Grizzled old wolves spark it up


The Grey Wolf tour is coming to Queenstown.

Why Grey Wolf? Because duo Stig Eldred and Noel Coutts are of a certain age – and they both growl a bit.

Eldred, a Swede brought up in Los Angeles, is no newbie to the stage and starred in his first film, The Ghost and Mr Chickens featuring American actor Don Knotts at Universal Studios, aged just 13. He got the part through his music teacher. His role was the kid playing accordion in the picnic scene.

A job in the industry was a natural progression and he now spends his life touring the world.

He now spends six months in New Zealand, three months in the United States and three months in Europe. While he loves singing, a key part of his career is doing voice work for films and telly.

“My accent is mid-Atlantic, neutral American – an American who doesn’t sound like an asshole is how I think of it.”

Music is a passion, but his love affair with his accordion is a tricky one. He hid the fact he played for 25 years. He was embarrassed because it was a dorky thing to do – and it didn’t help him with the ladies.

That changed one day when visiting Kiwi Coutts, who had an accordion mounted on his wall.

Eldred took it down and started to play. That started their collaboration.

Coutts also spends half his life abroad – spending summers in NZ and winters in Warsaw, where his other half is from.

He’s written a good deal of original music and released half a dozen albums. He didn’t start singing professionally until he moved to Queenstown in 1987. He says music has been good to him – he hasn’t made a fortune but it allows for a “pretty sweet” lifestyle.

He can’t remember how he met Eldred – but that doesn’t matter any more.

“It is going to be fun. Expect good music, big voices, covers and original music. Between us we have lots of songs. We have played together a lot and recorded together. I promise you people will have fun.

“They will not be bored – that won’t happen. We are a good combination, we spark and fire off each other.”

The set will include covers from the likes of the Eagles and Pink Floyd – but also original music.

The 2016 Grey Wolf Tour featuring Stig Eldred and Noel Coutts, Blue Kanu, Queenstown, tonight, 8.30pm, and New Orleans, Arrowtown, tomorrow, 9.30pm