Gig of the week: We got it covered


Busy muso Sam Ross plays so many gigs in the resort he jokes he’s “on a permanent world tour of Queenstown”.

The singer-bassist hits the local bars up to six times a week, all year round, with covers band the GC’s and country-rock duo The Whiskey Pickers.

But the long-time local wouldn’t have it any other way – he just about eats, sleeps and breathes music.

When he’s not out entertaining punters, Ross teaches youngsters at Karen Neill’s School of Rock in Arrowtown.
In-between, he even finds time to help run family sound equipment business Remarkable Audio.

Ross performs with the GC’s at the Buffalo Club tomorrow and Dux de Lux on Wednesday.

And with about 150 songs in its repertoire, the group is rarely stumped by requests for songs – they cover everything from the Kings of Leon to Van Morrison.

“With the level of musicianship and experience we have, we can bollocks our way through just about anything,” Ross grins.

Ross and his mates even recruited a famous fan recently, when hardman English actor Ray Winstone shouted them a few beers while in Queenstown filming the movie thriller Tracker.

“He was at the Pub on the Wharf and I think he was impressed with some Neil Young tunes we’d been doing there,” Ross says.

“Ray bought us some drinks but also pulled me up for not playing at the wrap party for Tracker that we’d been approached to do but couldn’t manage.”

Ross says one of his most bizarre experiences happened when he once spotted Opshop singer Jason Kerrison in the audience at a gig in Queenstown, while they were belting out one of the hit band’s songs.

“It’s not often you’d be doing a cover version and realise the original artist is sitting out there watching you do it. But Jason was great and he ended up getting on stage for a bit of a jam session.”

Although there are hardly enough days in the week to fit in the bookings, Ross says that wasn’t always the case.

“A few years back I had to become a DJ as the live music scene in Queenstown took a bit of a dive,” he explains. “Fortunately, bands have really taken off again and we never have to look outside of town for work.”

Catch the GC’s at the Buffalo Club tomorrow and Dux de Lux on Wednesday from 10pm