Welcoming back a legend


You wouldn’t think a music legend like Dave Dobbyn would have any gig mishaps, but one show in Queenstown started with a bit of a hiccup.

“We once had no bassist and pianist until 30 seconds before show time on the lake, with 30 school kids ready to sing with us,’’ he tells Mountain Scene.

“Jo Barus and Mark Vanilau arrived by chopper just as I started the riff to Slice Of Heaven.

“It was a roaring success. Phew.”

He’ll be hoping his return to the resort will run more smoothly.

Dobbyn is one of the headliners for this Saturday’s Through the Valley, a new music festival at Cargo Brewery.

“I’ve loved playing Queenstown as it always feels like a buzzing live music town, and kind of exotic,’’ he says.

“I have a great band in Ross Burge on drums, Jo Barus on bass and Victoria Girling-Butcher on guitar. We definitely rock. I’m very proud of them.

“We play a selection of favourites and some newer songs to shake it up. It’ll be grand.’’

The Queenstown show comes off the back of Wednesday’s ‘You Are Us/Aroha Nui’ benefit concert in Christchurch, which raised money for the victims of last month’s terror attack.

Dobbyn’s classic hit Welcome Home has become something of an anthem for those paying tribute to the victims in the aftermath of the tragedy.

He says he’s been “moved’’ by the way the song has taken on a new meaning.

“It’s only when we put voice to peace that our combined grief can become a part of the healing.

“It was always a protest song and I never knew it would transcend as it has.’’

That “protest song’’ has been one of Dobbyn’s biggest hits during his four decades in the music industry, alongside Kiwi classics Loyal, Slice of Heaven, and Be Mine Tonight with his band Th’ Dudes.

Dobbyn will be joined at this weekend’s festival by Kiwi supergroup Fly My Pretties and rockers The Butlers.

To catch Dave Dobbyn at Through the Valley, head to Cargo Brewery, Saturday, 11am, $89