“So whats everyone been doing these past five years?” asks Jason Kerrison the lead singer of Opshop, greeting the crowd with a smile. Yes, these Kiwi classics (well classic for my generation at least) haven’t toured in about five years, with their last single show being Homegrown 2018. Filling the stage, the five-piece begun the night with high energies and passion, showing that a powerful love of music will always win, no matter how long the hiatus. The sound of the four guitars fill the vineyard, as the crowd sways to the familiar Kiwi BBQ music, Snapchatting and screaming in unison. Opshop finish off their set with ‘One Day’ to joyous screams from the crowd and the NZ Post classic rang out.
Next to take the stage was the legend Tiki Taane. An extremely talented dude, playing all the instruments himself and using a mix of loop ad dub tracks that he prepares and performs live each and every night, giving his music a deeper feeling of raw passion. Concert goers danced and threw up their wine filled glasses with glee as the funky rock music poured, seemingly, out of his soul. A fan screamed, from the crowd, that they loved a particular a song and Taane acknowledged the young fan as he started to play the song, commenting that even though it wasn’t on his set list for the night he would play it just for her. A fan’s dream. Ending his set with, arguably, his most well known song ‘Always on My Mind’ the crowd was left feeling sorely disappointed that there wasn’t more.
The wine may be a mixture of red and white tonight at Church Road Winery, but there was not an inch of doubt that UB40 were exactly what the crowds flocked in their thousand, from all over Hawkes Bay to see. Darkness had fallen on the winery, the stage lights flooded every piece of the stage with ocean blue tones and UB40 walked out, instruments in hand. They were met with cheers and wine fuelled screams and their chill reggae beats were exactly what was needed after a long working week. Filling our minds with visions of sunny beaches, and cocktails in Fiji as they
played track after track from their extensive back catalogue. After taking a short break with a drum solo, the band performed a few tracks from their new album, as well as treating us to a very upbeat rendition of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by the late and great Elvis Presley. Finally, they launched into Red Red Wine, yet another Kiwi BBQ classic, met with absolute joy. The crowd wooed in delight over the familiar tune, before the night drew to an end.
All in all another great night at Church Road Winery. Full of wine, rad music and beautiful Hawkes Bay weather.