Taste of Auckland: Bandstand action

Nairobi Trio. Photo / Supplied
Nairobi Trio. Photo / Supplied

Nothing goes better with good food and wine than well-chosen music, and no one knows how to fuse the three better than music industry stalwart Peter Urlich. This year will be the fourth Urlich has chosen the aural menu for Taste, with a selection of tasty live acts and delicious tunes to entertain the crowds the whole weekend through.

"Imagine beautiful Victoria Park," says Urlich. "Wandering with thousands of other people on the lawns, a multitude of stalls offering all this fantastic food and wine ... The excitement of all the people gathered together creates a wonderful energy, then right in the middle we have the Peroni Bandstand, and we've designed these great speakers on stands all around the venue so you can hear it wherever you are."

"I really think the environment Taste creates in the heart of the city is very exciting, so basically what I try to do is select a roster of acts that complement the whole Taste experience.

"I just love having music, when I'm at home and cooking something I'll always put some music on, so I'm trying to recreate that on a much larger scale, for 25,000 people! You don't want a heavy rock band down there - you want music that's light and vivacious."

"We have Nairobi Trio - I've been a fan of theirs for many years. I love their act - their underlying jazzy flavour. They've got such a unique feel - playful and cheeky.

"Voxnova is piano, accordion, percussion, electric guitar ... I suppose they're slightly jazzy as well, with quite a sort of French/Euro feel to them ...

"Five Mile Town are a trio of really young guys, they're original and one to watch out for! They have a sort of indie, folk sound - acoustic guitar, upright bass - and they've got a sort of "stomp" - you know Mumford & Sons - they're slightly "Mumford".

"From Australia we've got a really cool lady called Cousin Alice, she's come in especially to play at Taste - she's an expat, she's based in Sydney now. She's got an amazing smoky voice, plays banjo and a really cool group with her. And Caitlin Smith - she's on the Sunday - incredible voice, pianist.

"When the live bands aren't playing I've put together a selection of music in a similar vein, so you'll hear everything from Sinatra through to Steely Dan."

NAIROBI TRIO

On playing at Taste: We've never played the Taste Festival, we're looking forward to it!

Best food/drink match for your music? A good pinot noir from Martinborough or Central Otago.

THE NUKES

On playing at Taste: We performed at Taste last year. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to playing again.

Best food/drink match for your music? Any local fresh food is good with The Nukes. Young and fresh like our good selves.

HIPSTAMATICS

On playing at Taste: We haven't played the festival before. I'm guessing it's going to be a buzz of people in an up mood, keen to enjoy what's on offer.

Best food/drink match for your music? Soul food and whisky would be the ultimate.

CAITLIN SMITH

On playing at Taste: I played Taste last year with my amazing band, as a solo in the VIP tent. It's a fabulous chance to sample at stalls and get to know what tools and tastes are on the market.

Best food/drink match for your music? Because my music represents so many different styles (alt country, drum'n' bass, jazz, folk) many flavours can mix and match with the sonic experience. I fully recommend extremes and fearless experimentation - spice, herbaceousness, sweet and sour.

VOXNOVA

On playing at Taste: We haven't played before. We're imagining fun, food, wine and a festive atmosphere.

Best food/drink match for your music? Red wine and antipasti-style food.

Life & Style Editor Nicky Park will be hitting opening night this evening. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for updates from the event.

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- NZ Herald

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