When Sing! Sing! Sing! were booked for their first three gigs, they were headlining and hadn’t played a gig together before.
That was only a month ago and now the band is hitting Queenstown to headline JazzFest.
Luckily they’re a bunch of well-seasoned musos who, although unknown at the time, sold out their first gig in Martinborough and got a standing ovation.
The idea of the group was hatched by band leader Reuben Bradley.
Essentially he headhunted a few friendly musos that he’d played with before and, wa-lah, Sing! Sing! Sing! was created.
Fronted by Lauren Armstrong, Moira Jean and Katelin Little, the group is “vocal heavy”.
Behind the leading ladies you’ll find Bradley on drums, Chris Beernink on bass and Matt Steele on the keys.
The Wellingtonians perform swing music with a dash of soul.
When asked if it’s a covers band, the answer is yes — technically — but the band injects its own flavour into the music.
Bradley: “It’s so many surprises, a lot of songs that people don’t actually know but when they hear them they’re like ‘oh my God, that’s great’.”
He describes it as playing classic jazz but in a fun way. The drummer has worked on a heap of different albums and played festivals around the globe.
When he came up with the idea for Sing! Sing! Sing! he was trying to suss out a way to bring together a group that would be pleasing to a festival crowd.
He hardly ever gets nervous but reckons he was on the brink ahead of their first gig because it was uncharted territory.
But it was a cracker.
“It couldn’t have gone better,” Bradley says.
Bradley’s played JazzFest several times and reckons it’s always the highlight of his year.
He says the whole band is looking forward to “experiencing the Queenstown vibe” and catching up with their muso mates from across the country.
As for ever taking Sing! Sing! Sing! overseas to other festivals: “Queenstown is overseas, right?”
JazzFest runs from Friday through to Monday and is also headlined by Phil Broadhurst Trio on Friday and Nathan Haines Band on Saturday.
Sing! Sing! Sing! Reuben Bradley Sextet & The Queenstown Jazz Orchestra, Queenstown Memorial Centre, 7.30pm, Sunday, tickets on Eventfinda, general admission $40, kids (under 19) $20