opens with a version of Hound Dog they have reworded as Town Dog, Latin-flavoured Despacito, The Gumboot Song, Wagon Wheel and Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl.
Saturday night’s concert kicks off at 7.30pm with $20 bookings available on 027 368 2367 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
The piki School Band from left Sam Moleta, 12, Aydin Newell, 12, Sosefina Kaufusi, 10, Hunta Beales, 10, Christopher Brider, 11, and Sapphyre Cassidy, 11.