Homecoming tour


He used to live it up while on tour, but now, with a six-year-old daughter, Greg Johnson jokes it’s a chance to have a sleep-in.

The veteran Kiwi singer/songwriter’s coming home for a nationwide tour, which includes a stop at Queenstown’s Sherwood this weekend.

Known for ‘90s hits like Isabelle and Liberty, Johnson’s been based in Los Angeles since 2002.

He returns to Aotearoa a couple of times a year, and says the difference between the music industries in the two places is massive.

“It’s very much dog-eat-dog over here,’’ he says of L.A.

“The way New Zealand approaches its industry is quite good, it’s containable, in the sense that you can feel like you’re part of something.

“Here [L.A], nobody gives a shit where you’re from, it’s what you’re doing and how much money you’ve got behind you.”

Despite the tough industry, Johnson has had plenty of success, including winning New Zealand Music Awards, having eight Top-20 albums, and nabbing the coveted Silver Scroll.

He says he enjoys returning to NZ, where he gets to be a bit of a tourist in his own country.

“I get to go around all these different places, it’s a real pleasure.”

His new tour, ‘Every Song Has a Story’, will take a more visual approach than his past shows.

“It’s good to keep mixing it up, I never try to do the same thing twice,’’ he says.

While he’s performing, the audience will be treated to videos, photos, and graphics that give an insight into the song’s background and inspiration.

“Part of my show has always been a fair dose of tale-telling, so I thought I’d pull a few songs from the back catalogue — including some I’ve never played live, plus a few better-known ones — and give a little background on the writing, recording and the events surrounding them.

“We’ll also reveal a few images which for me nicely represent the songs.”

He’s also in early discussions on a new album, expected to drop next year, and says he’s hoping to get some writing done while on the road.

He reckons Queenstown might provide some inspiration — perhaps over a glass of vino.

After working on a documentary about winemakers, Johnson says he’s keen to get over to Gibbston Valley to sample some of the local drops.

“It’s a lot more savoury than jumping off a bridge tied to a rubber band.”

To catch Greg Johnson, head to Sherwood, Sunday, 9pm, $45