The soulful talent of Jesse Sheehan will be shared with Hawke's Bay locals next week, when the singer-songwriter performs at Napier's Cabana on Wednesday night.

Hailing from Wellington and now based in London, Mr Sheehan has been touring the length of his New Zealand homeland to promote his debut record, Drinking With the Birds.

The album, produced by Neil Finn at Roundhead Studios in Auckland, reflects much of the success Mr Sheehan has experienced in the United Kingdom and the show will cost locals only what they can afford with koha entry on the door.

Mr Sheehan will also be joined by fellow acclaimed New Zealand artists NyOh and Matt Mulholland.


We spoke to Mr Sheehan earlier this week; he was located in a cafe in Fox Glacier in the South Island, having just entered cellphone reception again after travelling up the west coast.

"The tour's going really well. It's absolutely incredible. I've spent little time in the South Island so it's like exploring another country," he said.

Mr Sheehan fondly recalled a recent "idyllic" gig on his tour at The Nook in Hawea, where the friendly local community rallied to see the Kiwi artist perform.

Starting his tour at Auckland's Wondergarden Festival on New Year's Eve, Mr Sheehan said New Zealand audiences had not disappointed him and he was looking forward to playing in Napier.

"We've had great audiences. It's been amazing and we're not losing money, which is a really uncommon experience."

Mr Sheehan said those attending the gig should expect a mix of new and old songs; primarily the new tracks featured on his self-described "melancholic" debut album.

The title Drinking With the Birds came from a visual image Mr Sheehan conjured up of a drunken man sitting on a park bench surrounded by pigeons.

"It's quite a dark album and reflects a dark time in my life. It's very inward and reflective," he said.


After finishing his tour at the end of this month, Mr Sheehan said he would embark on another tour through Asia and perform at a "secret concert" held by the global music community, Sofar Sounds, in India.

More information about the Napier show can be found at