Matt Hay & The Makers
2015 has seen the addition of another semi-regular venue to our roster. So now, dear reader, along with regular posts on our Days Bay gigs, you shall also be regaled with stories from Wellington eatery, Thunderbird Cafe.
The first gig of the year was on Thursday March 5th at Thunderbird Café on Featherston Street. There is always a bit of trepidation playing at a new venue, but we needn’t have been concerned – it was a great success. We started early (5:30) for the after-work crowd, and we had a good turn-out – pretty much a full house. We played well, and it felt good. A perfect venue for us. It was the full 5-piece version of the band (Matt, Phil, George, Delia and me). There were generous donations to the Koha tin, there was beer and a great meal (they specialise in that casual Tex-Mex sort of food that I love). Spirits were high.
We returned to Thunderbird on Friday April 24th. A Friday!! We haven’t done a Friday night gig ever, have we? Not as a band, at least. Matt and I use to do those little CQ gigs a few years ago – were they on Fridays? We thought we might struggle to pull an audience due to it being a holiday weekend (ANZAC Day), but again it was packed and we played well. We’re really starting to sound like a proper band. There were a few random punters who came up and complemented us on the show – which is always really gratifying! Nicci, Thunderbird-owner, was very happy with us and pulled out the diary to book us in for more dates later in the year.
Greytown w/ Darren Watson
On Saturday April 18, Matt and I headed over the hill to Greytown to support Darren Watson’s solo shows. This was a lot of fun – as all the shows we have done with Darren have been. In keeping with a growing trend to put gigs on in places other than pubs, tonight’s venue is the Greytown Little Theatre. After some early drama dealing with a scaled-down PA (that had to be used after the door of Delia’s van was damaged during an attempted break-in), the theatre filled out nicely, and as always, everyone delivered come showtime. As with these types of shows – where people have come with the specific purpose of listening to music – it was a very attentive and appreciative crowd. Lots of nice things were said to us. Darren does that thing that he does so well, and they love it. I join him for “Here in my arms”. It’s another musical moment that I will cherish. All three of us play “Sweet Home Chicago” at the end of the night. It is a jovial pack-down and load-out that follows. The theatre’s “Wardrobe Mistress” provides tea and biscuits and some outrageous flirting. These are the best of times.
Days Bay Pavilion
Two gigs here so far this year. I probably don’t need to go into too much detail here. We’ve all been here before. It was business as usual – good fun, great view, nice people, sublime pizza, craft beer, etc.
The first show was a few days after that first Thunderbird gig – on March 8th. We played well. The crowd wasn’t as big as it could’ve been – we need to somehow work on our promo out here.
We were back again at the start of June. George was holidaying in Greece at the time, so we did it without him. Despite my best Ray Manzerek impersonation, my left-hand parts were no replacement for George and his Double-bass. George brings a real presence and grounding to the group – you sometimes don’t miss something until it’s gone. After a shaky first set, we pulled out a great second-half and even did a two-song encore. Good times!
Miraculously, I have another Meech Brothers track to share with you. It’s an old song that we’d never really been happy with. This time we have given it a restrained, sparse acoustic treatment and it’s much better for it (it use to be all drum machines and electric guitars). It just goes to show that you shouldn’t be too hasty to throw out some ideas. I like how it’s turned out, and I particularly like my vocal (and you don’t hear me say that very often!)
Other than that, we haven’t made much more progress on completing another collection of songs, although there is now a group of 5 or 6 songs that are gravitating together that either need finishing, polishing or re-recording bits of. Will we finish it this year? I hope so. It will depend on whether we decide to do a proper CD release, or if we just do an online thing. The CD format isn’t quite dead yet – but it’s not far off. Sign-up to the newsletter here if you want to keep posted on any future releases.