Swamp Thing’s energetic live performances are re-known for inspiring concert goers to dance and have fun while showcasing a wealth of musical experience and engaging their audience at all times.
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Michael Barker formed blues & roots band Swamp Thing in 2010. To date Swamp Thing has recorded & released three studio albums ‘ Balladeer ‘ 2012, ‘ Primordium ‘ 2014 and ‘ Rumors & Lies ‘ 2017.
Barker’s pedigree as musician comes through in previous engagements with The John Butler Trio, Split Enz live, Neil Finn’s Try Whistling This album & tour, The Black Sorrows, Vika & Linda Bull and a plethora of others including orchestral performances with NZSO, MSO.
Barker’s multi instrumental skills come to the fore with an ability to play drums, keyboard or guitar and sing simultaneously.
Brett Adams joined Barker in January 2019, Adams a world class guitar player and vocalist works with Tami Neilson, Tim Finn, his own band The Bads and 80’s legends The Mockers. Swamp Thing play every show like it is their last, making a sound that reaches far back into the musical DNA of roots music.
Barker & Adams met while touring as backing band for Finn/Dobbyn/Runga winery tour in 2010 and have also backed the Finn Brothers. Barker and Adams are two dedicated musicians in their prime playing full throttle swamp pop while not being shy to improvise and explore wild moody guitar and drum driven soundscapes.
Few entertainers in New Zealand can claim to have been playing in bars since the age of thirteen. Aside from the obvious legal ramifications, this is because few entertainers feel the way about music that Vegas Brown does. It is not just his bread and butter, but his heart, his soul, and his life-blood.
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This passion is exemplified, not only in every one of his live performances, but in his diverse and eclectic musical background. Whether it be behind the drums, behind the microphone or simply behind the next person in line, Vegas Brown exudes a genuine and sincere love for his craft.
In 1995 Vegas took up the microphone with Mama Said, the popular funk-rock outfit who’s driving rhythms and signature vocals saw them take out both first place and Best Vocalist at the 2000 New Zealand Battle of the Bands. This title, and the growing reports of the band’s energetic and talented frontman, inevitably led to bigger festivals and shows, and so, in an effort to reconnect with his love of smaller, more low-key gigs, Vegas formed Warrant of Fatness, a collaborative covers band, made up of some of the finest musicians in the Waikato. Primarily conceived as an act designed to warm up a crowd, Warrant of Fatness quickly achieved infamy through their ability to overshadow the main act with their sociable banter and story-telling, as well as their huge sound and dynamic versions of popular songs. Warrant of Fatness rapidly rose through the ranks of the cover scene, and were repeatedly funded for nationwide tours, where they left crowds eager to hear more of the unique blend of music and (often inadvertent) stand-up comedy.
In 2003, Vegas completed the line-up of Hamilton rockers, 48May, where he spent three years behind the drums; releasing two albums, and collecting numerous accolades such as ‘Best Drummer’, ‘Best Song’, ‘Best NZ Band’, ‘Favourite Newcomers’ and a highly coveted Gold Album. His tenure in 48May also saw him play alongside peers such as Alien Ant Farm, Simple Plan, Panic! At The Disco and Grinspoon, and perform at sold out festivals such as Big Day Out, the Queenstown Winterfest, and X Air. However, as his reputation behind the drums increased, so too did his desire to take up his familiar role behind the microphone once again. And so, in 2006 Vegas returned to the front of the stage, bringing with him the flair for showmanship, and the passion for music that had made him such a recognizable figure in the New Zealand music industry.
This passion was realised not only in the form of his live shows, but also in the heartfelt and honest songs he began writing. Rather than deal in the vague commonalities of girls, love and life that are all too familiar on today’s airwaves, Vegas instead, found a cathartic sense of release writing about his own personal issues, both positive and negative– the moments in time that affected him, and ultimately, defined him. Interspersed throughout his show, these original and emotive songs counterbalance the more recognizable covers that never fail to get people up and dancing.
Without the backing of a full band, it is a rarity to find an act that can capture a crowd so completely, and yet, armed with a single guitar and an inherent sense of rhythm and flow, Vegas doesn’t play through sets as much as glide through them. Audiences are transformed from peripheral listeners to active participants, and music changes from a noun to a verb, in a shared social experience that can only be achieved by someone who truly loves what they do.
No Code are a Mount/Papamoa based music group boasting years of experience, here and abroad. The name No Code was derived from Damo and Marcel’s love of the band Pearl Jam, and the inspiration behind the idea that theres no setlist, no note for note versions of cover songs.
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What No Code brings is an everchanging set list where no cover song is played the same, any song could take them down any path musically, from rock to reggae to drum n bass.
Alice Sea & Camila Lenhart
Alice Sea & Camila Lenhart will take you down the rabbit hole of musical mystery, together creating sound loops live during their show using effects pedals, vocals & and array of string, wind & percussion instruments, a sound journey from the heart with influences from calypso, Latin, dub, & folk music.