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Hopetoun Brown Weekend Hijack


Sat 15 Sep 2018, 1:30pm–4:00pm
Sun 16 Sep 2018, 1:30pm–4:00pm

Where: Hallertau Brewery, 1171 Coatesville Riverhead Highway, Riverhead, Auckland, Riverhead, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Related Artists:

Listed by: Josh Hetherington

#SaturdaySuite #MonthofSundays

Hot on the heels of their brand new album Don't Let Them Lock You Up - HB's reputation for bringing the house down with their roof-rising, foot stomping tunes precedes them!

These 2017 Taite Prize finalists have been friends since the age of eight. By the time they were thirteen Tim Stewart and Nick Atkinson joined Karl Steven to form a blues band that would go on to become the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act Supergroove. This world-girdling band broke up nine years later forcing Stewart and Atkinson apart.

A number of years passed before they spoke again, but our horn-playing heroes had been on many adventures and they had much to catch up on. Stewart had moved to Australia to finish his training to become a chef in the fiery kitchens of Sydney. Atkinson became a journalist, crewed on a yacht that rounded Cape Horn before cycling across Patagonia.

When he returned from this adventure, while playing gigs in Ponsonby, Atkinson’s trusty tenor sax was stolen. He then came upon a dilapidated bass clarinet, an unusual spindly instrument that needed a complete restoration.

The new sound of the bass clarinet set Stewart and Atkinson off on a brief flurry of composition. At the time Atkinson lived at 4 Hopetoun Street while Stewart resided in the heart of Ponsonby at 13 Brown Street. Hopetoun Brown was christened! At this stage the duo simply performed instrumentals and it wasn’t long before Atkinson left Auckland again on another extended voyage, this time to the Antarctic Island of South Georgia.

More than four years passed before Supergroove were reunited in October 2007 and Stewart and Atkinson began rehearsing and playing again. A horn section is like a band within a band. They often need their own rehearsals to get tight for the full band practices, but it can get a bit dull playing the horn lines for Can’t Get Enough over and over so our heavy honking pair began to work up a small repertoire of numbers to work on their intonation and tightness.

One day Stewart suggested Atkinson should play the bass line for a New Orleans standard St James Infirmary Blues. It was as close to a scene from Nashville as the boys had ever experienced. Atkinson played the line on his lonely and woody sounding bass clarinet and Stewart sang the lyrics, quietly at first, before building to thunderous stomping crescendo that tapered to a tender trumpet coda.

They looked at each other once the song was finished… magic! They really had something new. The bass clarinet and Stewart’s voice were perfect together and it wasn’t long before Hopetoun Brown played their first show at the Kingsland Folk Club. A little over a year later they were heading down to Lyttelton to record their debut album Burning Fuse with Ben Edwards. The following year they were handpicked by the Violent Femmes to support their two sold-out shows at the St James Theatre.

Hopetoun Brown joined the Femmes on stage both nights and a number of their old school friends were in the crowd slack-jawed seeing their class-mates on stage playing with a band they’d danced to in their teenage years. Later that year Hopetoun Brown backed Marlon Williams at the Music Awards and co-wrote and recorded Hate I Don’t Love You with Tami Neilson.

In October 2016 they released their second album Look So Good, again recorded with Ben Edwards in Lyttelton and Oliver Harmer at The Lab in Auckland. Since then they’ve played hundreds of shows up and down the nation while recording new material with Jol Mulholland at his studio The Oven. Their 3rd album Don't Let The Lock You is out from March 16th, 2018.

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