Thermal Explorer Highway, how cool is that?

So the next album is going to be called Thermal Explorer Highway 57 Revisited. Our drive from God knows where it was we slept last night (we drove for almost a couple of hours after the gig in Napier before parking up to sleep) (it was called Matthews Park, Norsewood – K) to Porirua took us along the fantastically named Thermal Explorer Highway (a statue needs to be erected for the person who came up with that name). Just after pulling onto this wonderful road we saw the sign saying “no more petrol for 130k”. Kip did a swift U turn and we then filled up with vastly overpriced petrol at the aptly named Conning bastard ripoff merchant have a nice day filling station just 400 yards away, before once again taking to the highway of our dreams.

Today (Mon 6th Feb) is Waitangi Day (Waitangi Day celebrates the signing of a treaty by the British crown and Maori chiefs in 1840). We had been booked to play an hour’s set at the Festival of the Elements which is a part of the Waitangi day celebrations at Porirua, close to Wellington.

The festival lived up to its name – the elements were out to get us. There were all sorts of things going on – music and dance on various stages, kids’ activities, fairground rides, stalls, etc etc. It was breezy when we arrived and as the afternoon went on the wind got stronger and stronger. We were the final act on the main stage following Ladi6.

Ladi6 is a local girl with a hell of a voice who’s done very well for herself with a top five hip hop album in New Zealand and chart success in Germany. One of the highlights for us was Le Moana, a contemporary Samoan dance troupe. It was really impressive to see their punishing routine so close up.


By the time we took to the stage it was blowing a gale. Kip’s flute got blown off its stand, Dave was singing with one foot on the mic stand to keep it upright and the sound tech came running out with a weighted bag to stop Kip’s stand falling over. We ditched the gentle stuff, smiled and got on with it. It really was very funny, I don’t know if anyone videod any of it but we’d like to see it if they did. It became quite difficult to stand still and the stage canopy was making some awful creaking sounds, even louder than Dave’s knees. After about thirty minutes we got the nod from Jannette the stage manager to cut the set. We were not sorry – there was only going to be one winner and it wasn’t going to be us. As we got off the sound guys were rapidly breaking down their kit  before the wind did it for them.

Windswept but grinning like maniacs we went to Nils’and Janette’s house, our home for the next few days. They live in Plimmerton, overlooking Karahana Bay. This is the view from their living room. I thinks we’ll enjoy it here.

As you can see the wind has dropped.




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