Music shifted up a gear for Holly McGeorge -- founder of soul fusion band Circa -- when she shifted to Wairarapa.
The four-piece today boasts McGeorge on keyboard and lead vocals, Sam Mitchell on guitar, drummer Jordan Tredray and new bassist William Green. On Friday the band celebrates its fourth birthday with a show at King Street Live in Masterton.
McGeorge, who is the songwriting engine of the band as well as its promoter, moved to the region in 2012 with keyboard skills she had been learning since she was 5 and a taste of performance singing under her belt after she took vocal lessons as an adult in Wellington.
The move was a crossroads, she said.
"A friend told me over coffee I needed to start a band and that's when Circa formed. My front bedroom became the place I slept, and played, and practised."
She also joined the now-defunct Masterton band Resonator "where I found my growl", she said, and was closely involved with the establishment of youth drop-in centre and recording studio, The Spot, in the town.
She also became the go-to promoter for the Masterton-based music collective, Terradakdoor, while also mentoring and supporting other acts when needed.
Circa has been through a couple of line-up changes since its formation and has played as far afield as Wanganui and Hastings. In 2013 the band dropped an EP, About Time, and released its debut album Touche in 2014.
Last year Circa stepped up a level, supporting acts like Ahoribuzz, Summer Thieves and Revolution, while McGeorge performed a solo opener for Hollie Smith.
She was rapt to share a stage with Ahoribuzz and Hollie Smith by buying tickets to the shows before approaching the artists and offering to "either support them out front" or play as opener. Both times she gave her tickets away and gigged at the shows instead.
This year the band is aiming to play dates further north and gig in the South Island, McGeorge said.
The Friday show will feature TH@sus and Hemi Walker in support with tickets on sale at the door for $10 each. All funds raised go towards the Circa music video project and band merchandise will be available on the night.
Every ticket purchased goes in the draw to win a T-shirt, postcards and a CD. A double pass will go to the first reader to email nathan.crombie@ age.co.nz with the title of the debut album from Circa.