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Good tunes, a couple of beers and raising a few bob for charity.

That’s the aim of an original music night at Queenstown’s The Brecon Street Merchant today.

Local muso Paul Shipman has roped in mates to play the gig and money will be used to help build a music room at a school in Nepal.

He stresses it won’t be a bucket-jangling event.

“The premise is to host a night of original music and surreptitiously raise money for charity. The main focus is to come along and enjoy it while trying to do a wee bit of good at the same time.”

Shipman visited a refugee camp in Nepal in 2010. That’s the instigator of the knees-up.

“We taught them music. They showed us gratitude and were the most incredible people. We were really humbled by their generosity and happiness.”

The fundraiser will go towards buying musical instruments for the school and building a library to benefit future generations.

“It [music] is a universal language and these are luxuries they cannot afford. They don’t cost us very much to provide but can change their lives.”

Shipman, a Scotland native, will be joined by Brit bandmates Olly Burgin on bass, Adam Smart ‘Smartie’ on drums and Belfast lass Claire Forrester on violin.

He’s also roped in other local talent including Holly Hoogvliet and Choice. Creative writer Shawn Barron presents spoken word, something Shipman describes as poetry set to a soundtrack.

As for what he’ll be performing, he says the tracks are his but the final product is a collaboration with the rest of the band. There’s an American folk style and blues influence.

“It talks about heartbreak and finding strength when you don’t necessarily have any at that moment in time.”

He admits it’s a tad depressing, but is a reflection on life.

Playing original music can be challenging in Queenstown. While there is an abundance of talent and passion, there aren’t many venues to choose from, he adds.

The Paul Shipman Band and mates, The Brecon Street Merchant, today, 8pm. Entry, gold coin donation

louises@scene.co.nz