Following on from Auckland shows by Australian teen heartthrob Reece Mastin and British boy band sensations One Direction, 21-year-old British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has announced he'll be heading to New Zealand for one show. The young redhead, who's made a name for himself with creative blending of acoustic folk with pop and hip-hop and has written songs for One Direction, will play the ASB Theatre in Auckland on July 29.
Having learned guitar from a young age, a determined Sheeran began recording songs at 14, releasing his first EP the same year. He released two more albums, before moving to London at 17 to play gigs. It seems he had quite a thirst for performing - in 2009 Sheeran played more than 300 shows, before releasing another EP and finding management. But it wasn't until he went to LA in 2010 and was talent-spotted by Jamie Foxx at an open mic night that stardom truly beckoned.
Returning to Britain, he released his first album under Atlantic Records, Plus (+) in 2011, after his single The A Team debuted at No 3 in the British charts.
He had the highest-selling single in Britain in 2011, and won Best Breakthrough Artist, and Best Male Solo Artist at the Brit Awards in February. Known for his quirky videos, Sheeran confusingly had fellow redhead and Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint, who Sheeran resembles more than a little, star in his video for Lego House. And for his release Drunk, he chose a cute tabby cat to appear as his co-star and drinking pal.
Bar full of Kiwi sounds
It's New Zealand music month in May and, to celebrate, Ponsonby's Whiskey bar is having more than 70 Kiwi acts perform intimate shows over 25 nights for its annual Whiskey Live 2012 sessions.
The shows will feature emerging and established musicians with the first 10 dates including performances by everyone from Anika Moa and Don McGlashan to the Feelers and Ponsonby rock royalty Hello Sailor.
There are 15 more shows to be announced on May 1.
The sessions start on May 1 with The Adults, followed by the Jordan Luck Band on May 2 and Anika Moa (with support from Lydia Cole) on May 3. Later in the month highlights will include Annabel Fay and Bulletproof (May 9), Opshop (May 10) and Hello Sailor on May 12.
Meanwhile, also starting in May is the inaugural Raggamuffin Roadtrip - a spin off event of the annual Rotorua festival - which will feature top international and local reggae acts including Fiji, J Boog, Spawnbreezie, Pettah Morgan, Sons of Zion and Soljah.
It kicks off on May 31 at Manukau's Telstra Clear Event Centre followed by dates in Christchurch, Porirua, Hastings and Rotorua.
Pre-sale ticket offers from 9am, April 17, from raggamuffin.co.nz with public tickets on sale 9am, April 18.
And frilly and fearsome metal band the Heavy Metal Ninjas, fiery two-piece Cairo Knife Fight and newcomers Super Villains team up for a show at the Powerstation on May 25.