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Even though they've been busy composing an epic theme tune for the 2012 London Olympics, acclaimed Brit band Elbow are making time to head down to Auckland for their first ever New Zealand show at the Powerstation on Wednesday, March 28.

Having garnered international attention with their fourth album, Mercury Music Prize-winning The Seldom Seen Kid in 2008, 2011 saw them celebrate their 20th anniversary (since four of the five got together as 16-year-olds), and release their follow-up, Build a Rocket Boys, which went to No 2 in the British charts and was also nominated for the Mercury Prize.

They were also asked to contribute to the BBC London Olympics soundtrack by writing the theme tune, which features a huge gospel choir and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

While they won't be bringing a choir and orchestra to the Powerstation, they do have a reputation for outstanding live shows, with a knack for rousing crescendoes and dynamic orchestra-like arrangements. While they may not have the worldwide domination of Coldplay or Oasis, frontman Guy Garvey would give both Chris Martin and Noel Gallagher a run for their money, and the band have the chops and songs to back him up. Tickets will go on sale at 9am Friday, February 10 through Ticketmaster.


Following on from the announcement that maverick Texas songster Steve Earle is returning to our shores, comes the news that his son Justin Townes Earle will be returning for a nationwide tour in April.

The lanky, dapper, 28-year old troubadour (who has recently appeared with his father in acclaimed HBO TV series Treme) will be returning with his high-energy story-telling performance after his last tour here in 2011.

He'll be coming armed with new tunes from his fifth album, Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, which has a Memphis soul flavour. He'll be starting in Christchurch with a show at the Dux on April 19, in Wellington at Bodega on April 20, in Auckland at the Kings Arms on April 21, and heading up to Leigh Sawmill for his final show on April 22. Tickets will be on sale February 2 through Ticketmaster.

And also announced this week are two shows from lately reunited veteran locals The Mutton Birds. Adding to their Classic Hits Winery Tour, which is taking place during February and March, they'll be playing two club shows - one at the Kings Arms in Auckland on February 29, and the second at Bodega in Wellington on March 7. Tickets on sale through Eventfinder.

Trio of Ditch-jumpers

Three of the main drawcards at Australia's Future Music Festival are heading to New Zealand for a triple bill in March.

Big beat exponent and mix master Fatboy Slim, current chart-topping dub-stepper Skrillex and South African rap-ravers Die Antwoord are teaming for a one-off show on March 2 at Auckland's Vector Arena.

Before Fatboy Slim (real name Norman Cook) was a superstar DJ, he was one of the Housemartins (remember their version of Caravan of Love?) and founder of Beats International (remember Dub Be Good To Me?).


But it was as Fatboy Slim, and with albums like Better Living Through Chemistry (1996) and You've Come A Long Way, Baby (1998), and songs such as Rockafeller Skank and Praise You that he found his true calling as a dance music leader.

Meanwhile, American hot shot Skrillex (real name Sonny Moore) is one of the current leaders on the electronic music scene and pop charts with tracks like Weekends!!! and Ruff Neck credited with helping take dubstep to the masses.

And Die Antwoord, the South African trio made up of rappers Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek, return after playing a blistering and typically riot-inciting set in the Boiler Room at the 2011 Big Day Out. They promise even more swagger and bravado when they come back for seconds.

Tickets on sale January 30 from Ticketmaster.