Concerts to mark NZ Music Month

Ready to rock . . . Getting ready to celebrate New Zealand Music Month are local band Double Talk, comprising husband and wife musicians Al and Sheryl Bradley. PHOTO: CONNOR HALEY

A veteran Timaru musical duo are doing their little bit to amplify Aotearoa this May.

Al and Sheryl Bradley have been heavily involved in the South Canterbury music scene for 30 years as duo act Double Talk and as music teachers both privately and at schools around the region.

With the 24th year of New Zealand Music Month right around the corner, they have arranged for both the Jordan Luck Band and Shihad frontman Jon Toogood to perform in Timaru.

Mr Bradley said he wanted to make sure Timaru got in on the action and celebrated New Zealand music.

‘‘We’ve made a lot of connections throughout the years we’ve been going, so I feel like we’re just doing our little bit in this part of the country.

‘‘If everyone does their little part it just helps push New Zealand music, which is really important.’’

Toogood will be performing an intimate solo show on June 7 at the Landing Services Building while the Jordan Luck Band will be rocking the Speight’s Ale House on June 21.

Both performances are also set to have Timaru-born artists opening for them.

Indie-pop artist CAITLIN is set to open for Toogood and pop rock band Third Junction will open for the Jordan Luck Band.

Tuning the band . . . After missing playing Timaru last year the Jordan Luck Band will be performing at the Speight’s Ale House on June 21. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Mr Bradley said it was a shame they could not tie those performances into May itself but they were still very much a way to celebrate.

‘‘Unfortunately dates just didn’t work out. It’s still right off the tail of [music month] and really it’s a matter of still being able to get them both down here.’’

Still wanting to do something for May however, the Bradleys had arranged for a special night filled with live New Zealand music to be held at Street Food Kitchen on May 10.

Double Talk themselves will be performing, as well as several of Mrs Bradley’s pupils.

Mrs Bradley said she was making sure to implement a lot of New Zealand music into the schools she was teaching at.

‘‘It’s all about educating the young people and getting them out playing and listening to New Zealand music and not just for May.

‘‘At our house singing competition we had a Kiwi song as the compulsory song, so we are just trying to bring it through as much as we can.’’

Mr Bradley was doing the same.

‘‘Out at Waihi I make sure that at every assembly there is a musical item from a New Zealand artist. It’s good for the kids to know that they are performing a song written by New Zealanders because quite often they don’t.

‘‘You’ll ask them who is a New Zealand artist and they’ll say Taylor Swift, so it is our job to educate them about New Zealand music.’’

Home again . . . Shihad frontman Jon Toogood will be returning to Timaru to perform at the Landing Services Building on June 7. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Mr and Mrs Bradley were also celebrating their 30th year together as Double Talk.

Looking back on their career, Mr Bradley said it was a shame there were not as many venues around for young musicians to cut their teeth at.

‘‘We were pretty lucky as we came through, there were just venues here, there and everywhere.

‘‘There’s maybe just not that support now. I mean the hoteliers and publicans would probably put it on if they knew they’d get a full bar of people there but you just can’t guarantee it now. You could just end up with 10 or 15 people there. It’s really a support thing.

‘‘Everyone is still playing great music, there’s some great bands around Timaru at the moment but they’re just not getting the support when they go and play out.’’

He said however, he was starting to notice a bit of change coming out of Covid.

‘‘This year has been the busiest year for us and I think that’s just down to people wanting to hear live music again. I just hope that now that translates through and these bands that are going out do get supported.

‘‘I think then that’ll just encourage more bands to get back out, tour, do shows, and then there is that turnaround when the hoteliers and pubs get those bands in and it changes back to how it was.

‘‘It was a good time. You’d head out on a Friday night and you knew there was band playing here, and a band playing here and a band playing there. Live music really makes a town more vibrant.

‘‘I’m seeing that in Christchurch and I’d love to see that travel into the smaller towns.’’

Tickets for Jon Toogood and the Jordan Luck Band can be bought on the Undertheradar website.