By MATTHEW MCKEW
He may have a song called Supernova and he may be called Champagne, but this is a form of guitar Oasis never dared to play.
Daniel Champagne’s fizzing to take the stage at Sherwood, returning three years after his last gig at the hotel and following tours in the US and home country Australia.
The New South Welshman’s making waves for his percussive guitar style, using the string instrument for so much more than the usual strumming technique.
He plucks and pats his reinforced and custom-made Cole Clark guitar to create truly unique sounds.
‘‘You can definitely play things that sound like there are a lot more people on stage than just the guitar player,’’ Champagne says.
It makes him somewhat of a one-man band and allows him to keep his music deeply personal.
‘‘I like doing it by myself, working out what I’m going to do a couple of minutes before the show or changing it halfway through.
“Set lists, merging songs into one another or even sometimes what key I will do things in.’’
And that spontaneity is something he’s been working into his shows more and more.
‘‘It’s something I have pushed a bit more in recent years, because doing so many shows you can flick into [auto] pilot mode quite easily, so I do anything I can to not do that.’’
Champagne’s been in the music biz for 14 years now, but it’s only been in the past few years his career’s really started to take off.
The 32-year-old puts some of that down to practice, some down to marketing and, finally, some of it down to where he’s been living, United States’ country music capital, Nashville, Tennessee.
‘‘Nashville is obviously a big music town and it’s inspiring to be around so many people who have moved there to do a similar thing and are very serious and passionate about the craft … and not that I wasn’t taking it seriously, but it really made me double-down when I got there.’’
His New Zealand tour’s proving not only a hit, with all but two shows sold out, but it’s another whistlestop one, something he told himself he would avoid after Covid.
‘‘It’s ironic, because I had a fair bit of reflection time last year … one of those things was to take things a little bit easier and put a few more gaps in the tour, but the Australia tour and this tour are catch-ups from postponed shows, so it’s kind of busier than it ever has been.’’
Champagne, who picked up the guitar not long out of nappies, says the instrument is so universally played that his percussive style seems to draw a crowd who are intrigued to see it used differently — and hopefully to good effect.
As for his travels to the south, he’s keen to see the town’s mountains blanketed in white, having only previously visited in the summer.
‘‘Queenstown is one of those towns everybody wants to go to, there’s a good energy there and a lot of excited people, I’ve always had good times, it’s always been way too brief, as will this time.’’
Daniel Champagne performs at Sherwood Queenstown on Saturday, July 31. Tickets are sold out.