The Human League
In 1981, The Human League’s refreshed line-up of Phil Oakley, Joanne Catherall and Susan Anne Sulley released the ground-breaking LP Dare – one of the greatest albums of all time.
Featuring immortal pop classic Don’t You Want Me, and hit singles Love Action, Sound Of The Crowd, Open Your Heart.
Their success was particularly rapid for still-teenage Joanne Catherall and Susan Anne Sulley. The day after they performed Don’t You Want Me on hit TV show Top Of The Pops, they rushed back home to Sheffield to complete school exams. Many more hits were to come. Innovative albums and fantastic singles like (Keep Feeling) Fascination, The Lebabon, Human, and Oakley’s own Together in Electric Dreams. It’s a go-to playlist which discerning music-lovers return to year after year. Their spectacular and uplifting live show has been produced and well honed for the very best US and Europe festivals.
The Sound Series is proud to have The Human League headlining our three New Zealand festivals in 2024.
Go West’s Peter Cox and Richard Drummie had an immediate impact on the pop charts when their debut single We Close Our Eyes was released in the spring of 1985. It reached number 5 in the UK charts and became a top 10 hit in the USA. This was quickly followed with three more hits, Call Me, Goodbye Girl and Don’t Look Down.
The album Go West sold 2 million copies worldwide and remained on the UK chart for 83 weeks, establishing them as one of the finest song-writing partnerships to emerge in the 80’s. In 1986 they won the BRIT Award for ‘Best British Newcomer’.
More international chart success followed, notably King Of Wishful Thinking, the opening song in hit box-office film Pretty Woman – the soundtrack sold a staggering 10 million copies. Both King Of Wishful Thinking and subsequent hit Faithful, from the Indian Summer album received ASCAP and BMI Awards for record-breaking record sales and radio plays.
Six albums and 20 million sales later, Go West are stronger than ever, entertaining audiences at huge festivals worldwide.
UK legend Nik Kershaw heads to New Zealand for only the second time since his 1985 tour – when he skyrocketed to fames with chart-topping album The Riddle and performing on Live Aid to a worldwide audience of billions, as well as sold out NZ shows.
Get ready to experience Nik Kershaw and band performing his classics like Wouldn't It Be Good, The Riddle, Human Racing, Wide Boy and I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.
Nik is also a sought-after producer and songwriter – he wrote the UK number 1 The One And Only for Chesney Hawkes, which often appears in Nik’s own set-list.
Elton John has called Nik Kershaw “one of the best songwriters of a generation”, and we’re privileged to have Nik in our Sounds Series lineup.
Kiwi hit-makers The Mockers reform their classic line-up to proudly perform their pop gems like Forever Tuesday Morning, Swear It’s True, One Black Friday, My Girl Thinks She’s Cleopatra, Shield Yourself, and many more.
In celebration of 40 years since Forever Tuesday Morning – reuniting are Andrew Fagan, Brett Adams, plus Geoff Hayden travelling from London, and Australian-based Tim Wedde.
The Mockers enjoyed three Top 10 albums and six hit singles, and played to huge crowds across the country throughout the 1980s, riding a wave of New Wave pop success.They disbanded in the late 80s, but in 2017 returned better than ever to charm old fans and win over many new ones, with a NZ tour and a live album and DVD, which returned them to the charts for the first time in 30 years.
Charismatic Australian rockers Choirboys are ready to turn it up and rock out with enthusiastic Kiwi fans at the Sounds Series.
Look forward to all the Choirboys hits like Run to Paradise, Boys Will Be Boys, and Struggle Town. 30 years on they are still rocking, performing, and entertaining thousands. The Choirboys are one of the classic Australian rock bands to emerge from the 1980s, singer Mark Gable and the boys have gone out to record more than 10 acclaimed albums. Their sound is an ever evolving transition, never forgetting their rock n roll roots – the formative years playing around home base – Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Automatic 80s is a world class group of musicians featuring the astonishing sound alike vocals and high energy stage antics of front man. The Show features the very best of early to mid-Eighties New Romantic and New Wave hits, performed live, loud and pumping. The hundreds of hours of pre-production, musicianship and attention to vocal detail create an authentic live Eighties Music experience that leaves enthralled audiences exhausted and voiceless from dancing and singing.
Blam Blam Blam
Born out of a band called Whizz Kids, Blam Blam Blam had their roots at Westlake Boys High on Auckland’s North Shore. Tim Mahon and Mark Bell migrated across the bridge during the punk heyday in 1978 to join the avant-punk-theatre act The Plague, whose major claim to fame came with their naked live performance (albeit covered in paint) at the 1979 Nambassa Rock Festival in front of 30,000 confused hippies.
Mark, Tim and Ian Gilroy were the "band" in the Plague (and kept their clothes on) and soon spun off as Whizz Kids, releasing half a single Occupational Hazard for Ripper in 1980. Fame called and Ian Gilroy left to join The Swingers in Melbourne, leaving Tim and Mark to find a drummer. As luck would have it the guys stumbled (literally) across multi-talented musician Don McGlashan in late 1980 and played their first gig in October that
year on a harbour cruise party. An invitation to record for Propeller Records followed shortly after and the first release was the track Motivation on the Class of 81 compilation of new bands in March 1981.
The first Propeller Blam's record was a four track EP, called simply Blam Blam Blam, a month later which was, on the first few promo copies, notable for its screened cover (the released copies were printed facsimiles of that) to the surprise of many unaware of the building buzz around the trio, charted almost immediately and sat in the top forty for several months. It peaked at No.13.
In July 1981, the Blam's released their soon-to-be unofficial national anthem, There is No Depression in New Zealand which appeared at the same time that New Zealand was rocked by the nationwide anti-Springbok tour protests and riots. The song became linked with the protests and was sung up and down the country. It peaked at No.11 in August. The same month the Blams were one third of the now legendary Screaming Blam-matic Roadshow.
December saw the release of Don't Fight it Marsha, Don McGlashan's drum machine anchored bittersweet love song with a political twist, it becoming another top 20 hit. In early 1982 Blam Blam Blam started recording their debut album, and for a short while were a four piece with vocalist Dick Driver joining then leaving. The album Luxury Length was finally released in July 1982, to rave reviews, reaching number four in early August. A month later, during the album tour, the band suffered a near-tragic van crash with Tim Mahon suffering serious injuries.
The crash effectively meant the end of the band, although they reformed briefly in 1984 to record the live Blam Blam Blam Story, and once again in 2003-5 for a series of one off gigs and a well-received tour with The Newmatics and The Chills. They also reformed in August for a sold out tour around New Zealand including a spot on The Others Way Festival.
In retrospect, Blam Blam Blam were one of the most important New Zealand bands of the early eighties, easily the most musically literate, hugely influential and one whose legacy goes far beyond their small number of releases.
Jordan Luck Band
‘Legend’ is a word suffering from chronic overuse syndrome these days, but when it comes to Jordan Luck, the word regains it’s full meaning and one the NZ public associates with this
true blue Kiwi icon.
This affection is obviously felt amongst his musical peers as well who bestowed Jordan the honour of Inaugural Inductee into the New Zealand Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame and in 2015 The NZ Music Legacy Award.
As frontman and pop-writing genius with the legendary Exponents, he clocked up a
staggering 18 Top 40 singles over the years, with ‘Victoria’ recently voted by the public as the 8th greatest New Zealand song of all time.
These days on any given weekend you will hear packed stadiums of sports fans singing in unison (if not in-tune) ‘Why Does Love Do This To Me?’ a song that seems to have taken on the mantle as the ‘unofficial’ alternative NZ national anthem.
THE JORDAN LUCK BAND is the new super deluxe Frankenstein incarnation backing the iconic kiwi singer these days.
Every gig, the band play the best of all those iconic Exponents tracks we know and love as well as a collection of the bands favourite Kiwi classics.
Meticulously designed by Jordan himself from the ground up, this band has just the one purpose…to bring Jordan’s blend of pop rock genius from the past, present and future… back to the masses!
Hand-picked from a wish-list of players Jordan wanted to work with, the word went out, his fantasy starting line up were contacted and unsurprisingly they all signed up…so, starting from the stage right part of the paddock…
Bryan Bell – ex-frontman of the much loved Dead Flowers, Beaver – rocknroll royalty and drummer of the world famous D4, Rich Mixture – God of all things musical, formerly graced the stages of D4, Dead Flowers and many more, Joe Walsh – frontman of Auckland rocker’s
The Jordan Luck Band released the acclaimed; ‘Not Only….But Also’ album in 2016 and were
nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2016 NZ Music Awards.”
If ‘Time makes a Wine’, then the essence of one of Aotearoa’s finest blends is in our very own Ardijah. Home-grown in the humble soils of Otara, South Auckland. Their exclusive flavour would meet the needs of those looking for a freshness, enveloped in the original fusions of yesterday brought into today; “rootsy groove”, as founder and producer Ryan Monga so aptly puts it, and later to become known as POLYFONK!
With the urge to cut their own tracks at the forefront of their ambitions, it would only take until the end of the 90’s decade for Ardijah to go from local, to national icons, as well as having four of their very own singles place in the Top Ten of the NZ charts
Like all premium blends, developing over time, the band’s members would evolve into Ardijah today. Original main-stayers, Betty-Anne and Ryan “Captain Fonk” team with, Rico Tali (guitars, saxaphone, vocals), Kaitapu Monga (bass, drums, and vocals) recent millenials, Kolo Hansen (keyboards) and Jesse Monga (vocals & percussion). Collectively providing a stunning combination of vocals and instrumental diversity that continues their historic PolyFonk sound. A sound that reawakens the palates of those who harbour that quintessential collective desire that is Aotearoa (New Zealand); to come together, to enjoy, to be culturally aware of our sameness(es) and our differences. Ardijah is the perfect accompaniment to any gathering, harnessing peace and love.
DEFINING MOMENTS Most Promising Group, NZ Music Awards – (1987) Female Vocalist of the Year, NZ Music Awards – (2000) Album of the Year, Pacific Music Awards – (2005) ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, Pacific Music Awards – (2010) Industry Award, Waiata Maori Awards – (2012)
Supports for: George Benson / Mick Jagger / Simply Red / James Brown / Jimmy Cliff 2015….. National Festivals – Ragga Muffin, One Love, Festival of Lights, Waitangi Day, Auckland festival…. International Festivals – Tahiti, Rarotonga, Florida, Arizona, Samoa, Australia, Capetown South Africa
ARDIJAH PLAYERZ Ryan Cpt Fonk / Drums, Bass, Vocals, MD Betty-Anne / Vocals, Uke, Percussion Kaitapu Monga / Bass, Drums, Vocals Rico Tali / Gat, Sax, Uke, Vocals Kolo Hansen / Keyboards Jesse Monga / Vocals, Percussion
Rietta is one of BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” vocalists, touring arenas and performing on “Strictly Come Dancing” live shows. Rietta starred in a worldwide released, UK Channel 5 Freddy Mercury biopic, “Who Wants To Live Forever”, and was selected to perform for legendary band Queen at the 2015 Artists & Managers lifetime achievement awards for Jim Beach, the band’s manager.
With a 5-octave range, Rietta was the first artist to open the O2 Arena in London prior to Bon Jovi. Rietta has recently signed a UK record deal with “Strictly Come Dancing” & “Dancing With The Stars Australia & NZ” judge Craig Revel Horwood, for a duets album to be released this year.
Rietta has appeared on a posthumously released album by Falco, which charted at No. 1 in Austria and No. 8 in Germany. Her song writing involvement in that project led to a UK publishing deal which further led to recording with Oscar nominee Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) on her debut album and with Dame Shirley Bassey live at Glastonbury Festival and on “Get The Party Started”, the title track for the Warner Bros. feature film Cats & Dogs 2. Rietta has also featured on an international compilation album, alongside legendary artists Luther Vandross, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, Maxwell, Dionne Warwick and Earth Wind And Fire. Other recordings include Bonnie Tyler, INXS and Sam Smith. In the UK, Rietta appeared as support artist for Bryan Adams & Jocelyn Brown and on tour in Russia for Johnny Gill and Joe Cocker. She has also worked in New York City for Grammy Award winner Kirk Yano.