Mu­si­cian now calls Waihi home

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice - By RE­BECCA MAUGER

Join­ing the ex­plo­sion of sum­mer con­certs here in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato is The Narcs on their Not Over Sum­mer Tour NZ 2019 at Waihi Beach Ho­tel on Jan­uary 12.

Waihi is the place The Narcs key­boardist Liam Ryan calls home.

“I love liv­ing here, I just love Waihi,” he says.

He’s been liv­ing and mak­ing mu­sic here for the last three years, hav­ing moved from Christchurch where con­tin­u­ous “soul de­stroy­ing” earthquakes forced he and wife Mandy out of their home­town.

“I don’t think peo­ple re­alised but the earthquakes just kept on go­ing. We were close to the epi­cen­tre in Di­a­mond Har­bour and the earthquakes kept com­ing ev­ery night. It was just too much.”

Liam says their house was mov­ing with the quakes, they had a wa­ter spring is­sue arise un­der their house and had con­tin­ual stress with in­sur­ance and pay­ments.

“So we cut our losses and searched for a place with a vibe close to that of Di­a­mond Har­bour,” he said.

Liam was fa­mil­iar with Bay of Plenty/Waikato as he has set up mu­sic pro­grammes through­out the coun­try in­clud­ing the diploma in mu­sic pro­duc­tion and per­for­mance at then-Bay of Plenty Polytech­nic. He has been mak­ing yearly vis­its to the Bay of Plenty as di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Youth Jazz Com­pe­ti­tion (part of Jazz Fest) for about seven years.

He and wife Mandy de­cided to make Waihi their home as they loved the area and it was close to mu­sic hubs of Tau­ranga, Hamil­ton and Auck­land.

Mandy and Liam have a great love story — they met via Find Some­one when Liam asked to meet a “not too tall blond, must have sense of hu­mour and grand pi­ano”. A year later they mar­ried.

The cou­ple bought a do-up villa be­side the Man­ga­toe­toe Stream and cre­ated stu­dio Anam Cara (mean­ing soul friend) for mak­ing mu­sic. The cou­ple have two mal­tese/ti­betan spaniel pups.

“We were able to af­ford to buy here and it al­lowed me to live an ‘artist life’ . . . with beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings and low over­heads.”

Liam spends his days mak­ing mu­sic. He’s re­leased many sin­gles and EPs, work­ing with some of the best jazz play­ers in the coun­try and artists such as Sara Spicer. He has re­leased two re­cent elec­tro-jazz al­bums which are on Spo­tify — Mis­sis­sippi to Mauao and Pa­cific Riviera.

He also loves his time with suc­cess­ful Kiwi 80s band The Narcs. The band steadily gigged for many years and re­u­nited again with a gig at Mills Reef Win­ery in 2014. They are once again a reg­u­lar on the live con­cert scene.

“I love liv­ing in the prov­inces while hav­ing a na­tional pro­file as a mu­si­cian. I feel very lucky.”

The Narcs are not over, and play at Waihi Beach Ho­tel this week­end.

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