Happy happy joy joy
We arrived at the school playground in the middle of the outdoor disco. The DJ was playing Pharrell’s song “Happy”, which always makes me happy, and I knew it was going to be a lovely gig.
Mt Cook is an inner city, multicultural primary school with an energetic, inclusive vibe. Kate and Gurdeep both have kids at the school, which I guess is one of the reasons why we were invited to play at their fundraising gala today.
Dazzer and Orange Tim did the directing honours, and both worked hard to get the audience involved. It was lovely to watch the kids gradually realise that Dazzer was directing them to turn around with us every forth bar in Six-Eight, and very cool to see them all following our choreography and having a great time. Continue reading
Drumming and dancing the Newtown Wave
We love the Newtown Fair. Oh how we love it! It’s one of the parade highlights of our year.
There’s something about Newtown – the multicultural buzz, the happy happy up-for-it crowd of 70,000 good-humoured peeps, the Friends of Wellington Batucada whom we can guarantee will be there to dance with us – it all adds up to an hour and a half of pure Samba ecstasy, as we make our way slowly along the Newtown parade route, led by at least a hundred dancers – mainly festival-goers who love to groove on down with us every year.
Our dancers teach them the moves – and 100 happy people repeat those moves in choreographed harmony. It’s awesome to see – and wonderful to be making the music that inspires them all to strut their stuff. There’s even an official dance move that our dancers do nowhere else but here, called the Newtown Wave. How cool is that? Continue reading
…and a ninja gig in Courtenay Place
There’s not much room on-stage at The Grand, and barely any space in front of it either when the crowd is in full-on samba mode, so gigs at this venue are always great fun, highly-charged, very energetic, and a bit of a squash. We were playing at a Brazilian party in honour of Carnival, which was great, because we get to watch a group of pretty enthusiastic dancers at close quarters, grooving on down to our drumming. Continue reading
Wellington’s waterfront rocks!
An event like this year’s Homegrown perfectly demonstrates just what an awesome waterfront we have in Wellington, and why we are so lucky to have retained public access along the entire length of it.
The various marquees and stages meandered along half the waterfront – from the far end of Waitangi Park to the far end of Frank Kitt’s – with music coming from all directions. This year the walkways were still open to everyone, rather than being blocked off and only accessible to ticket-holders, and so it became this wonderful mixture of wristbanded party-goers zipping here and there to catch their favourite Kiwi acts, mixed with the general public out for a stroll on a stunning Wellington bluesky sunny day, and taking in the spectacle for free. Continue reading
On playing in the rain, a duet with Niko Ne Zna – and dancing with Elmos!
Yup, 2014 is definitely going down as one of the wetter Sevens weekends we’ve been involved in. But hey, the show must go on, and so it did.
Lisa and Nige abandoned their beautiful handmade wood-and-goatskin surdos in favour of having a shake on the chocalho for the day (they’d checked the weather forecast in advance), and the rest of us prepared in whatever way we could for a gig that was probably going to end up with us playing in horizontal rain… Continue reading
Posing as pirates in the torrential rain
Darn it! I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned how well the weather turned out in my previous post.
So – this year’s Sevens will go down in the annals of history for a) really crappy weather and b) really awesome costumes by Wellington Batucada.
And really, when you look as fabulous as this, who cares about a bit of rain? At least on Day 1 it started out OK and only became torrential at the very end… Continue reading
Newbies, busted heads and a new ending…
Looking at the long-range forecast for Sevens Week a couple of weeks ago, one could be forgiven for feeling somewhat disappointed in Wellington’s upcoming weather. Wind, rain, cloudy and cold… except of course that the Welli Weather Gods have now realised their error and sorted it out for us.
Wednesday dawned sunny and calm (of course it did! This is the Sevens!), and we had a great parade. Continue reading
Peace, love and harmony
We were delighted to have been invited to take part in Te Rā o te Raukura for the first time this year. The festival is a family orientated event with a focus on health, art, and education; with kids’ amusement rides and over 100 stalls with a massive array of foods and crafts.
The name of the event, Te Rā o te Raukura, is significant to the people at Waiwhetu and the tangata whenua in the Wellington Region. The ‘Raukura’ was used as a symbol of peace, love and harmony by the prophet Te Whiti O Rongomai at Parihaka. Te Rā o te Raukura commemorates the day in 1881 when Parihaka was invaded, and celebrates unity in Lower Hutt City and the wider Wellington Region. Continue reading
Fun in the sun (and wind!)
Having not had the chance to do the Johnsonville Christmas Parade this year (it was cancelled due to high winds and inclement weather), we were all looking forward to our last parading opportunity of the year.
Dear old Wellington put on a sunny day (hooray!) with a serious side-order of wind (well it wouldn’t be Wellington without a stiff breeze, would it?) and we came out in force to drum, march and dance our way through Wellington’s city streets. Carin and Orange Tim shared directing duties, and both did a sterling job of keeping us in-time and on-course. Continue reading
Kapiti Strawberry Festival for Mary Potter Hospice
An enthusiastic Batucada crew made their way up the coast to Paraparaumu Beach on the hottest day of the year so far (hooray! summer’s here!) to take part in the Kapiti Strawberry Festival, which is a fundraising and awareness event for Mary Potter Hospice.
We were scheduled to do two 15-minute sets at the festival, and our first set was timetabled for 10:30am. At 10:20am there were about five of us there, ready to play. Uh oh! I think next time we’ll need to a) set off from Wellington earlier and b) assume we’ll have to park miles away from the stage and take that into account…
I think the Strawberry Festival must be the first festival gig I’ve ever done anywhere where they were actually running to schedule – brilliant organisation – which didn’t help us either. By 25 past 10 there were a few more of us, and on the dot of 10:30 we marched onto the grassy area in front of the stage – here we come, ready or not! Continue reading