During the hellscape that has been the 20’s thus far, many of those involved in the arts have found themselves pursuing other avenues, while also taking time to reflect, and to experience more of life outside the creative bubble than they otherwise might have. Hawkes Bay’s Stretch has been one of these people, having released the very strong ‘Our Dreams Are Changing‘ album six months in to the pandemic, only for it to sink in the midst of the zeitgeist, disappointingly failing to find the place it deserves. Such a blow takes time and strength to recover from, but now he’s got the band back together and is ready to get out there again.
Boxcat Records presents
Friday 23rd September | Urban Winery | Napier
Friday 30th September | Peak House | Havelock North
Tickets on sale NOW from Eventfinda.
Discussing the progress of rehearsals, Stretch said that he’s genuinely excited to be playing again with an ensemble of this calibre – all skilled musicians in their own right, but as is the case with the best combinations – the sum is bigger than its parts. The level of genuine friendship amongst the players (Arahi Whaanga on drums, Campbell Burns on guitar and Paula Sugden ‘s careful ministration of 300-year old Cyril the cello) adds a hefty dose of extra warmth to the experience.
This combo inspires him in his quest to give new voice to a body of work which has lain untapped for long enough now. Ultimately it is the songs, and their being deserving of exposure which is driving these shows – particularly the material from ‘Our Dreams Are Changing’, with its deep and soulful expressiveness. He feels that the songs deserve to be heard, but this is not in any egotistical way, indeed far from it, more a simple recognition of the art of which he is fortunate enough to be a channel. This is a light that is being revealed afresh, rather than being hidden behind a bushel. Seriously folks, go and check out the songs – it’ll cost you nothing on your streaming service, and may well be a balm for your soul!
So with the time feeling right, the band feeling tight, and the songs needing the light, the upcoming gigs promise much, and will likely be the springboard for much more to follow. Doesn’t it make you want to be part of that journey? I know it does me – come and join us at one, or even both, of the gigs, if you’re able. Even if you’re from out of town – heck, domestic tourism could use a boost, and there’s a lot else to see and do while you’re here!
Words by Rob Harbers, Photography by Andrew Caldwell, Tour Artwork supplied.
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