Queenstown’s music scene gets a boost this week as a few big hitters roll into town.
Chart-topping Brit Ben Pearce hits the decks tonight at 1876 — the next instalment of Electric Rush.
Popular Kiwi muso Thomas Oliver and Shapeshifter frontman P Digsss take to the stage tomorrow night for two separate gigs at The Sherwood and The World Bar. And country music force Tami Neilson will be joined by her band at The Sherwood on Saturday.
It’s the first time Pearce, best known for his 2012 hit What I Might Do, has gigged in New Zealand.
The 27-year-old’s rise to fame came as a bit of a surprise as he’d mixed it in his bedroom.
The tune grabbed the attention of British dance legend Pete Tong and featured in an ad for supermarket giant Tesco — promoting its clothing range.
“I never thought it would happen, I was running parties and enjoying DJing in Manchester. It was a surreal moment to leave my full-time job to become a DJ for real.
“It’s so hard to get yourself recognised these days, I don’t think I did too much to try in that way — I’m very lucky to have had the support from the likes of [BBC] Radio 1.”
His celeb status did come with some personal issues and he talks openly about battling anxiety and depression.
“Speak to people about it, confront it, don’t hide away, tell yourself you are suffering and you can get through it even if you don’t believe it that day. Explore meditation and mindfulness, believe in yourself to battle the dark days and win.”
Pearce took some time out but says he’s enjoying getting back on the decks and touring the world.
He isn’t quite sure what to expect from the Queenstown gig — but encourages fans to tweet him to let him know what he should check out in the resort.
For Queenstowners who fancy something a little less up-tempo — Thomas Oliver may be the ticket.
He’s known for his skill on the Weissenborn guitar which he started to play when he was 17.
The Wellington-based singer-songwriter had to teach himself — as he couldn’t find anyone else to.
His soulful songs tell a story.
“I naturally tend towards an auto-biographical writing style. I love to engage listeners with the message in the song. The lyrics are absolutely as important as the melody, but I like to think that all of the facets of the music work together to create one unified impression.”
He is also a Queenstown virgin and is excited to play here.
Asked what the audience can expect?
“A disproportionate helping of falsetto singing, Weissenborn lap steel guitar, acoustic guitar, a loop pedal, a sampler, a drum machine, and a whole lot of songs about love, loss and longing.”
Catch Ben Pearce, tonight, 1876, 10pm, Tickets $30. Thomas Oliver plays The Sherwood, tomorrow, 8.30pm, Tickets $25