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This annual pop-up concert, organised by Izzy Miller Bell was scheduled for yesterday afternoon at Beverley Park.  A relaxed crowd enjoyed an opening Celtic number by Izzy.

 

summertime-blues-small

Tess Stephen and Penny Black followed.  Unfortunately so did the rain!  We retreated to our car, and many others did too.  I don’t imagine the concert would have gone on for long after that.  This was true blues in summertime.

“It’s sad there was a sudden shower
which meant we stayed less than an hour.”

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Margaret Mahy Music

Music at the Margaret Mahy Playground was a feature of this weekend’s Big Band Festival.  What pleasure for us to have outdoor concerts, so close to home.  The venue was ideal, with plenty of activities for children while parents enjoyed the entertainment.  Next time I’ll take a camping chair so I have some back support – the playground is sadly lacking in comfortable seating.  I hope we’ll see lots more music here over the summer.

Papanui High School Jazz Band

Papanui High School Jazz Band

“To have jazz concerts near to us
an inner city living plus.”

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What a great evening’s entertainment it was at the Christchurch Folk Music Club’s celebration of NZ Women First in the World.  Such a treat to hear women’s music, and all in aid of the Women’s Centre.  First Judi Smitheram sang, then Sue Galvin and Jane Edmed.

Judi Smitheram accompanied by Mary & Melanie

Judi Smitheram accompanied by Mary & Melanie

 

Sue Galvin & Jane Edmed

Sue Galvin & Jane Edmed

Sue and Jane encouraged the audience to join in with ‘Bread and Roses’, having first tossed Roses (chocolates) at the audience. I enjoyed the performance poetry by Trish Waters – must look out for her again.

All Girl Big Band

All Girl Big Band

A highlight was the wonderful All Girl Big Band with some jazzy numbers.  As a finale all the artists joined in singing Helen Reddy’s ‘I am Woman’, a fitting ending to a wonderful evening.

“Women’s music – we need more
of the tunes that we adore.”

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What a treat yesterday’s ‘Summertimes Blues’ pop-up concert, organised by Isabella Miller Bell, was.  A relaxed crowd gathered in Beverley Park, to listen to a group of musicians who were absolutely first class.

The event started with a lone piper, Stuart Wood who played a versatile medley.

Stuart Wood

Stuart Wood

 

Izzy Miller Bell with a young dancer

Izzy Miller Bell with a young dancer

 

"The Ugly"

“The Ugly”

 

Other artists were Jon Maxim Hooker, James Wilkinson, Radius, Steve Gainsford, a drummer, and Ken the spoon player.  Clown Adam Allsorts, and a roving fairy added to the ambience.  Some got up and danced.  Some nibbled and sipped.  All enjoyed great blues and jazz.

“This was Blues at its very best
with Izzy Bell and all the rest.”

 

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Yesterday we walked to a performance in the Isaac Theatre Royal.  That statement may seem trivial, but it has a huge amount of emotion in it, because it was the first time we’ve done this since the earthquakes.  It was such a pleasure to be able to head out along the Avon, then to see the theatre ahead of us with Owen Dippie’s giant ballerina mural.  We chose to go to the 4pm show, and New Regent Street was buzzing as we walked along.

The theatre is the first heritage building I’ve been in, that’s been fully restored after the earthquakes, and it looked superb.  We are lucky in New Zealand that many towns have these wonderful old theatres, and doubly lucky in Christchurch to have this one restored to us.

Inside the Isaac Theatre Royal

Inside the Isaac Theatre Royal

Ceiling dome

Ceiling dome

Gilded detail

Gilded detail

The muscial “Buddy” was sheer fun, a reminder of a different era, and of how American music dominated before the British ‘invasion’.  There were times when the accompanying music overwhelmed the singing, but that didn’t matter as I knew all the words.  I’d seen the show before, in 2007 in London’s West End, and I enjoyed this just as much.  I did think they could have emphasised the plane crash a little more, but we all know the story anyway.

Afterwards we crossed the road and had a meal at Sampan House, which was doing a roaring trade.  They must be thrilled to have the theatre open again.

We walked home along the river, delighted to know that such entertainment is once more available in the central city.  We’ve booked for “Phantom” next month too.

“The central city will come back
and we’ll regain those things we lack.”

 

 

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Yesterday’s date, written the American way 3.14.15, corresponds to the first five digits of Pi, a once-in-a-century coincidence.  I learned this interesting fact from a scientific daughter.  Pi Day, which would have been the 136th birthday of Albert Einstein, is a great excuse to eat pie, and to appreciate how important the number pi is to maths and science.

While Pi Day may have passed me by, I have more reason than most to sing ‘Bye Bye, Miss American Pie’ because later today we’re going to the refurbished Isaac Theatre Royal to see “Buddy”, the musical of the Buddy Holly story.

“Coincidences come with pi(e).
The music truly did not die.”

 

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Yesterday’s Lazy Sunday concert was great.  We were part of the large crowd that sat on the Archery Lawn and enjoyed music from The Easy Hearts and Katie Thompson.

Dancing to The Easy Hearts

Dancing to The Easy Hearts

Small children danced delightfully.  Some adults demonstrated their Ceroc skills. Others incorporated hula hoops in their dance.  It all made for good entertainment on a warm afternoon.  Our group was glad to be under a shady tree.

“We lazed there while some took the chance
to use the hula hoops and dance.”

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