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The Feelers Gearing Down For NZ Tour

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
The Feelers.jpg
The Feelers.jpg

By Chris Ormond of NZPA

Wellington, Oct 1 NZPA - Having played sold out shows in London last month, The Feelers now have the likes of Dannevirke and Cromwell in their sights.

The band have seen a lot of their own country since forming in Christchurch in the 1990s, but drummer Hamish Gee said it recently occured to them they should play in some of the places they usually by-pass.

Gee admitted he had barely heard of some of the towns on the October tour schedule, which includes Putaruru, Eltham, Featherston, Westport and many others.

He also admitted there could be a few challenges at venues in terms of being able to cope with the logistics of a Feelers show, but said the songs would be stripped down.

"The idea is that the whole thing is going to be quite a broken down sort of set...violin and piano and acoustic guitars, but knowing us, within three songs we'll want to get rocked up."

A couple of sold out gigs in London's Shepherd's Bush last month showed The Feelers are still as popular among New Zealanders as they were when they crashed onto the scene with debut album, Supersystem, in 1998.

It sold multi-platinum and scooped a handful of New Zealand awards.

Their success was maintained with following albums Communicate, Playground Battle and One World, and Gee said there was more to come.

He said while New Zealand expats had always flocked to the London gigs over the years, the band didn't pretend to be breaking new markets there.

Playing a couple of gigs in the England traditionally funded their way to other parts of Europe, which could be hit and miss in terms of popularity.

The band, whose engine room as always been Gee and singer/guitarist James Reid, has been in the studio recording new material to be included on a best-of album celebrating 10 years since the release of their first single.

But Gee said more and more songs were being created and the band was already looking towards another album beyond that.

Some new songs would be played during the upcoming tour, which also includes Andy Lynch on guitar and Matt Short on bass.

Gee said all were looking forward to heading into the New Zealand heartland and doing something a bit different.

"Once a year we do the main spots and drive through all these small towns and it occurred to us we should actually stop and play at some of these small towns where no one else plays.

"It's a reward to the rural places where no one really takes time to visit, so it's just our way of saying thank you to those smaller places."

He admitted he wasn't sure what to expect in terms of the vibe in some of back-country halls.

"I'm not sure if anyone has done it before, it's going to be a massive juxtaposition to what we normally do."

He said the roadshow would be kept relatively simple, with not much more than "a lighting guy and front of house guy" to keep things ticking along.

"We're going to play our entire set list, we'll play the old hits as well and rock those up as much as possible and basically just try and read the crowd and see what happens."

* Tour dates: Kaukapakapa, Oct 9, Kaukapakapa Hall: Waipu, Oct 10, Coronation Hall; Putaruru, Oct 11, The Plaza; Renwick, Oct 14, Community Memorial Hall; Westport, Oct 15, Westport Community Hall; Hanmer Springs, Oct 16, Hanmer Springs Hall; Asburton, Oct 17, Tinwald War Memorial Hall; Waimate, Oct 18, Waimate Stadium; Balclutha, Oct 22, Balclutha Memorial Hall; Winton, Oct 23, Winton Memorial Hall; Cromwell, Oct 24, Cromwell Memorial Hall; Twizel, Oct 25, Twizel Events Centre; Rangiora, Oct 26, Rangiora Town Hall; Eltham, Oct 29, Eltham Town Hall; Feilding, Oct 30, Civic Centre; Dannevirke, Oct 31, Dannevirke Town Hall; Paraparaumu Nov 1, Memorial Hall; Featherston, Nov 2, Anzac Hall

* For pics contact Lisa Paris at The Label,, 09 8893668, 0274318459.

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