Great weather, outstanding music and a wonderful venue, what more do you need for a fabulous summer's gig?

Thursday's gig at Whangārei's Northland Events Centre had it all - solid sunshine from the start, a nice setting and the best roots music NZ has to offer in the shape of headliners Fat Freddy's Drop and support acts the Black Seeds and Northland's own Troy Kingi.

And in between the acts, top UK DJ Norman Jay MBE mixed in old time reggae and ska with some top breakbeats, drum and bass sounds and hard house cuts.

It's really just a shame there weren't more people there to enjoy it as the 4000-plus who did turn up were treated to a terrific time, with the music on show seeing those aged from pre-teens into their 60s grooving into the night.


The gates opened at 4pm and not long afterwards Kerikeri's Troy Kingi took to the stage.

It seems that every time I see Kingi he just gets better and better. With his interesting take on things, Kingi's sound is an eclectic mix of roots styles and his talent knows no bounds.

I think Troy Kingi can go as far as he wants to in music, but he's probably just as likely to want to spend a weekend fishing as he is mixing with the musical moguls.

The Black Seeds also keep improving and Thursday's performance saw them step up again, filling the sunny summer evening with some sweet grooves.

Hit after hit was performed, from Cool Me Down to So True, keeping the crowd skanking away.

Fat Freddy's have just returned from a sold out tour of Europe and it showed. They are tight musically and now have learned to really fill a stage with its eight performers and mighty roots sounds. Such a hectic schedule across Europe, and playing to a combined 400,000 people, has really helped them develop.

And again, the crowd loved it, dancing away to Wandering Eye, Hope and the enthralling Blackbird. But the band also gave us a taste of their new music with the very good Special Edition.

Judging by the looks on the faces of everybody as they left there was nothing but enjoyment had by all.


Whangārei needs more attractions and events and Thursday's concert was brilliant. But with the price (almost $90), and so many people still on holiday holding such an event slightly later in the month could have got more people there.

And it would be a real shame if we didn't get more great events because of a perceived lack of interest.