The weather was hot and sunny, a picnic was packed and myself, Ingrid, Rochelle, Gabe, Rachel, Nikki and Naomi made the trip over the Rimutakas to the picturesque Alana Winery in Martinborough.
We were headed to the More FM Winery Tour event; Bic Runga, Boh Runga, Che Fu, Dave Dobbyn and Tim Finn live in concert!
The night opened with Bic’s sister Boh who was accompanied by the smooth and soulful Che Fu (who was the real highlight of the evening for me!)
The pair has perfectly suited voices. Che Fu did a lighter version of Chains, as well as Fade Away and Misty Frequencies, with Boh performing solo tracks and songs from the Stellar* songbook, including radio pop hit Violent and For A While (the duet she did with Andy Lovegrove)
Ten years ago Tim Finn, Dave Dobbyn and Bic Runga toured the country sharing their songs, swapping instruments and telling tales.
It was a huge success but Finn was not in the best voice and his solo career had stagnated, and Dobbyn had just released Hopetown, one of his weaker offerings.
This 10-year anniversary finds Tim Finn in stronger voice, newly enthused with a recent two-CD career overview. Dobbyn is close to his peak as a live performer, and in some ways this was a reintroduction to the stage for Bic Runga, who has taken an extended break since her third full-length album, Birds.
There was less instrument swapping this time, the three often standing together strumming guitars, but it was the perfect summer show, held at a family-friendly time.
It was nice to be part of an outdoor show where smokers moved to the back, and those who wanted to stand and dance either made their way to the front or to the centre aisle.
It didn’t take long for the dancing to spread – songs such as Weather with You and Whaling are kiwi national treasures. And Runga’s material (Drive, Sway, Get Some Sleep, Winning Arrow) held its own with two of New Zealand music’s elder statesmen.
Finn solo songs such as Couldn’t Be Done and Persuasion were easy on the ear, but the crowd definitely came alive for his Split Enz material, highlights being Dirty Creature, I See Red and, of course, the alternative national anthem, Six Months in a Leaky Boat.
Dobbyn added Slice of Heaven, Loyal, Whaling, Language, Beside You and Welcome Home (which was amazing)
The magic of these three dipping in and out of their songbooks was that this never felt like it was about ego…
…just the songs holding hands with each other rather than elbowing each other for room.
And that’s what made it such a great evening!