The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire

Fifteen revealing questions submitted to well-known musicians or newcomers which they can answer as serious or as silly as they please.

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Sam Bambery

17 Jun 2024  |  7 min read

As with most people, Elsewhere never heard the 2022 debut album Songs About Sailors by Sam Bambery so his recent Rubicator caught us by surprise for its depth, maturity and range. We're counting it among the best albums of this year already. Although out of Christchurch and associated with Lyttelton, Bambery has a bigger and broader pop vision that what we are used to out of that region... > Read more

Tricks of the Light

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Andy Neill

10 Jun 2024  |  3 min read

Writer and researcher Andy Neill is a man who knows the Beatles' story inside out, and probably a bit sideways too. With Greg Armstrong he has written the quite extraordinary, detailed, lavishly illustrated When We Was Fab: Inside the Beatles Australasian Tour 1964. At 300 pages and with hundreds of images, it tells not just the story of the Beatles tour but goes back into the details... > Read more

Love Me Do

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Alex Pipes

10 May 2024  |  3 min read

The recent debut album Square One by Auckland jazz guitarist Alex Pipes shone a spotlight on a real talent and former student in the jazz courses at Auckland University. That connection allowed him to have some impressive tutors on-call for his album of which we said “he knew exactly what he wanted to achieve, found the players to help him do it and then pulled it off impressively.... > Read more

Momo

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Kiran Ahluwalia

3 May 2024  |  5 min read

Sometimes Elsewhere gets music sent to it from elsewhere, and in the case of the album Comfort Food by singer/songwriter Kiran Ahluwalia – whose name we had never heard before – it was a message from Canada. That album immediately grabbed our attention for many reasons – musical, political particularly – and we were pleased to write about it very favourably.... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Ted Brown

25 Mar 2024  |  4 min read

As we mentioned when we reviewed his new album Solstice Canyon Loop, Ted Brown has been away from New Zealand for over 20 years, living and working in Los Angeles. That means he's probably slipped off the radar although as longtime guitarist for expat Greg Johnson – also living in Los Angeles – some will certainly remember him. However now is the time to get reacquainted... > Read more

Dark Side of Memory Lane

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE BLUES QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Courtnay Low of The Mons Whaler and The Unholy Reverie

11 Mar 2024  |  4 min read

No doubt many already know of singer/guitarist and keyboard player Courtnay Low but she only came on Elsewhere's radar last week with the Taranaki-based band The Mons Whaler. Their debut album Hold My Gun is like a box of firecrackers and Low's playing was just one excellent element in a band which managed to be tough, soulful, blues and appealing all at the same time. Outside of... > Read more

It Ain't On Me, by The Mons Whaler (ft Courtnay Low)

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Blair Jollands

10 Mar 2024  |  2 min read

Because we've written about Blair Jollands – and interviewed him – in the past, we'd like to think Elsewhere readers would be aware of him. But the fact he hasn't lived here for about 20 years – London his longtime home – we figure you might need a reminder in advance of his forthcoming tour. He also muddies his own waters by having played under different names:... > Read more

My Home Town

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Kevin Welch

26 Feb 2024  |  3 min read

Kevin Welch is the legendary Americana singer-songwriter whose work has spanned decades and been covered by Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt, Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless, Solomon Burke and more recently Chris Stapleton, all legends in their own right who hardly needed to go beyond their own catalogue for material. But Welch's songs, right from his first albums in the early Nineties, have... > Read more

Troublesome Times

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ella McCool-Reay of Wax Eye

9 Feb 2024  |  <1 min read

The alt.folk Wax Eye are singer Ella McCool-Reay and her father Steve Reay (of Vor-Stellen) who deliver a very seductive self-titled debut: five songs acoustic-framed songs with bassist Jared Johanson (Subliminals, Vor-Stellen) and writer/trumpeter Marco Scott. Erring towards a melodic take on drone-folk's mesmerising repetition with gentle harmonies and subtle electronics, Wax Eye hit... > Read more

One of Us

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Macey

16 Oct 2023  |  2 min read

Auckland singer and songwriter Macey (Harry Parsons) has delivered a debut album The Lovers which went into out Favourite Five Recent Releases the week after we reviewed it. And we upgraded it also as a Recommended Record because the vinyl is quite special in a cover which appears to be a distressed painting from the Pre-Raphaelite period, all doomed romance and yearning. In many ways that... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Rodney Fisher

2 Oct 2023  |  3 min read

Perhaps best known for his work as a frontman and songwriter for Goodshirt – he penned their hit Fiji Baby among others – Rodney Fisher has been off the radar for most since the band called it quits in 2005 and Fisher headed off to London. There have been occasional Goodshirt reunions but Fisher busied himself in promotion, booking gigs and helping emerging artists. A... > Read more

Locked Up

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Alayna

17 Jul 2023  |  5 min read

One of the great pleasures of music, that which makes it a life-long and rewarding passion, is there's always something new to discover: a new genre emerges, new music appears from a part of the world you hadn't heard from previously, new technology allows for innovation and creativity . . . and, of course, new artists. “Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts,” said... > Read more

Icicles on my Eyelashes

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Jazmine Mary

14 Jul 2023  |  4 min read

When Jazmine Mary and band played a mesmerising show at the Hollywood Avondale in Auckland recently Jazmine – who identifies as they/them – initially came on dressed like an Amish woman off to the celebration after a barn-raising, then later changed into what looked like a 1950s bathing suit. That dichotomy of presentation illustrated the breadth and scope of her work, from... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Nigel Mitchell of Orangefarm

26 Jun 2023  |  4 min read

As we noted in our review of the Orangefarm debut album Inheritance, the band has been around Wellington for about 20 years with a revolving door of a small number of loyal members. At the core however is singer, songwriter and guitarist Nigel Mitchell. His songs are sharp, sometimes sentimental (but not soppy) and melodic. We noted the influence of the Eighties indie rock out of... > Read more

Listen

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Tom Lark

19 Jun 2023  |  2 min read

Previous releases by Tom Lark a few years ago went past us, but he's a hard man to pin down. He also goes by other names: Shannon Matthew Vanya and Shannon Fowler. We leave it over to you to chase them down, but refer you to his excellent Tom Lark debut album Brave Star which is a classy collection of dream pop with a little powered-down power pop. He's also got something to say as... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Tony Richards of The Cosmic Debris

12 Jun 2023  |  3 min read

We will be honest, we had never heard of Auckland's Tony Richards of his musical persona Cosmic Debris until he was in touch offering us his third album which promised soul-funk. That sounded very tempting and when the album arrived – it is out on CD and limited edition vinyl, see below – we did our research. And he's had quite an interesting and long career in and out of... > Read more

Let Me Be the One

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . The Terrible Sons

24 May 2023  |  9 min read

On occasion Elsewhere is obliged to give the background of artists who respond to our questions. But not so Lauren and Matt Barus from Christchurch about whose recent album The Raft is Not the Shore we said “alongside elegant folk there's smart pop (You Can Choose,Tomorrow Always Comes) and weightless dream-folk (Yelling in the Wilderness) within this self-described music “for... > Read more

Yelling in the Wilderness

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Maxine Funke

19 May 2023  |  3 min read

Maxine Funke's new album River Said may seem like a split personality pressed onto vinyl: one side delicate acoustic folk, the other sonic soundscapes with field recordings and disconcertingly atmospheric cello. But as we noted in our review, they are all part of a piece and reflect different but not disparate sides of Funke's musical personality. As Bleep said, “Peer beyond the... > Read more

Cherry Blossom Gin

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Ben Tolich aka Mali Mali

14 Apr 2023  |  5 min read

Over the years Elsewhere has listened to and favourably reviewed the interesting and unique sound of Mali Mali, which is the performance name of Auckland's Ben Tolich whose work we admired for its lo-fi and lyrical honesty. Tolich has remained uncompromisingly true to his style but his lyrics have deepened, the songs become sharper and his latest album Spirit Tide  is full of his... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Damien Binder

10 Apr 2023  |  7 min read

Despite having lived in Australia for many decades, former Auckland rock musician (Second Child) turned singer-songwriter Damien Binder has frequently appeared at Elsewhere. That's because as a singer and writer he always has something interesting to say, and the songs to deliver it. With a new album Bright Side coming out on April 21 – we've heard it, it's very... > Read more