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Wellington’s Wine, Food and Craft Beer Festival

Jan 11, 2018  ·  4 min read

Now that we’ve already got your mouths salivating over the Shanghai free-range Pork and Savoy Cabbage Dumplings from House of Dumplings, the Coconut Milk Stout from The Whistling Sisters Beer Co., and the Pinot Meunier Rose from Luna Estate … Let’s get your ears excited for the entertainment that awaits at Wellington’s Wine & Food + Craft Beer Festival on the 27th of January at Waitangi Park.

The live music is provided by some our top Kiwi musicians to keep the vibe alive – and we’re digging it.

Hollie Smith – 2-3pm

Hollie Smith is one of the country’s most prolific musicians. With an impressive history of working with other Kiwi icons such as Trinity Roots, Fat Freddy’s Drop and Detroit dance legend Recloose, you won’t be disappointed with Hollie’s powerhouse songwriting and vocals. Her familiar soundtrack single ‘Bathe in The River’, topped the New Zealand singles charts and became one of the biggest singles in New Zealand history.

Hollie’s new album inches into new territory and sits in the world of jazz and soul. She has been working with Aaron Nevezie in Bunker Studios in New York, who is known for teaming up with such artists as The Black Keys, Dangermouse and The Roots.

Listen to ‘Water or Gold’from Hollie’s new album here

Mel Parsons and Band – 3.30-4.45pm

Award-winning singer/songwriter Mel Parsons is well recognised as one of New Zealand’s established songwriting stars dominating with an eclectic mix of indie/folk and alt/country.

Parsons is returning from a triumphant 23-date headline tour of NZ, following performances at WOMAD, Woodford Folk Festival (AU), Folk Alliance International (US), and Byron Bay Bluesfest this summer – how lucky are we to have her grace us with her presence right across the road?

One part of Kiwi musical collective ‘Fly My Pretties‘, Parsons is a two-time NZ Music Award (VNZMA) finalist for Folk Album of the Year; Winner of the 2016 NZCMA Country Song of the Year; Winner of the 2016 MMF award for Best Independent Tour; A finalist for the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll award in 2015; and ‘Drylands’ won the NZ Music Award in technical category for Best Engineer (Lee Prebble, Oliver Harmer).

Something we know all too well, Parsons’ home is a hotel room and a suitcase, as she’s building up a solid fan base the old fashioned way – winning over audiences on the live circuit. Along with NZ performances, Parsons has collected a fair few stamps on her passport with recent tours in Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and Germany.

Tyson Smith Trio – 5:15-6:15pm

Calling the deep South home, Tyson Smith has graced the creative capital for the last decade with his various talents as a guitarist/singer/songwriter. His unique sound is a blend of rock, blues, folk and good ol’ freeform improvisation.

Before focusing on his own sound, he has worked as a guitarist with prestigious acts including New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and fellow Wine, Food & Craft Beer Festival performer Hollie Smith – here’s hoping for surprise guest appearances!

His raw and exciting sound has been unleashed around various New Zealand venues and festivals individually and as a collective as he is also involved in his sister Tamara’s project ‘Mundi’ and Wellington-based “synth stomp blues” trio ‘The Three Rays’.

Newtown Rocksteady – 6:45-8:00pm

December 2017 saw the release of Newtown Rocksteady’s first full length album ‘East of the Tasman’. The release coincides with the celebration of the band’s 10 year anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s rocksteady craze which swept the country from ’66 to ’68 and of ’67’s summer of love. The new album is being described as straight up, horn-heavy ska with lovers’ rock and classic rocksteady and all the way through to dark spacey reggae.

This summer welcomes Newtown Rocksteady’s very own summer of love. This collective sees 13 musicians on stage mustering all their musical lustre with Chris Winwood on lead vocals, and Thomas Owen’s saxophone and vocals returning from Parisian life.

Aside from the sick tunes mentioned above, keep an eye out for the best local grub, local wineries and local breweries and enjoy some fun in sun this January.

The best of summer – sun, outdoors, fine wine, delicious food, great music and fun with friends awaits.

words by chris lee


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