Lawrence Arabia's Singles Club

I immensely enjoy seeing Being. perform. Jasmine has a knack for writing such happy songs contrasted with sad emotions. Hearing her speak her poetry mid-set always gets me and often brings out a tear in me (But don't tell anyone cos I'm a stone cold bitch remember)

I've never seen Lawrence Arabia live and I've been told there is always a surprise when it comes to his performances. Sure enough, there was. At the start of the show, the instruments were covered with sheets and lit from underneath, creating a lightbox (sorry photography term) like effect. I tried to capture as best as I could.

The show could not have been held at a better venue. The Hollywood Cinema has such a great vibe about it and was perfect for Lawrence Arabia's indie synth-ambient sound.

His daring twelve-month long project, "Lawrence Arabia's Singles Club." included collaborations with Hollie Fullbrook (Tiny Ruins), Heather Mansfield (Brunettes), Ryan McPhun (The Ruby Suns) and Liam Finn. Also featured was legendary Beach Boys collaborator Van Dyke Parks.

From the start of Feb 2018 Lawrence Arabia aka James Milne has released a song every month for 12 months till the album was complete. He is now is touring with his six-piece band around New Zealand.


Shakey Graves

I stumbled upon Shakey Graves at the first ACL (Auckland City Limits) festival, having never heard him before but finding myself in the middle of the mosh with everyone dancing around me. They were all stamping their feet and clapping to the beat. Hearing that he was coming back to New Zealand, I knew I had to see him again because since then I’ve followed all his work and have loved his new album 'Can't Wake Up' (although 'And the War Came' is still my favourite).

“He had a fracking cool stage presence, and the amount of sweat he had by the end of the show, was directly equal to how much fun I had (a lot)” - Ellie Blower

It was like being transported back to that festival, there was even a similar crowd of people. The woman dressed in hats and long maxi dresses with tassels, ages ranging from younger (so me) to older. Everyone was stamping to the beat and clapping their hands once again. I was impressed by the shear amount of string instruments on stage, like nine guitars!


Openside + Friends


Diversity, Love, Strength and Being your true self. This is what comes to mind when thinking about who Openside are and the message they are spreading. I'm proud that New Zealand is where such exciting, empowering and boundary pushing music is happening.

I've seen Openside many times over the years from ACL, Tuning Fork, Armageddon to the Big Gay Out. They have a way about them that creates a safe space to be young, dance, sing and go crazy, all while being yourself. Their show at Hollywood Avondale the other week reminded me so much of when I was underage and starving for music, going along to every all age gig I could find. This show was such a great environment. You had the parents taking their eight olds, the sixteen to eighteen-year-olds going crazy in the mosh and the oldies like me dancing at the back and singing our lungs out (haha all while still trying to look cool). Rainbows were everywhere and everyone had a smile on their face.

The line up for this show could not have been a better showcase of young and upcoming talent. You've got Foley who are just rocking it and looking fab at the same time. Classic Daffodils with their gloomy synth-pop vibe. Ashy with her great stage presence, unfortunately I arrived too late into her set to get photos sorry folks. But here are the photos I did get.


Lucy Dacus

I've been a bit embarrassed to post this as I don't believe I did my best when shooting Being. or Lucy.

Arriving at The Tuning Fork I realised my camera battery was about to die, so I began using it as sparingly as possible. I only managed to get a few shots of Being. and Lucy before my camera craped out. The lesson here is always to check and charge your batteries or even better buy a spare and keep it on you (which I'm still yet to do)

So after my baby died, I had the pleasure of watching and singing at the top of my voice. You all know how I love Being. and the music she is creating, but this performance was mixed with moving poems which struck a chord with me. With a grin on my face (thanks Being.) I waited patiently for Lucy! She and her band did not let us down. As their last show on tour, I hope that we as an audience did not let them down and I believe we didn't, swaying, singing and cheering Lucy's name. She spoke of how ducked (you know the word I mean) of a place she thought America had become so I reckon she and her band should just come live here in New Zealand.

It was a great night despite my technical difficulties.