Hastings Blossom Festival 2014

Fabulous 1950s costumes in the rain

For the first time this year we decide to dress up in costume for Hastings, instead of wearing our normal Batucada uniform. The theme was Spring: Back to the Future – referring back to the heyday of the Hastings Blossom Festival in the 1950s when thousands of people would descend on the town for the annual festival.

It was a perfect opportunity for us to delve into the dress-up box and pull out our favourite floral swing dress, petticoats and cardis; or rock it out with a variation on 1950s James Dean T-shirt and jeans attire. We looked awesome, if we do say so ourselves.

The band in costume at the Hastings Blossom Festival - photo by Simon Shuker Continue reading

Brazil National Day 2014

The 192nd anniversary of the independence of Brazil

Brazil National Day 2014We were honoured to once again be invited to perform at the Brazil National Day celebrations – a black tie event held this year at the beautiful (and very grand) Massey Museum Building.

A smaller-than-normal hand-picked group played two sets as the guests arrived and walked the red carpet into the event. Technically I suppose we were playing in the inner foyer of the building – but oh my goodness what a room! A vast open space two or three storeys high within this classical structure made of solid old stone, and the acoustics were – amazing.

Each time we came to the end of a piece and heard the echoes dying away for three or four seconds (which is an unusually long time, as you can imagine), we let out an involuntary “ooooooh!” at the volume of the echo and the sheer wonder of the noise, and the space, and the atmosphere. Just brilliant. Continue reading