Sam still charms it crazy’

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Kiwi poet Sam Hunt plans to stick to his formula when he performs in Queenstown this Saturday. 

That’s right – he will, in his own words: “Tell the story, tell it true, charm it crazy.” 

“From an early age I came up with that phrase. I do that as much as possible,” Hunt drawls down the phone from his Kaipara Harbour home, a few hours north of Auckland. 

Hunt, who’ll release a new book of his work on his 66th birthday on July 4, is looking forward to his show in Queenstown, but not the trip down. 

“I enjoy working – I don’t enjoy travelling. 

“I spent a whole lifetime travelling and I’m actually sick of travelling. I used to love that whole process of getting from A to B. In the old days it was nice, big cars and touring was a different thing but now it’s aeroplanes which I hate.” 

Hunt, who was last down south for a show at Luggate late last year, has fond memories of Arrowtown where he hunkered down for a while after being awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in 1986. 

“I almost had a nervous breakdown in Arrowtown. I’d just received a QSM … a little gong they gave me. I was on tour at the time and got to Queenstown and there was so much of the media thing, it was ridiculous. 

“I couldn’t take any more and just completely disappeared off the scene – I did the show and f … ed off. I just couldn’t stand it. 

“I found a little place and a nice lady I got to know and went off with her.” 

Meanwhile, Hunt’s been busy working on a new album with musician David Kilgour, formerly of Dunedin band The Clean. The pair put out an album in 2009 with Hunt’s poetry recitals as the vocals. 

“I once described my poems as songs for the tone deaf but in fact I hear a lot of music in the lines and that’s where the lines come from – it’s a primal sort of hum.” 

Hunt’s also looking forward to the new volume of his work – Knuckbleones: Poems 1962 to 2012 – coming out. 

“From there I’m just chugging away working on a few poems and doing a few shows and looking forward to pension day every second Tuesday,” he says. 

Catch Sam Hunt followed by The Master Blasters at the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust fundraiser – part-sponsored by Mountain Scene – at Millenium Hotel this Saturday from 6.30pm. Tickets are $130 – phone Sarah on 441 2366 or email info@patfarrytrust.co.nz. Hunt also plays Clyde Memorial Hall Sunday at 2pm – $20