Gig of the Week: Holiday towns are her meal ticket

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Auckland’s Joanne Chester has been singing for her supper on her debut tour of New Zealand.
The Queenstown-bound songbird has just completed a series of summer dates at holiday camps in the North Island.

“I wanted my first tour to be different and playing for holidaymakers has certainly been that,” Chester says. “Instead of charging a fee, I did the concerts in exchange for some accommodation and food.

“It’s been a great way to get my music out to a whole new family audience and have a bit of R&R at the same time.”

The singer-songwriter will leave her holiday head at home when she performs at Dux de Lux on Sunday afternoon.

“At the campgrounds and motor parks up north I had to do quite a few cover versions.”

“When people are on holiday, they don’t necessarily want to listen to a bunch of tunes they’ve never heard before but my own stuff went down well too, which was pleasing,” Chester, 26, explains.

“My gigs in the South Island are more regular shows in bars and in Queenstown I’ll be able to play a lot more original material. Basically, it’ll be just me and my guitar.”

Chester’s on the road promoting her just-released five-track debut CD Where’s The Time? that she’s selling
at her concerts.

In between solo gigs, the part-time music teacher also sings and plays trumpet with the Queen City Big Band and has shared a stage with veteran Kiwi entertainer Ray Woolf.

She even finds time to squeeze in a bit of warbling with a duo and with another covers band as well.

“When I’m not teaching music, I’m out there performing it,” Chester says. “It’s what I love and what I’ve always wanted to do, so the busier I am the better.

“I was teaching full-time at a college but I’ve just given that up so I can concentrate more on my songwriting.

“The past three years have been pretty full-on and it’s great to now be able to get out there and perform a two-hour set of mainly my own tunes.”