Brisbane six-piece Cheap Fakes will perform a homecoming gig of sorts for band frontman and guitarist Hayden Andrews in Wairarapa on Saturday.

Andrews, 35, was born and bred in Carterton and attended Wairarapa and Makoura colleges before shifting to Wellington to work with Tower Music.

He has been living in Brisbane for the past 15 years since transferring transtasman with Kiwi company Sounds Music.

He has been frontman, rhythm guitarist and songwriter with Cheap Fakes for the past seven years after playing with Dubdoubt, a band with which he twice toured New Zealand and his hometown region of Wairarapa.


Andrews said the coming performance at King Street Live, which is closing down, will be the second time he will have taken the stage at a Masterton venue on the brink of closure, after Dubdoubt scored the final billing at the former Stella bar in the town.

His latest musical jump across the puddle will however be a first with his present band, which is playing an eight-date New Zealand tour in support of the Kiwi release of their third album, Modern Vintage.

Andrews said his previous band had released an album and two EPS but Modern Vintage with Cheap Fakes had upped the ante with production credits on the 13-track album going to legendary producer John Merchant, who has previously worked with heavyweights such as Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, and Lenny Kravitz.

"We're really happy with the album. John Merchant is elite and there's lots of huge moments on the album and lots of tension and release.

"There are a lot of different styles and genres and we have worked really hard to craft an album that is intense and huge in parts but then gentle and sparse in others. It is definitely an album of big build-ups and breakdowns," Andrews said.

Cheap Fakes have plied their horn-heavy soul at a roster of the biggest festivals in Australia including the Woodford Folk Festival, Surfers Paradise Festival, Golden Days Festival, Big Pineapple Festival, and the Mitchell Creek Rock 'n' Blues Festival but playing in New Zealand had long been a goal for the band.

"We've been waiting for years to tour New Zealand and after a few line-up changes in the band since we formed, we've got the cream of the crop."

Cheap Fakes are well-known at home for their syncopated beats, wind section, and catchy melodies and will drop their substantial feel at their Wairarapa debut at King Street Live on Saturday, February 27.
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