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Winery Tour ’17 – Review Villa Maria 19/02/2017

I couldn’t help but think if Brooke Fraser had a word with the ‘man upstairs’ as the day’s fickle weather gave way to a magnificent hot , sunny backdrop to this year’s 10th Anniversary Winery Tour.

The unpredictable outburst not seen since MP Marian Hobbs’s famous spoonerism calling Bic, “Ric Bunga” transformed into a lovely evening, a celebration as people on blankets supped and wined (it’s a winery after all) while dancers frolicked to the live music on display, it reminded me of the opening sequence of the Teletubbies.

Benny Tipene, a seasoned veteran of the Winery Tour cajoled the crowd, most of them happy to see the sun as he entertained with his pop sensibility including hits Lanterns, Walking on Water & his 2014 hit song Make You Mine, eventually he succumbed to the sweltering sun as he took a break in between guitar changes.

As the svelte figure of Bic appeared so did the crowd, it was a real pleasure hearing this lady sing live for the first time. I was totally enthralled, hits like Drive & Sway passionately belted out as if caught in the ‘pleasure-dome’ not wanting it to finish.

She was all style & grace as partner Kody Nielson went ape-shit on drums while bassist Michael Logie on bass laid down the groove foundation. No sign of a Mint Chicks song, however they did pull a stellar (no pun intended) version of “doomed romantic” Nick Drake’s Things Behind The Sun – stunning.

The night carried on, as the cool Auckland air made its way into the winery beckoning Brooke Fraser & co onto the stage. Commenting on the weather she rarely left her microphone, her songs rang into the night sky as the crowd rallied around in support, her newish baby bump proudly on display.

“I’m always surprised at how well this song has done” as she played Albertine, then a stirring rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence with guitarist Tom Healy on vocals was the nights highlight as she commented, “This is a song I wrote when I was eighteen, a couple of years ago,” she joked, ending with Arithmetic.

All three are talented artists in their own right; they have their own brand of personality watermarked on their music. A musical ‘smorgasbord’ that if you had a chance to pull together would more or less be the band you’d have singing Crowded House’s Better Be Home Soon as finale – oh wait, that did happen

NZ Tech Podcast 322: Robot Taxes, GM and Lyft autonomous taxi plans, Webstock and Accessibility, Orion goes AWS

This week Rod Drury (Xero) and Lillian Grace (CEO. Figure.NZ) join Paul Spain to discuss taxing Robots, Webstock, Uber’s latest drama, Orion and Xero go Amazon Web Services (AWS), GM and Lyft autonomous car trial, Google Loon, Sonos, AirPods, home WiFi and more.

We also giveaway over $3000 in prizes this week if you sign up to Paul Spain’s email newsletter at paulspain.com. Special thanks to the companies that donated prizes for our listeners this week – Spark NZ (Galaxy S7 Black Onyx), Samsung (Gear 3), Vodafone (Smart Ultra 7 – Android phone), Logitech (K375s Multikeyboard, C922 Webcam), Norton (Norton Security Premium).

Hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) and this week’s guests were Rod Drury (CEO, Xero) and Lillian Grace (CEO, Figure.NZ).

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

NZ Tech Podcast 322: Robot Taxes, GM and Lyft autonomous taxi plans, Webstock and Accessibility, Orion goes AWS

This week Rod Drury (Xero) and Lillian Grace (CEO. Figure.NZ) join Paul Spain to discuss taxing Robots, Webstock, Uber’s latest drama, Orion and Xero go Amazon Web Services (AWS), GM and Lyft autonomous car trial, Google Loon, Sonos, AirPods, home WiFi and more.

We also giveaway over $3000 in prizes this week if you sign up to Paul Spain’s email newsletter at paulspain.com. Special thanks to the companies that donated prizes for our listeners this week – Spark NZ (Galaxy S7 Black Onyx), Samsung (Gear 3), Vodafone (Smart Ultra 7 – Android phone), Logitech (K375s Multikeyboard, C922 Webcam), Norton (Norton Security Premium).

Hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) and this week’s guests were Rod Drury (CEO, Xero) and Lillian Grace (CEO, Figure.NZ).

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

Nadia Reid Releases New Video ‘The Arrow and The Aim’

For a new artist, her confident grace is all the more remarkable”
Pitchfork

Fresh from a sold out run around the UK which culminated last night in an enraptured packed Hoxton Hall and just before she continues around Europe, Nadia Reid would like to share with you her new video for ‘The Arrow and The Aim’. Taken from her upcoming album Preservation, released this March on Spunk Records.

Shot in Mt Somers, just outside of Christchurch in New Zealand, starring Chris Parker and directed by Julian Vares in an abandoned house surrounded by stunning landscapes. “I guess there’s a lot left to the imagination with the video. I like that. The song is about reaching the very end of a relationship.” reveals Reid.

Watch ‘The Arrow and The Aim’: https://youtu.be/FQVsFzYSHd8

An ode to self-reflection and self-betterment, Preservation is the sound of Nadia showing her true colours, taking back a bit of power, and learning more about herself. Deeply intellectual but felt by all, it punches harder than before. Nadia’s beautifully warm vocals coolly wrap around feelings of turbulence, and exude a gently improved confidence. “This record is about being OK with who I am in the world, and who I want to be. Learning to live with the fact I’m a person who operates differently to others,” admits Nadia. “I’m richer for the fact I am a musician. Without this way of being, I couldn’t write songs.”

Returning to the production skills of Ben Edwards in his Sitting Room studios in Christchurch and long term guitarist Sam Taylor, this time around everything is rubbed in more grit and channels Nadia’s deftly profound take on life and whilst we already knew it, her own realisation that it is music which drives her. “I remember recording the tracks, it was about 11 at night, and I felt almost transcendental, as if I was out of my body, singing these words to myself. That’s what these songs are; a confession to my future and past self.”

Pre-order Preservation on iTunes: http://hyperurl.co/xp71pn
CD & LP: bit.ly/2fFqWnT

Nadia will be coming home for a full NZ Tour at the end of March

Jet’s Chris Cester Talks Iggy, Springsteen & Being Back Together Again

Australia has its fair share of mega rock bands. Steeped in Ozzie rock-folklore, groups like ACDC, LRB & Cold Chisel are well known the world over, you could probably also add rockers Jet to that ever-burgeoning list.

“I’ve never met Donald Trump,” says drummer Chris Cester, prompted by my question about ‘Life in America’. “I remember shaking Bill Gates hand and thinking it was the worst hand shake maybe ever, you would think a guy like Bill Gates would have a pretty stand up handshake, but it was like a dead fish.”

With hits like Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Cold Hard Bitch & She’s A Genius, the Melbourne group, have had considerable international success and now says drummer Chris Cester, have announced they will be reforming with “All the dudes.”. The band are supporting the ‘Boss’ Bruce Springsteen on the opening leg of his word tour; good news for Kiwi fans, stopping here next week in Auckland & Christchurch.

“We’ve been getting offers, our last show was in 2010,” says Cester. “I suppose we had to have an offer that was exciting enough to make us want to do it, then we had this opportunity to get together and play with ‘The Boss’, I think it was an offer we couldn’t refuse, you know?

“We added a Sydney show reunion, it would probably scare the shit out of Nic (laughter). I don’t want to speak for him, but, I think that’s the part of it that became really difficult in the end, it was just the constant cycle and not quite feeling you had any control over it. Now everyone’s excited again. Playing with Bruce Springsteen I think, is something we can all agree is a pretty fun thing to do.”

Jet was started by Melbournian brothers Nic & Chris Cester, they were influenced by early Aussie band You Am I, got together with mates Cameron Muncey and Doug Armstrong in 2001. The group wanted a name that “when it showed up on festival advertisements, it would be large and bold in print.”

“Playing live, that’s the thing I miss the most.” He ponders. “I’ve been arguably more creative in the last six years than when I was in the last couple of years with Jet; that creative side is quote “full”. Playing live, is something that once you’ve done it at a certain level, it’s an addiction. It’s exciting, that’s the bit I’ve missed.

“My favourite song to play live is probably Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, I just love the explosive nature of it. It’s just four on the floor, there’s nothing more fun than just hammering it out, just driving it home, ‘four on the floor’ style.”

One of their biggest singles Are You Gonna Be My Girl has been compared to Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, its use of the same chords is about the only parallel drawn to tune, the rest unfairly grounded. Actually, Cester fondly recalls the time him and the band famously, once met Mr Jimmy Osterberg aka Iggy Pop.

“The Iggy Pop thing is a good place to start.” He laughs. “He’s a really surprising character, I didn’t expect to find somebody so eloquent with such a fantastic memory. He told us some great stories and his memory was incredible. He was remembering people’s names at our record label from the 70s, that was a surprise because the things we knew about him, before we met, were just the drugs and the mad days like driving his car off a canyon into a house. He wasn’t what I was expecting that’s for sure.

“We did three takes of the Wild One and on the second take he took his shirt off – At lunch time he said “I’m hungry, let’s get a sandwich” he took us to this great Cuban Sandwich shop, he lives in Florida in Miami and he said “Who’s coming with me?” so I put my hand up and Nic. We got into his Maserati and there was a good portion of the trip where he’s driving in the incoming traffic lane and he’s looking over at me talking, and I was thinking “Jesus Christ, look straight ahead!”

One of their biggest hits Look What You’ve Done was grinded out in “five minutes.” “My brother wrote that song,” adds Chris. “To be honest, I couldn’t tell you what it’s about, I never asked him. You just made me realise, I have no idea what one of our biggest songs is about. (laughter)

“I know, that he thought it in his head first, then it all came out really quick. I find that’s how the best songs happen, just really quickly. They’re the ones you don’t fuss over or sit around and tweak for a month – otherwise they get complicated and lose the original message.”

Cester has been busy. He’s lived in L.A for thirteen years, a city he says “It’s a transient place, no one who lives here, is from here.”, a true Aussie, Cester is never too far from getting his ‘footie’ fix, saying “We’re all Melbourne boys, so we follow The Magpies AFL. I watch them every day, most weekends.”

He had a band project called Damndogs while the group were on hiatus with Jet’s bassist Mark Wilson and touring keyboardist, Louis Macklin.

“I stopped doing that when our bass player Mark Wilson left, Louis and I continued together but we changed, we have a new project now its called Mystic Knights of Amnesia,” the band name supposedly penned by Oasis’s Noel Gallagher and texted to Cester.

“It’s off the wall it sounds nothing like Jet, its more in a psychedelic realm you could say, but it’s so melodic, think ‘Bee-Gees Psychedelic disco’. I never really figured out what it looks like because the two of us, Louie and I, are writing all the music and I sing, also, we haven’t released anything, we haven’t worked out how the show would work.”

Cester is reflective, recounting the ‘golden days’ when the band were in a ‘healthier’ state citing “We don’t really talk about old things, and I think that’s probably been the key factor, getting it to the point where we actually want to go on tour together again.” It’s that ‘key’ that has opened up a new life not only for the band but also for their fans.

“Well, a couple of us have kids now, so that definitely changes things. We spent enough time apart now to where any old feelings or past disputes amongst us have been buried over time. We don’t really speak much anymore. When I speak to my brother we have an ‘unspoken rule’ where we don’t talk about music very often, and if we do, it’s to talk about our music projects that we’ve been working on.”

As well as being a drummer, Cester also has song writing credits on songs like Shine On & Bring It on Back, his collaborative approach offset by his strong penchant to writing ballads like Timothy, the expectation for album number two Shine On, had an enormous task to match the success of their debut album Get Born.

I think that everybody is really proud of that record because it was a really difficult one to make,” says Cester. “Obviously with dad dying so young, that being such a huge shock to everybody – nobody saw that coming. At the same time, there was a lot of pressure on the band from the label because the first record had been so successful and at the time, everyone was saying the music business “Was done” and” It was impossible to have big records and make money” and yet when I look back at it and compare it with the music business now, it’s like a thousand times worse.

“It actually makes me feel like those were the good old days. I remember the time there was a lot of pressure and I think our label Atlantic in particular were having a rough go, and I think there was an unspoken expectation that the record was going to save everybody. It didn’t sell as much as Get Born but it still did really well, I think it’s a better record personally.”

Theatrical Release Dates Set For Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D

August 24th 2017 Kiwis will see James Cameron’s epic action, sci-fi masterpiece starring Schwarzenegger in his most iconic role, been converted in immersive 3D by Cameron himself. First hitting our screens in 1991 with groundbreaking special effects, the 3D version will take the seminal blockbuster to the next level of effects and into the 21st century for the next generation of fans.

NZ Tech Podcast 321: 1 Million Podcast Downloads, Banks vs Apple, US Homeland Security vs Travellers, $3000+ Giveaways

Celebrating over 1-million downloads of NZ Tech Podcast on this our 6th anniversary. Topics included Homeland Security vs Travellers, Australian Banks vs Apple, PayPal account risks, Logitech’s 4K webcam, Intel Coffee Lake, near Invisible Malware. We also giveaway over $3000 in prizes this week if you sign up to Paul Spain’s email newsletter at paulspain.com

Hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) and this week’s guests were Brett Roberts, Bill Bennett.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

NZ Tech Podcast 320: 31c0n Ticket Giveaway, Luggage Robots, Windows 10 Cloud edition, Is your TV watching you?

In this episode, we discuss the ratepayers footing the bill to fly in extra IT professionals to NZ, the latest on train travel pod trials in India, Gita the personal cargo carrying robot and exciting news on 31 c0n conference coming this month in Auckland – better yet – be in to win a ticket to the conference by signing up at paulspain.com

Hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) and this week’s guests were Paul Brislen, Paul Poteete.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZ Tech Podcast website or the facebook page.

Panic! At The Disco – Concert Review “

Date / Venue: Thursday February 2nd, 2017 – Vector Arena, Auckland

Maybe it was the Panic! version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody that aptly set the mood for the night? “Here’s one we didn’t write…Fuck it, we did.” singer Brendan Urie confessed, a dab hand on the piano also it seems. His falsetto would’ve garnished approval beyond the grave from Mr Mercury – surely?
It was as if the mostly ‘youngish’ audience were rediscovering a new rock dirge, while some of us OLD enough to remember Wayne’s World yanked the ‘air guitars’ out of retirement for the ‘Brian May’ bits.

This satisfied the pangs of having had to wait for the band to revisit our shores after a 10-year hiatus (which Urie addressed apologising). It was a festive night that had the Vector crowd rollicking, as the band played most of their new album Death Of A Bachelor.

“I want to personally thank every one of you for being here.” singer Brendan Urie implored as the band launched into Time to Dance, then transitioning into new-ish track Emperor’s New Clothes before the crowd barely had time to regain themselves, pulled space being overrun by out an energetic Blur-esque Girls/Girls/Boys.

The night was a short, sharp hit that left the crowd quietly stunned as Brendan Urie, now the only original member of the band cajoled the Kiwi crowd, “This is a song I wrote for Frank Sinatra.” as he exaggeratedly moved about the stage, ‘crooner’ stance fixed for the superb Death Of A Bachelor.
Urie’s voice for the most part was right on the money. His ability to vocally ‘shapeshift’ on songs while spewing forth lush cryptic lyrics was deftly executed – a consummate performer who’s onstage antics more than made up for his sparse, but poignant audience rapport.

The live sound was rapturous, spatially gratifying. “I met a girl once at a party who I thought I was in love with,” proceeded Urie. “She said to me “Cash me outside howbow dah?” (see Dr Phil) ..the social media irony hitting the right chord with the ‘youtubers’ as Miss Jackson was dealt to live on stage.

“This one’s about the good life.” Yelled Urie as they churned out Golden Days, while perennial favourite I Write Sins Not Tragedies was drily started with “Here’s a new one.”. This Is Gospel and first track from new album Victorious rounded off the encores, with a confetti cannon being shot over the audience, as sparkling PATD lights lit up the ceiling of Arena.

Tonight’s one-night-only concert originally sold out in less than 90 minutes when tickets went on sale last week – it’s wasn’t hard to see why.
Great night, wish they banned mobile phones hindering my viewing ability, you know, blocked by phones held up in the air – ok, now I SOUND like an oldie..oh well, ”Cash me outside..”