World famous in Queenstown


Kiwi funksters Oval Office reckon Queenstown fans have the deepest pockets in the country. 

The enterprising Christchurch group is loading up the tour bus with extra copies of its self-titled debut album for a two-gig trip to the resort this weekend. 

That’s because the seven-strong outfit sell more CDs here than anywhere else in New Zealand, bassist Richie Pickard says. 

“Every time we play Queenstown there’s a whole new audience at the shows,” Pickard explains. 

“In every other town and city you look to build a following that will come back to see you. But because Queenstown gets so many visitors passing through, you never know who’ll be there and that makes it all the more fun. 

Pickard adds: “On our last tour, we also sold way more copies of our CD at our Queenstown gig than anywhere else, so we are hoping to shift a good few more this time around as well. 

“It all helps, because it isn’t cheap taking seven band members and a crew out on the road.” 

Comprising some of NZ’s most in-demand session musos, Oval Office personnel have backed a raft of big names such as Dave Dobbyn, Diana Krall and Midge Marsden. 

Most of the band teaches music at the CPIT Jazz School in Christchurch. 

Singer Sacha Vee – who studies music therapy in Wellington – is also making waves on the solo front. 

Oval Office is midway through recording its second album and has just released a new single Hold on Through. 

“Because most of our members have a pretty heavy recording and performing workload outside of the band, it can drive you nuts getting us all in the one place for rehearsals never mind gigs,” Pickard says. 

“But it’s good that despite all the other stuff that’s always bubbling away, Oval Office has become a constant for us. 

“We don’t have any master plan for world domination or anything,” he says. 

“But it would be great to see the band take off nationally a bit more than we have.”

Catch Oval Office at Dux de Lux on tomorrow and Saturday from 9.30pm