Josh Rennie-Hynes continues his run through New Zealand, finishing up his North Island section of the tour. We hear more tales from his culinary and musical adventures including catching up with extended family and the joys of a great venue. Before his next run of shows start on Dec 5th in Picton Josh will be trying to busk every day in each new place he visits…
15/11 – Common Room, Hastings
We drove up from Masterton today. Lovely drive. Some snow capped mountain ranges provided some nice backdrops. It was very windy day, quite gloomy and rainy too. We stopped at a small country town for breakfast, I can’t remember the name. But the rain was blowing sideways. I had scrambled eggs with a hash brown. It was an okay breakfast. 6 out of 10.
We drove straight through to Napier and I caught up on a few hours rest at my sister’s place before the show at the Common Room tonight. We pulled into the venue at around 5. Killer room. Really intimate and quirky and the staff were lovely. Soundcheck went like a breeze.
I kicked off at around 8. This one guy appeared to be having an exceptionally great time, he’d sporadically jump up during my set and start busting out interpretive dance moves right in front of me. He may have taken acid. I coerced my uncle onstage for a song. He was reluctant, but he got up anyway. That was fun. The support act for the night pulled out, so I played for longer than usual. Turns out that wasn’t long enough. A group of people came in after I’d finished and requested I get up and sing more as they had donated 20 dollars to the ‘koha’ (that means a tip jar for musicians over here) I informed them that I’d already performed and was finished for the night. Then I felt bad. So I went to their table and sang them some songs. This turned into a one hour jam session with the whole place involved. Great night! Off to the capital city tomorrow, Wellington!
16/11 – Meow, Wellington
We took our time getting on the road this morning. The previous night had been a large one. I awoke with a bit of a headache. I had muesli and a cup of tea for breakfast. It made me feel better, but I don’t want to rate this meal as I don’t think muesli can vary that much in terms of quality. Maybe it can. Does anyone out there know? GUYS?! WHERE’S THE MUESLI SQUAD AT?!
We bid farewell to all of our Hawkes Bay relatives and we hit the road. The drive to Wellington was quite nice indeed. Although that goes without saying over here. Everywhere one drives is green and lush and amazing. We pulled into Wellington at around 4 pm and went straight to Meow. Cool venue. Cool space. Sound check was a breeze.
Went to Mexican for dinner. Delicious. I had an enchilada – 8 out of 10. I fucking love that green, jalapeno sauce that some Mexican places put on things. If they sold it at stores I’d buy it as a drink. Okay maybe I wouldn’t. But it is delicious.
Got back to the venue at 8:30 pm to catch Tim Rhoades again. He played with a three-piece band and they sounded fantastic. I hit the stage at about 9:30. I felt a little bit flat tonight. I think the six gigs in six nights, coupled with all of the travelling might have caught up with me a bit. Regardless, I still played a solid gig and the crowd were very kind indeed. The sound was one of the best of the tour too. Thanks to James for that. It makes a big difference working with sound guys who are passionate about what they’re doing.
18/11 – Bodega, Wellington
The time had come for my sister to jump ship back to Australia. We had a great time touring around together. I dropped her at the airport yesterday morning. Earliest I’d been up in a long while. Sad to see her go, but excited to continue on as a lone ranger. She did a very good job at getting me to shows on time and making sure that hangovers weren’t a daily occurrence for me, thanks sis.
I was crashing at my cousin’s place in Wellington. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time so it was great to catch up. He lives with a couple of visual artists, who are super talented. I got to sleep in their studio. Nice to wake up to amazing pieces of art all around me I must say. Also great to catch up on some sleep and to stay in one place for a few days.
Bodega was a fun show, and I certainly felt more alive then Meow hahaha! Dan Green opened the show and he was cool. One of my favourite things about touring is all of the artists and acts I get to hear. I find it fascinating to watch how everyone goes about their business on stage. Big thanks to everyone who came down!
Wellington seems like a cool city. Surrounded by hills and quite beautiful with the harbour and what not. Everyone tells me it’s the New Zealand equivalent of Melbourne. Seems like there are some cool things happening. I’ve got the next few days off, so I plan on relaxing, enjoying the cold and wet weather, and checking out some of the sites.
FUN FACT – Apparently Elijah Wood pissed off a fountain in Wellington and got caught.
21/11 – Raumati Social Club, Kapiti Coast
Just a short, hour long drive up the west coast to Raumati this afternoon. I had a really nice few days off in Wellington. Caught up on rest and had a bunch of laughs with my cousin and his roomies. I was ready to hit the road again though.
I’d heard great things about this place from my pal, Liam Gerner. Walking in, I was not disappointed. Great venue, great vibe. It’s funny, but when you first walk through the doors of a venue, you can straight away get a feel for it. The variation from gig to gig and venue to venue is interesting, and always keeps it fresh. It comes down to every little thing, from the décor, to the lighting, to the sound and sound guy. All of these things can add or take away from what makes a great gig, a good gig, or an average gig. In saying that, sometimes I’m completely surprised. You just never know.
Dan Green opened up the night again. Once again he was great to listen too. I took to the stage at about 8 pm. The crowd were fantastic, respectful and very kind. Really great gig. Got an encore, sold a lot of albums. Thanks Raumati and everyone who came down!
Oh shit, nearly forgot! The food here was amazing too! I had a haloumi salad with roast beets and some other stuff that I can’t remember. I’m gonna say an 8.5 out of 10. HIGHEST SCORE OF TOUR THUS FAR!
23/11 – Riverside Bar, Whanganui
My father grew up in Marton (which is just near Wanganui) and a few of my extended family still live in the area, including my grandmother, who just turned 89, she’s a gem. Dad passed away about six years ago, and I didn’t know him too well before he went. It was nice to spend time with them all and learn more about who he was as a person. They were all stoked that I had Dad’s guitar completely reconditioned and that it was now travelling around with me, Grandma most of all.
The Riverside Bar is a rad venue. They’ve just built an outdoor/deck area that overlooks the Wanganui river, Tim Rhoades once again opened up proceedings. It was his last show supporting me. It’s been a pleasure having you, thanks Timmy!
Fun show! Lots of locals came down which is always very much appreciated. Managed to snag my other uncle onto the stage for my encore song. I decided we’d sing ‘Better Be Home Soon’ by Crowded House as it was one of my Dad’s favourite songs. I told him he was taking the high harmony. I think we botched it up pretty good, thanks Unc!
So that’s this North Island leg of the tour wrapped up! What a blast/blur! A massive thanks to everyone and anyone who’s come to a show thus far, bought an album and had a chat, you rule. I’ll be back up this way in mid December for two more shows to close out the tour.
But for now, I’m typing all of this while sitting on the InterIslander Ferry, crossing the Cook Strait. The weather isn’t too bad and I don’t feel too sick, which is good. I had a Kumara (sweet potato) and something pie on the ship. It was actually pretty good. 7 out of 10. I’ve got some more time off in the South Island and I’m going to be venturing around, going on a Lord of the Rings journey basically. I’m really excited for Liam Gerner to be joining me for these last run of shows too. Kicking all back off again in Picton on the 5th of December. Head over to my Facebook to keep up with my latest adventures and show dates.
That’s it for this instalment, until next time…..
New Zealand Tour Dates – with Liam Gerner
Dec 5th – Le Cafe, Picton
Dec 6th – Freehouse, Nelson
Dec 7th – Golden Bear, Mapua
Dec 11th – Taste Merchants, Dunedin
Dec 12th – Hilltop Tavern, Akaroa
Dec 14th – The Wine Cellar, Auckland