The album release party for the Apologies album is on July the 25th and I thought I?d write a little about the fantastic musicians I?ve somehow convinced to play with me. I?m a lucky, lucky guy.

The Rustles are a duo comprising Jay Clarkson and Tony de Raad. I met Jay in the mid-90s, she?s the mother of my good friend Sam. She has rich history of great songwriting, but I guess I didn?t really see her play much until 1998 when I was fortunate enough to be around as she recorded her the album Kindle. Last year, Jay released her latest, Over the Mountain, which is very very nice. To me, Jay evokes Leonard Cohen with her rich lyrical content. However, her guitar playing sets her apart. I don?t really know of anybody that plays like Jay. Tony also plays with David Kilgour, and I believe he played on one of my favourite albums, Lanky?s Wait. I?m really looking forward to seeing these two play.

I first saw Julian Temple play maybe four or five years ago. I set up sound for his band, which was called the Juju Crew at the time. It was an extremely easy mix as they are great musicians who play at a reasonable volume. In the last couple of years I?ve seen Julian every day, over and over – he plays Detective James Burton in the forensic investigation game Casebook, which I produce as my day job. I can honestly say I like Julian?s music more and more as time goes on.

Tono and I first played a gig together a couple of years ago, both of us as soloists. Every now and again he claims that I was the inspiration behind the hyper-newzealandisation of his singing accent. I like to remind him that I in turn stole my accent from Martin Phillipps. We?ve gigged together and played together a few times over the last couple of years, including recently at the Pages From Dunedin release gig at Dunedin?s Regent Theatre. I played tambourine on one of his numbers, and the Finance Company became my band for one of mine. Tono is fast making a name for himself in this part of the world as a purveyor of well crafted wit-pop and socio-political commentary.

Operation Rolling Thunder are one of my favourite live acts. Two brothers originally hailing from the depths of Invercargill who create such an awesome noise as to leave most listeners gaping. They?ve been around for the better part of a decade, and they don?t play very often. Maybe this is so that they always leave you wanting more. I want more right now. Their set at the Biff Merchants album release show earlier this year was fantastic and I?m very, very happy that they?ve agreed to play.

The Sunley Band for the night is a six-piece affair. On drums, Benjamin Sargeant of the Biff Merchants. He was a little scared of the country music at first, but after a couple of drinks he loosened up and eased into it. Ben also played with the Frankenstein supergroup Corrosive Se?or Quail, he?s a fun guy. On bass, Scott Campbell. Scott has been a member of almost all incarnations of the Sunley Band and I?m very glad about this, he?s a great player. Scott also plays with the Julian Temple Band and the Entropy Trio, as well as the Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra. Aidan Fraser joins us on keys. This is the first time we?ve played with Aidan, although Scott and Aidan have played together plenty, notably in the now-defunct Retrophonic Funk Machine. Aidan has also just taken over composition duties from me for Casebook and has scored episode four of the game. On guitar is Chris Keogh, of Sex With Bowie and previously the Tweaks. Chris is another one of these guys who can pick up songs and make them his own very quickly. He?s also always creating? I?m very jealous of him. And finally my good friend Karl Fearsforlife will be playing banjo and whatever else we shove in his hands. I?ve know Karl for over fifteen years – he taught me my first bitchin? electric guitar riff (it was ?Enter Sandman?). He played with me in the Evan Sunley James All-Star Tribute band and in For the Quail, and he?s played in almost all of the Sunley Bands. Hopefully at least three of these guys will be singing as well.

We hope to see you there!

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