Sound of summer


They’ve got a new sound, new songs, a new tour, and Kiwi rockers Summer Thieves are gearing up to bring all three to Queenstown.

The Otago favourites are heading to Yonder next Friday as part of a seven-show tour of NZ.

The band, comprising Johnny Ward (drums and vocals), Adam Spencer (bass), Angus Cleland (keys, samples and percussion) and Jake Barton (guitar and vocals), started out as a university project about five years ago.

They quickly became scarfie favourites, gigging at venues and events all around Dunedin.

The rise from student legends to nationwide success has been impressive – to date, the band’s shared the stage with a number of local and international heavy-hitters, including Sticky Fingers, Six60, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Katchafire.

In 2014, the boys entered the studio with Kiwi legend and multi-platinum-award-winning artist and producer Tiki Taane to start work on their debut album.

“He’s someone we’ve all really looked up to, so it was awesome to get in the studio with him, Barton says.

same vibe personality-wise. We didn’t feel any pressure whatsoever being in the studio, so it was super-cool.

Now based in Auckland, they’ve spent the past few weeks in the studio working on new tunes.

Barton says the songs have a new sound that’s ent” to their past material.

“We’ve moved away from the reggae, just because it’s hard to get NZ radio play with dominant reggae music.

“We’re trying a few different sounds.”

Fans heading along to the gig can expect a big night, he says.

“It’s high energy, just some good music, good musicians.

“You’re pretty much coming to a party.”

One of the band’s new songs may also get an airing, he says.

“We won’t give you too much, it’s a tease.”

There’ll also be a slight change to the line-up – drummer Ward’s injured, Barton says.

But they’ve found a pretty decent ring-in in the form of a sessions drummer who plays with Kiwi hit-makers Sons of Zion.

Queenstown duo Lizard Den will serve as the opening act.

To catch Summer Thieves, head along to Yonder on Friday, 8pm, free entry