4 gigs in one day – all for a good cause

Kapiti Strawberry Festival for Mary Potter Hospice

Kapiti Strawberry FestivalAn 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!

It’s hard to play at full speed instantly, from nothing, with no warm-up – especially when your #1 surdo (Nige) is still jogging up the beach towards the performance area, surdo in hand (and they’re not small drums, either!), so we started with a gentle version of Samba Reggae, just to get ourselves in the mood.

It was lovely to see so many people wandering over to the performance area to see what was going on when they heard the rumble of our drums – and I think they had a nice time – a couple of them even danced!

The Festival’s really quite big – it takes up a whole block of streets back from the beach, and there were tons of people there, heaps of stalls selling all kinds of things, and strawberries, of course.

In between sets we were able to grab a cold beer (very necessary on such a hot day) and have a wander around the stalls, and then we were back on-stage (well, on-grass-in-front-of-stage) at midday.

Once again we gathered a pretty big crowd, and did a completely different set from the one we’d done in the morning – with a couple of our Sambanui pieces as well as a bit of Samba. I think they liked us, because the organisers invited us to play for an extra five minutes at the end as a bit of an encore – so we did six-eight, which always goes down well because it’s such a visual piece as well as sounding really funky.

We finished the encore with nosebleed Samba, which is basically Samba played as fast as humanly possible – and then some. We pretty much all collapsed in a giggling sweaty heap at the end, which is always a nice way to end a gig.

Photo gallery

Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version. All photos by Alan Shuker:

Philippines Disaster Fundraiser

Philippines Disaster FundraiserOnce the gig was over, there was no time for messing around, it was a race to our cars and heading straight back to Wellington for the Philippines Disaster Fundraiser gig in Civic Square.

We were very honoured to have been asked, as the majority of the performers at the fundraiser were from Wellington’s Filipino community.

We did a very short set of just a couple of songs, and were then asked to jam along with the drummers accompanying a group of traditionally-dressed Filipino dancers.

A slow march of the Filipino flag to the centre of the square followed, together with a minute’s silence for the victims of the terrible typhoon, and a laying of flowers at the foot of the flag.

Photo gallery

Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version. All photos by Alan Shuker:

Philippines Disaster Fundraiser – ninja gig

Philippines ninja gigWe wanted to do a bit more to help raise funds for the cause, so we decided to head off down the waterfront with collection bucket in hand, to do a ninja gig in our favourite place, just outside Mac’s Brew Bar. It was still insanely hot, so we just got on and played, much to the enjoyment of the many passers-by.

Kate’s daughter and Christian took it in turns to take the bucket round while we played, and Graham did a nice little speech to explain why we were there and what we were raising money for. We played for about half an hour, the bucket got pretty heavy with donations (thanks Wellington! You rock!) and then we staggered off to Mac’s for a well-earned beer.

Photo gallery

Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version. All photos by Alan Shuker:

What an awesome day. Four performances for two very worthy causes, large amounts of drumming done, 100km driven, strawberries consumed, beers drunk, money raised. Hot, sweaty, a bit sunburnt, and a bit exhausted, but very satisfied nonetheless.

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