Most bands would go off their rockers if punters were eating and talking all the way through their set – but not Queenstown collective Pass The Sauce.
They actually welcome it.
The loose group of well-known Queenstown musos begin regular courtyard slots at Dux de Lux on Saturday evening.
And the whole idea is to crank out mellow sounds that audiences can eat and converse to, says guitarist/keyboardist Joe Cowie.
“We are really just trying to create an environment that people can chill out in,” explains Cowie, who usually plays with local duo Blackplanet.
“Some people sit there and really listen and others have a bit of a party, which is fine. We are just part of the vibe.”
Pass the Sauce also features ex-Salmonella Dub sax man Conan Wilcox, Matt Eddy on drums/guitar, bass player Mark Godinho, guitarist Marshall Eagles and Joe’s brother Caleb Cowie on keyboards.
Instead of playing cover songs, they’ll simply perform jam sessions.
“In the summer you’ve got the vibe and the environment to get a bunch of friends together, do improvised music and hopefully come up with something unique between us,” Joe says.
“We’ll just plug in and take it from there.
“The outside setting at the Dux enables that to happen, whereas if we were trying to do the same thing in bars or at a concert it just wouldn’t work so well.”
When Pass The Sauce did something similar at the Dux last summer, it turned out to be a real success.
“During some of the gigs the street was almost blocked off with people,” Joe says. “Passer-bys would stop to listen and some nights we had these huge crowds outside.”
Other musicians will also be welcome to join in with the regular Saturday night jams.
“After The Peak music festival last year we had members of Salmonella Dub and Tahuna Breaks get up and get in on the session,” Joe adds.
“They were just walking down the street and wondered what was going on so they just jumped in as well.
“Anything can happen at our shows and that’s the whole idea.”