Waihi is the place The Narcs keyboardist Liam Ryan calls home.

"I love living here, I just love Waihi," he says.

He's been living and making music here for the last three years, having moved from Christchurch where continuous "soul destroying" earthquakes forced he and wife Mandy out of their hometown.

"I don't think people realised but the earthquakes just kept on going. We were close to the epicentre in Diamond Harbour and the earthquakes kept coming every night. It was just too much."


Liam says their house was moving with the quakes, they had a water spring issue arise under their house and had continual stress with insurance and payments.

"So we cut our losses and searched for a place with a vibe close to that of Diamond Harbour," he said.

Liam was familiar with Bay of Plenty/Waikato as he has set up music programmes throughout the country including the diploma in music production and performance at then-Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

He has been making yearly visits to the Bay of Plenty yearly as director of the National Youth Jazz Competition (part of Jazz Fest) for about seven years.

He and wife Mandy decided to make Waihi their home as they loved the area and it was close to music hubs of Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland.

Mandy and Liam have a great love story — they met via Find Someone when Liam asked to meet a "not too tall blond, must have sense of humour and grand piano". A year later they married.

The couple bought a do-up villa beside the Mangatoetoe Stream and created studio Anam Cara (meaning soul friend) for making music. The couple have two maltese/tibetan spaniel pups.

"We were able to afford to buy here and it allowed me to live an 'artist life' ... with beautiful surroundings and low overheads."


Liam spends his days making music. He's released many singles and EPs, working with some of the best jazz players in the country and artists such as Sara Spicer. He has released two recent electro-jazz albums which are on Spotify — Mississippi to Mauao and Pacific Riviera.

He also loves his time with successful Kiwi 80s band The Narcs. The band steadily gigged for many years and reunited again with a gig at Mills Reef Winery in 2014. They are once again a regular on the live concert scene.

"I love living in the provinces while having a national profile as a musician. I feel very lucky."

WHAT: The Narcs Not Over Summer Tour NZ 2019
WHERE: Waihi Beach Hotel
WHEN: January 12