Otis Mace first carved out his niche as one of New Zealand's most significant post-punk singer/songwriters in the late 1970s.

He continues to captivate audiences with his distinctive ballads, odes and whimsical pop songs and will perform at Lucky Bar + Kitchen in Whanganui this Thursday and Friday.

"I will be doing a solo acoustic set followed by an electric set where I'll be accompanied by Daniel Manetto [Voom, Shaft, The Fuzzies]," Mace said.

"The sets will include songs from my back catalogue as well as a lot of recent ones."


Mace's ballads have been described as "darkly comedic" and are often compelling tales of love and loss tempered with healthy doses of self-parody.

He has been compared to English singer/songwriter Billy Bragg who he once played support for in the 1980s.

"That was enjoyable and I also played support for The Violent Femmes, The Screaming Blue Messiahs and Dead on Arrival during the 80s.

"I was essentially an acoustic guitarist but was inspired to play electric guitar because I loved listening to bands like Devo and The Buzzcocks."

Mace spent most of the 1990s based in London where he became a regular on the acoustic scene and toured in Europe.

During his time as a UK resident, his material was used by BBC Drama and covered by various English recording artists.

Returning to New Zealand in the early 2000s he settled back in Auckland and has continued writing, recording and performing on his own and in collaboration with other artists.

For a while, he performed as a singing pirate at Kelly Tarlton's Sea Life Aquarium.


"That was a contract with a children's theatre group and it was a very enjoyable job," he says.

His confidence as an electric guitarist is now at a point where he happily describes himself as Otis Mace "Geetah Ace."

"Whanganui audiences can definitely expect some ace guitar and I'm looking forward to playing at Lucky because I've heard it's a great venue."

To hear some of Otis Mace's recent recordings visit soundcloud.com and to catch his live Whanganui performances head to Lucky Bar, 53 Wilson St on Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16 from 8pm. Koha entry.