NZ Winery Tour

REVIEW: WINERY TOUR LIGHTS UP BLACK BARN

March 2, 2017

As the sun set amidst the vines of Hawke’s Bay’s Black Barn Vineyards, Brooke Fraser stole the show, gracing the sold out crowd with her undeniable presence and stand-out vocals.

Rewind a few hours and the 10th Winery Tour began with new comer Benny Tipene taking to the stage with a selection of hits from his from his EP, ‘Toulouse’, debut album ‘Bricks’ and latest single ‘Where Love Comes From’.

While his 50-minute set was just a taste of what is yet to come, he performed a seamless line-up of crowd favourites like ‘Lonely’ and ‘Walking on Water’.

The X Factor finalist along with his two musicians, Dave Wilson (bass) and Tom Broome (guitar) certainly didn’t lack confidence, yet as he interacted with the crowd he appeared somewhat nervous.

His rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Need Your Love’ proved a big hit and as he closed his set with ‘Make You Mine’, he told the audience he would be at the merchandise tent to sign autographs.

Veteran of the New Zealand music scene, Bic Runga was given the opportunity to shine and share her distinct sound – albeit with few words in between.

On stage with her partner and drummer Kody Nielsen, she entertained the crowd, shrouded in a sense of mystery and with a shyness to her.

Her talents did not go unnoticed, trying her hand at the keyboard, harmonica and guitar, all while showcasing her interpretations of some of music’s most classic songs and her brand new album ‘Close Your Eyes’.

However, fans were undoubtedly here to see LA based Brooke who has been in our hearts and minds since 2002 and although it may have been 15 years since she first walked onto the music scene, nothing has changed.

Her 90-minute set almost didn’t seem long-enough, with songs from her first retrospective album, ‘A Sides’ which was released late last year.

She paid homage to her roots, with the acoustic pop sounds of ‘Better’, ‘Deciphering Me’ and ‘Coachella”.

As the night rolled on, she showed herself to be a true performer, grabbing the mic and dancing around the stage.

As she spoke to the crowd, she revealed that she had brought her ‘own grape’ to the winery, before giving the crowd a glimpse of her steadily growing baby bump.

One of her favourite songs, Je Suis Pret refers to her time in Scotland, where she discovered her Scottish maiden name’s family crest, ‘Fraser’ was a strawberry – much to her disbelief.

She jokingly added that “which of course meant that my ancestors when they went into war and battle in the Hylands, other people would be carrying big pictures of bears and my family were carrying big pictures of fruit. So it wasn’t quite as hardcore as I was hoping for.”

‘Something in the Water’ was another crowd favourite, with everyone singing along, before she disappeared, making it seem like her short set had come to an end, yet she reappeared providing three songs, including ‘C.S Lewis Song’, ‘What to do with Daylight’ and a cover of Crowded House’s ‘Better Be Home Soon’.

With the final bow, four hours of top-class music had come to an end.

Afterwards, she surfaced again at the merchandise stand, where a long line of people waited eagerly to meet the superstar and she did not disappoint, taking time to sign merchandise, have a quick selfie and engage in a few words.

The Winery Tour provided a selection of world-class music, at a top-class venue.

It’s not often that three musicians in their own right can come together and pull off a seamless show – yet that’s exactly what Brooke Fraser, Bic Runga and Benny Tipene did last night.

REVIEW BY ASTRID AUSTIN – HAWKES BAY TODAY

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