Not playing it cool

Originally published March 13, 2013 in Capital Times.  Eamonn Marra hates being labelled, and it is impossible to say he’s one thing. Writer, musician, student, radio show DJ, zine-maker, prolific reader, relentless multimedia chronicler of life at – all of the above applies. Since he moved to Wellington about a year ago, he’s added stand-up … Continue reading Not playing it cool

Kids’ TV could be better

Originally published February 27, 2013 in Capital Times. How much, when, and what to watch on the tele have been in parent-child negotiations since before Spot On hit the airwaves. The experts still say less is more, but the sheer ubiquity of televisions, computers, smart phones, tablets, game players, etc. and so on in the lounge, … Continue reading Kids’ TV could be better

From barre to bar

Originally published February 20, 2013 in Capital Times.  Royal New Zealand Ballet and local brewery Garage Project don’t seem like drinking buddies, but they’re putting together a special pilsner-powered performance to celebrate the world premiere of Bier Halle – quite possibly the first ballet about beer. The connection with Garage Project came through one of the … Continue reading From barre to bar

The New Zealand that never was

Originally published February 7, 2013 in Capital Times.  What does it take to go from the apex of Fringe Festivals – Edinburgh – to Wellington’s own three week bonanza of performance? Sixty puppets, 56,000 roads that only exist on paper, and a very large suitcase. Amanda Witherell walks down The Road That Wasn’t There with Ralph … Continue reading The New Zealand that never was

A short ride with Band of Horses

Originally published January 9, 2012 in Capital Times.  When a band gets big – selling out shows, touring the world, opening for Pearl Jam, and getting Grammy nominations – the handlers really limit their contact with journalists. Yet, the musicians in Band of Horses have always seemed like they’re just out there having a good … Continue reading A short ride with Band of Horses

The Datsuns – Behind the wheel

Once upon a turn-of-the-century time, The Datsuns churned out cutting edge rock from the sleepy Waikato town of Cambridge. A decade later the four are scattered like sparks – living in Stockholm, London, Auckland, and Wellington. Has distance diminished the fire of this well-known and revered Kiwi band? It’s the middle of the night in … Continue reading The Datsuns – Behind the wheel

On the stage and off the page

If poems always sounded dull to you, do not go gentle into that good poetry slam – the words were meant for the stage, not the page and whoever excites the audience most, wins. This week the top 12 spoken word poets from around New Zealand compete for the National Poetry Slam, no music, no … Continue reading On the stage and off the page

Delaney Davidson – Congratulations…You’re a Loser

When Delaney Davidson and Marlon Williams perform, it’s like the ghosts of Hank Williams, Elvis Presley and so many other classic crooners are on stage with them. Amanda Witherell talks to Davidson about his shift from a one man band to the powerful duo with Williams. Twice I’ve seen the powdered visage of Davidson and … Continue reading Delaney Davidson – Congratulations…You’re a Loser

Evil Genius Records – One year along and strong

Evil Genius Records first opened its doors in Lyttelton. Five days later the earthquake closed them. Benjamin James rolled the dice again in Berhampore, the obscure neighbourhood tucked between Newtown and Island Bay, not unlike Lyttelton’s working class sidecar to Christchurch, with Apa Chappel to help him source and sell albums and Rosie Smyth to … Continue reading Evil Genius Records – One year along and strong

A Kiwi bromance

    Two brothers are the brains and heart behind the new film Two Little Boys. Sitting together at Deluxe Café, sharing a brownie carefully sliced into equal halves, Robert and Duncan Sarkies tell Amanda Witherell how Duncan’s initial sketch of a novel about three bogans in a van driving around the Catlins becomes a … Continue reading A Kiwi bromance