The Madil­lion­aires at Mu­sichaven

The Tribune (NZ) - - PERFORMANCE -

Why New Zealand Mu­sic Month? The an­nual pro­mo­tion of Kiwi songs has helped raise the lo­cal con­tent on ra­dio from 10 per cent up to over 20 per cent in just the last cou­ple of years, and cre­ated an en­vi­ron­ment where New Zealand mu­si­cians can thrive.

While the month tends to fo­cus on high pro­file acts such as Lorde, Six60, Trin­ity Roots, Dave Dob­byn and co, who have be­come house­hold names, there are plenty of other grass roots un­der­the-radar mu­sic ven­tures wor­thy of at­ten­tion.

One of these took place in Palmer­ston North re­cently when Welling­ton’s Three Madil­lion­aires rode into town for their first Palmer­ston North ap­pear­ance. An acous­tic trio pro­fi­cient on voice, gui­tars, fid­dle, bass, per­cus­sion and ka­zoo, Jude Madill, Jenny Kilpatrick and Tony Rick­etts play their own songs and those of their mu­si­cal he­roes and in­flu­ences. Their grass roots ap­proach to per­for­mance also ex­tended to the venue, an in­ner city house­hold lounge, fan­ci­fully named Mu­sichaven.

Cen­tred on Jude’s quirky dark alt-folk songs the Three Madil­lion­aires have been to­gether a cou­ple of years now, but were new to most of the au­di­ence. At $10 a ticket, with a shared meal af­ter the late af­ter­noon gig, the Walde­grave St house con­cert drew a good re­sponse to the trio’s songs of hero­ism and hard­ship, mur­der and sur­vival.

While the room may have been a lit­tle crowded, the house con­cert con­cept works. Folk style al­lows close in­ter­ac­tion be­tween au­di­ence and per­former. ‘‘It is very sat­is­fy­ing, when peo­ple un­self­con­sciously sing­ing along to songs they’ve never heard be­fore, it says some­thing about the songs, and some­thing about how we play them,’’ Tony says.

The potluck tea out of the way, the mu­sic re­sumed, with the mu­si­cians shar­ing songs and im­pro­vi­sa­tions.

The down-home, friendly, old­fash­ioned ap­proach is some­thing Jenny has known all her life.

It’s in the coun­try’s lounges and liv­ing rooms where great Kiwi mu­sic be­gins.


Madil­lion­aires folk trio from Welling­ton per­form a NZ Mu­sic Month house con­cert in a Walde­grave St home, from left Jude Madill, Tony Rick­etts and Jenny Kilpatrick.

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