Acoustic to the core


They may be one of the busiest bands in town but Pear of Pommes don’t take themselves too seriously.

The Brit duo, who currently play six gigs a week, are in high demand around Queenstown’s pubs and bars.

Joe Briddon set up the band and came up with the name a few years back. When his then partner upped sticks to Oz, in stepped Yorkshireman Danny Atkinson.

Atkinson reckons he’s had it pretty easy. Briddon did all the hard work building a reputation and securing gig slots — he just had to rock up with his guitar.

Things have moved on since then and the ‘pear’ have developed a unique sound over the last two years.

Atkinson: “It has become a bit silly and we see it as a challenge. Basically [playing] stuff that shouldn’t be done on two acoustic guitars, stuff that shouldn’t work. We change the songs up and have a method of putting it through the Pear of Pommes wash to end up a certain way.”

They are both pretty handy on the guitar. Briddon holds the rhythm using the mainstay of the song and a kick drum. Atkinson then slots in other elements — the bits that are usually done on keys, other instruments or even electronic computer sounds.

It’s all about covers, but not as you know them. They include dance classic Sandstorm by Darude, Aerosmith’s Walk This Way and even an R Kelly track. They also chuck in a few Kiwi tunes, ‘pommifying’ the likes of Salmonella Dub or Katchafire.

There’s good banter and the odd bit of dicking around, Atkinson says.

“It’s cool because you play to a different audience each night. If we are having fun, hopefully the audience can see we are having fun and it is easier to get everyone to enjoy it. That is the key thing about playing. We just have a really good time and are high-energy. Once the energy picks up we just take off.”

Briddon says their favourite gigs are when they can crank up the sound and get the audience involved, whether they are 18 years old and enjoying teenybopper tracks, or pensioners spreading their wings to an Eagles number.

Pear of Pommes play Little Blackwood, Saturday, 8pm