I have one serious criticism and might as well get it out of the way first - there were too many empty seats.

To see such a wealth of talent in one show was a rare treat as I'm sure everyone who was there will agree.

From the sultry, slow ballads of Emma Gatsby vs the World to the sizzling soul sounds of Chocolate Box, there were no dull moments in the three-hour show.

Gatsby, accompanied by Nigel Parry on percussion and Bruce Mason playing a variety of wooden flutes, delivered a set of great songs including her single Sister Moon and the soon-to-be released Nomad.


Next up were Whanganui duo Elise and Lizzie who delivered a short but stunning set featuring a selection of pūmoana (shell trumpets).

They sang a beautiful rendition of Princess Te Rangi Pai's Hine E Hine and a wonderful duet version of Emma Paki's Greenstone.

Charlotte Melser rounded off the first half of the show with three self-penned songs and hers was arguably the performance of the night.

Alone with her guitar on the big stage, she performed her song Mother before an audience for the first time and pretty much blew our socks off.

The song expressed the unique and extreme grief of losing your mother when you are too young to be without one.

Charlotte Melser gave a stunning performance amidst a great line-up at Venus Unplugged.
Charlotte Melser gave a stunning performance amidst a great line-up at Venus Unplugged.

The second half of the show was kicked off by New Plymouth musician Juliet McLean and her band The Navigators.

They delivered a wonderful set featuring songs from their 2016 EP The Dance.

McLean's strong, smooth voice and clever lyrics are an absolute delight.

From the tango of title track The Dance to the more melancholy Lullaby for Flowers they were sublime.

Guitarist Richie Isaacs may look frivolous with his prolific grey pigtails and bright yellow board shorts but the man is a seriously good guitarist.

He also demonstrated that he is not a one-trick-pony by providing the audience with a hula hooping interlude before Chocolate Box came on.

Chocolate Box are Wellington duo Vanessa Stacey and Lisa Tomlins and what a couple of sassy soul sisters they are.

Neil Finn, Bob Marley and Womack & Womack got the Chocolate box treatment from these two powerful singers who obviously have so much fun singing together.

All the Venus Unplugged performers donated their time to support the Whanganui Women's Network.

Sadly, Hauaauru had to pull out due to a whanau bereavement but hopefully they can join the line-up next time Carla Donson puts a show together.

Ms Donson promised a "stonkingly great" show on Saturday night and the performers certainly delivered.