The Madillionaires at Musichaven
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.