Waitati's Grass Roots Gig world class
By Laurence Hay
On the night of Monday 7 March Waitati was host to a Grass Roots Gig
like no other, with American alt-rock star Dana Lyons commencing the
Australasian leg of his 'Three-legged Coyote' world tour here at our
place. In a transformed Waitati Hall, with hay bales to relax on and
tables to gather round, a hundred or so enthusiastic locals laughed,
danced and sang along with Dana. His music was easy, and his lyrics –
sombre, touching and outrageous in turn – always had a message his
hearers could relate to, from the generation gap in 'Riding the Lawn'
to our treatment of animals in his smash hit 'Cows with Guns'.
The show was got off to good start by well-known Waikouaiti singer Kay
Row with a set of waiata movingly sung and warmly received. In
presenting matters of concern in a simple and enjoyable way, Kay
beautifully set the tone for the evening.
The Grass Roots Gig was sponsored and organised as a fun(d)raiser by
the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT). As well, to show
solidarity with our neighbours in Christchurch, an auction was held
which raised $3,319 for those in need after the earthquakes. Items for
auction had been generously donated, and included a complete house
insulation retrofit from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Authority. The auction has been described as 'a fantastic piece of
performance art by Antony Deaker, hugely effective AND entertaining'.
Scott Willis, who masterminded the event, was very happy with how it
went. 'BRCT is about building stronger community and resilience,' said
Scott, 'and the Grass Roots Gig was designed to celebrate both. Grass
roots is all about "from the ground up" -- we need these roots to make
everything in our community flourish.'
After the auction, local musicians brought out their instruments and
people danced – and danced. Food and hot drinks provided by Nicky of
Gallery-on-Blueskin, aided by some choice byo, kept energy levels high
and spirits happy. Pip Cotton, a recent addition to the fund of
musical talent in Waitati, has spoken of how he enjoyed the
'small-town energy and connectedness' he found himself part of that
Monday night that kept him at the keyboard or on the dance floor until
the early hours of Tuesday.
BRCT sincerely thanks all the people who helped organise this most
successful community happening, from publicity and hall arrangement to
ticket sales and final tidy up. A huge thanks also to the individuals,
businesses and organisations who made donations for the auction:
Antony Deaker, Pip Cotton, Allison and Phillipe Gelis, Peta Hudson,
Jack Monaghan, Pete Smith, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation
Authority, Green Man Brewery, Alan Millar's Hunting and Fishing,
Centrefire, McCarthy's Stream and Field Store, and Thermette North
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
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