Still flying solo after 25 years

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After gigging in Queenstown for a quarter of a century, Brett Strachan has seen and heard it all. 

The veteran singer-guitarist can remember back to when just a small handful of local musos serviced a thin smattering of live venues. 

These days, countless bands and singers regularly do the rounds at the resort’s many bustling bars and clubs. 

But despite the boom in live entertainment, Strachan reckons one thing hasn’t changed that much – the music itself. 

“Now and then I’ll think I need to freshen up my set with some new material and I go out and check what the younger acts are up to,” he says. 

“I usually come away realising they are really just playing acoustic versions of the pop and rock classics that I’ve been doing for years anyway. 

“The live music scene may have expanded dramatically in Queenstown, but people still like listening to what they know when they are on a night out.” 

Strachan will be back playing at his usual haunt of SkyCity Queenstown Casino on Saturday night. 

He has about 250 songs to choose from – and he’ll happily blast out everything from rock, pop and country music to disco and reggae. 

“When I turn up for a gig I usually don’t know what kind of crowd I’ll be playing to until the people start arriving – it could be youngsters or pensioners,” Strachan explains. 

“But that’s one of the things I still like about performing. You are never quite sure who’ll be there and you have to be able to quickly adapt to the kind of sounds they want to hear and make it work.” 

Strachan adds: “I still get a big buzz from being on stage and, when it all goes right, for me there is still no better job out there.”

Catch Brett Strachan at SkyCity Queenstown Casino on Saturday from 9.30pm