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The Retro Club


Sat 5 Oct 2013, 8:00pm–12:30am

Where: The Old Mill, 32 Main St, Napier, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Grafia Admit one: $10.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Rob Maunsell

A Concert performance in an intimate "club" setting of The Old Mill reception/function room on Main St.

Grafia Trio play from 8.00 to 8.30pm
Callum Gentleman is on from 8.40 and performs till 10.00pm
Grafia Band and guests boogie-on till 12.30am

Come and meet/ listen to Callum Gentleman who's heading south.
- Raconteur steals songs and escapes Auckland
- First shows in Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay

There are people who sing about love. There are people who sing about justice. There are people who sing about an alcoholic angel who's been kicked out of Heaven after having an affair with the Devil's mistress. Callum is one of the latter. He also sings about contract killers with family issues, being trapped in a beach house on a rainy day, and John Key’s sneaky ways with the oil industry. Callum’s previous work in bars, burlesque, poetry, theatre and the wine trade has made him what he is now - a storyteller with the gift of entertaining, an observer of the world’s quirky aspects who turns them into song. A Troubadour, Trouper, Raconteur, Impresario, Showman and all-round Cheeky Bugger.

When did you start playing? Music for me involved one or two false starts. I had piano lessons at school when I was 7, but the teacher was a grumpy old man who looked like Alfred Hitchcock. I dropped that fast, and was scared off music for years. Once I got to uni I started banging away on flatmates’ guitars (when no one was listening). From thereon I just kept at it.

What have you done here in New Zealand? I've been promoting and playing gigs in Auckland for the past five years, had a residency at the London Bar (a much-missed Auckland venue), and now host a gig every Tuesday at Cafe one2one in Ponsonby. Since the winter of 2012 I've been producing an Americana gig called Snakeskin Suitcase, with artists like Delaney Davidson, The Bads, Great North, The Eastern, and many others. I've played in at least baker’s dozen venues around Auckland with some great musicians including Age Pryor and Chris O'Connor, The Jews Brothers, Tiny Ruins, Heart Attack Alley, Bond Street Bridge and recently Esther Stephens.

What have you done overseas? I spent a good part of the last decade living in Paris and East London. Basically, I ran away from home to start playing music. I worked at a venue right beside the Moulin Rouge, met a Moulin girl, and spent three years living with her. In London I worked two legendary music venues - The Spitz and Cargo. It was here that I finally "got" 60s folk and started listening to far too much Bob Dylan. I also admit to having a poster of The Smiths in my flat. It was here I manned up and started putting on my own gigs at The George Mile End. In the end I lost a brief battle with UK Home Office to get a visa, so I came home.

Why do you play? I love writing and telling stories. But I really just love the people you get to meet: the musicians, bartenders, and audience. Community is the most important part for me.
What influenced you? My family have been so important. My Poppa on my dad’s side, Ned Stembridge, was an especially wonderful man. My dad always said "Do what makes you happy," so I have. He could've forced me to do something more conventional, but he and my mum let me make my own path.

How does touring to Wairarapa fit in your grand scheme? Every journey has its story, so there will be a few more tales in the song bag. My dad brought me down there as a kid, but since then I've never managed to spend more than a day in the region, so to stay a week and meet the people here is exciting. I'm indebted to Rob Maunsell for this one. He’s a fine Masterton gent who had the generosity to invite me down to play some shows.

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