Monday, 7 October 2013

A Night at the Opera

by Doug Wright


The Blueskin Bay community is harnessing the power of some great acts on 5 October. The Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) is hosting another Grass Roots Gig with great local talent, and the Waitati Hall will once again rock to a rhythm akin to the do’s held in the hall during the ‘90s that are fondly remembered by many long-term residents.

The line-up includes jazz band Rue De Remarque – featuring, from Karitane, power-house vocalist Suzanne Ellison, Doug Wright on keys, and saxophonist Dave Cooper, along with Dave Brett from Warrington.  This night they will be drummed in by the unmistakable Bruce Sheppard aka Sir Arnold Turfrey, creator of the Waitati Opera House. Although Rue De Remarque have been invited guests at the esteemed Noosa Jazz Festival on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, it appears that Waitati gigs have left the biggest impressions. Waitati is the place where the original line up of Hank Vandervis, Doug Wright, Richard Bayer, and Bruce planted the seed for Rue de Remarque.

As we reminisced at Doug and Rose’s, colourful stories of playing at the Waitati Debutantes’ Ball in the now non-existent Turd Hall were told. Apparently our Queen Geraldine, along with Kate, arrived in full ball regalia on the back of a cattle truck. Rose remembered the band playing in the European Hotel when Bruce arrived with a young Swiss couple in the ‘80s. It was Hank and Leonie’s first Friday here.

But I digress … Doug Wright is the thread that weaves through the night performing with Rue De Remarque and the Oxo Cubans made up of Doug with Craig Reeves and Marcel Rodeka and other guests. The Oxo Cubans have entertained large audiences for many years (headlining ‘New Years in the Octagon’ and at the Isis Bar).

BRCT will be running a fundraising auction part way through the evening. If the last one is anything to go by, this will not only be a worthwhile auction to attend, but also a very entertaining addition to the evening, all on the theme of community resilience ... or is it ‘A night at the Opera’?

With a line-up like this you’re guaranteed a great evening. Door opens at 7:30 and charge is $20.00 supper included. B.Y.O. Tickets will be available from the New Zealand Greenstone, Art and Bead Shop in the Octagon and locally from the BRCT office at the Waitati School.

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