Mojo’s midnight special

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For Queenstown’s Shay Muddle, New Year’s Eve will be a big night – in a professional sense. 

Muddle and his rocking covers band Mojo are playing the coveted 11pm-1am slot at Queenstown’s Earnslaw Park. 

“This gig to date is my most prestigious,” he says. 

When told Mojo got the nod, it didn’t sink in till he broke the news to the band, he says. 

“I was like ‘Uh, yeah, we’ve got the New Year’s Eve gig for Queenstown’. And then we were all like ‘Far out, we’ve got the New Year’s Eve gig for Queenstown – holy crap!’” 

Mojo is only six months old but the sought-after booking is no surprise. 

Muddle’s a regular on the Wakatipu’s live music scene, previously gigging with Afterglow and The Cartel – two polished bands which have previously played a New Year’s in Wanaka. 

“Both bands were very successful so [New Year’s organisers] trusted me and my judgement. Luckily I had Mojo together and without even hearing us, [they] booked us,” Muddle says. 

Four of the talented fivesome can handle lead vocals – including super-singer Pearly McGrath, who’s been wowing Wakatipu crowds since returning from Indonesia where she had a regular spot at a swanky six-star hotel.
For the New Year gig, she’ll be backed by elder sisters Amber and Gemma on vocals. 

“Pearly’s fantastic to work with, she’s an absolute angel,” Muddle says. 

“She has to be. She puts up with a lot, especially working with all boys – and boys will be boys but she just grins.” 

The rest of the lineup are Australian singer-guitarist Kayne Taylor, lead guitarist Sam Merrall and new drummer Jacob McQuarrie. 

Muddle says the band has a chocker summer schedule with weddings and hopes to crack more corporate bookings. 

For now, the focus is December 31. 

Mojo, which plays anything from Guns ‘N’ Roses and The Rolling Stones to Katy Perry, will dress up for the night and use wireless kits for instruments, whilst Pearly will have a wireless mike. 

“We’re going to go all out. We’re really proud to be playing in front of our home crowd,” Muddle says.

Catch Mojo on New Year’s Eve at Earnslaw Park from 11pm-1am, supported from 7.30pm by The Fletcherz and The Sequin Sisters