By PHILIP CHANDLER
All (musical) roads lead tomorrow to the garden bar of Arrowtown’s The Fork and Tap for the inaugural ‘Sunday Super Jam.’
Featuring 20-plus top Wakatipu bands and musos, it’s the idea of Arrowtown musician Kevin ‘Kevymetal’ Murdoch.
‘‘Covid-19 has affected musicians all over the country due to restrictions on bars restricting revenue that in turn doesn’t allow for the employment of musicians,’’ he says.
‘‘The Super Jam will allow musicians to regroup and have a day out together.’’
The entertainment starts at 1pm when the Scat Jazz Choir from Hamilton’s Hillcrest College goes on stage.
The choir, who regularly tour overseas, is on a New Zealand tour and is only asking for soup as payment.
Then, at 2pm, Queenstowner Thomas ‘Downtown Pappy’ Brinsley’s new band, Tom Goes To The Mayor, as host band, kicks off the jam with about six numbers.
Murdoch, the band’s bass player, says ‘‘we’re just going to wing it from there’’.
Musos lining up to play include Arrowtowner Dave Gent (The Exponents), who’s got a new band, Nigel Hirst, Leanne Malcolm, Shay and Pearly, Emma Pullar, Charlotte Graf, Ned Webster and Denise Martin.
‘‘The standard of the musos in Queenstown and Arrowtown is unbelievable,’’ Murdoch says.
‘‘Unfortunately, due to numbers, school musos will not be eligible to play, but The Tap promoters are looking to accommodate them at a later date.’’
He adds other towns are looking at the jam as a model they might follow themselves.
Sunday Super Jam follows on from the inaugural Arrow Sounds event in June, which Murdoch also organised alongside The Fork and Tap owner Jeannie Crawford.
Held to celebrate NZ’s then-return to Alert Level 1, it was a 12-hour music festival hosted by several jam-packed Arrowtown venues.
Murdoch says it will be held again next year over the weekend of March 27-28, and will take in other venues like Arrowtown Athenaeum Hall and possibly Millbrook Resort and a winery or two.
It could grow into a local version of Australia’s Byron Bay Bluesfest, he believes.
He and Crawford will be part of a committee that’ll run it.
Sunday Super Jam, The Fork and Tap, Arrowtown, 1pm till 6pm
Band’s two Covid escapees
Lead guitarist Thomas Brinsley’s almost apologetic about the name of his band, Tom Goes To The Mayor.
‘‘It’s nothing to do with good old Jim Boult, it’s from a very silly late-night cartoon [solid rhythm guitarist] Darian [Willis] and I like very much.’’
Far more interesting is that both band members wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t escaped Germany (Brinsley) and Scotland (Willis) in March, just hours before international borders closed — they coincidentally shared a flight from Dubai to Auckland.
Brinsley only had four hours’ notice of his first flight, from Munich.
‘‘I was in between two flats so half my stuff is still over there.’’
Also in the band are experienced drummer Martin Guy and Sunday Super Jam founder Keith Murdoch, 70, who only started playing the bass guitar as a retirement project, about five years ago, after not having played since school days.
Brinsley says the band mainly plays rock covers — ‘‘a lot of The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin’’.
‘‘But we like to dig a bit deeper, too, and do the old B sides.’’
Now 32, he’s played guitar since he was 15, after earlier playing sax in a jazz band.
He also teaches music one day a week at Arrowtown School — ‘‘some of the talent emerging is very impressive, they’re years ahead of me at that age’’.
– PHILIP CHANDLER