As New Zealand Music month closed on Thursday, Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall decided to match Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's top 15 New Zealand song list with his pick from artists or music related to Whanganui.
1. E Rere – Morven Simon
My favourite waiata by one of the great composers – the late Morven Simon. As the lyrics tell you – this is about our awa.
2. Crying Shame – Head Like a Hole
Not strictly a Whanganui band but Nigel Regan used to reside here, and Michael Franklin-Browne the drummer lives here still, and if it means I can claim this Kiwi classic I'm gonna.
3. The Water Underground – Anthonie Tonnon
A Whanganui newbie, Anthonie Tonnon wowed the Opera House last year, before making the move here. I love this song as it's all about Council and water reticulation!
4. Burning Too Low – Castlecliff Lights
The wonderful Ellen Young uses loops, strums and vocal chords to make magic. She's now working on sprinkling that magic over our CBD, working on the town centre regeneration.
5. Party – House of Shem
Carl Perkins, ex-Herb, died this month. It's worth being reminded of how joyful and talented his band, House of Shem, have been. Vale Carl.
6. Bellbird – Alastair Galbraith
I don't know if Whanganui can really claim Alastair, but I have loved his beautiful and jagged music ever since he was in The Rip in Dunedin. He was a Tylee Cottage artist-in-residence and wrote a song about our river, so that's sufficient.
7. I Live on the Moon – Frayden
Sounding a little like some of my favourite Flying Nun bands – The Terminals and the 3Ds, and not outstaying their welcome with this short rocker, Frayden have released 5 albums over time.
8. Hip hop – Yung Cliff
The best song from one of a number of hip hop acts (Swade Wallace, Blade Cliff) that have proliferated recently. Stomps impressively, references Ice Cube and Dr Dre, and puts the PAK n SAVE carpark to superb use.
9. You - Sun and the Wolf
On this banger they sound somewhere between Led Zeppelin and the Kings of Leon but this is by no means a one-off by these superb songwriters. Sun and the Wolf were born from the ashes of The Have.
10. Motorcade – The Accelerants
Best band name ever, a drummer assaulting the crash cymbal, a two and a half minute instrumental build, and the lead singer from Whanganui (formerly of Pushkin), what more do you need?
11. Lawdy Miss Clawdy – Johnny Devlin
Wanganui (as it then was) was the Kiwi capital of rock n roll. Johnny Devlin's haircut was a reason to visit the National Bank alone, where he worked as a teller. Lawdy Miss Clawdy was the first rock n roll record released in New Zealand. The first original was Pie Cart Rock n Roll by Johnny Cooper – a song about a pie cart in St Hill St.
12. E Moke E – Auaha
The 2015 Whanganui river flood brought a bunch of artists as diverse as Sacha Keating, Te Paerata Tichbon and Elise Goodge together to make this beautiful song – with the video filmed at familiar Whanganui locales!
13. Complicated Man - Tattletale Saints
Half of this folk duo is Vanessa McGowan from the River City. She's recorded in Nashville and played all over the world, and the album How Red is the Blood from a Broken Heart is superb.
14. Forest - Douglas Lilburn
New Zealand's greatest composer was born here – this piece was written when he was just 22 and sounds a little bit like Sibelius with a lot of Turakina thrown in.
15. Wanganui – The Bambi Molesters
I don't even know where to start with this one. Surf punk from Croatia. Some friends of theirs moved to Wanganui in the 1990s and it sounded like a surfing paradise so they named the first song on their debut album after us.
Earlier this month Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern selected her top 15 New Zealand songs for music month.