The Warratahs 20th Anniversary Album and Tour
For Their 20th Anniversary
Announce New Album and Tour
Keep On is exactly what The Warratahs are doing. With a new album about to be released, The Warratahs are back on the road performing a national tour.
The Warratahs have become an institution as one of New Zealand’s favourite country acts, touring New Zealand and spreading their distinctive sound over the past 20 years. They have also gained a following in Australia and have toured with New Zealand poet Sam Hunt, and the legendary Billy Joel and Johnny Cash.
With six albums and two collections, The Warratahs have captured the hearts of the New Zealand public with tracks like "Maureen" and "Hands of My Heart" and also well know for the legendary Interislander song.
On tour again this October, The Warratahs will take you back with their classics and showcase the latest songs from their new album Keep On, in stores on October 9
12 October Picton Le
13 October Christchurch Al’s Bar
14 October Timaru Theatre Royal (Port FM presents)
15 October Dunedin Backstage
16 October Invercargill Tillermans
17 October Queenstown Dux Deluxe
18 October Gore Croydon Lodge
20 October Wellington
21 October Martinborough Wine Centre
25 October Napier Milonga Tango Bar
26 October Hamilton Vilagrad Winery
27 October Auckland Dogs Bollix
28 October Auckland Dogs Bollix
Tickets from venues and selected outlets
The Warratahs – Biography
New Zealand 1985 – at the height of 'new wave' and Kiwi pub rock - was an unlikely time to form a country band. However, a bunch of Wellington's musicians did just that. Called The Warratahs, the band's two-year residency at inner-city tavern The Cricketer's Arms drew increasingly large crowds, attracted by the mix of covers and originals in the style of Hank Williams, Jimmy Rogers and Hank Snow played in an acoustic style.
The Warratahs began touring and in 1987 turned up in Gore, at the bottom of New Zealand's South Island, for the legendary Gold Guitars country music awards. It was no surprise when, three days later, they walked away with the title of Best Group.
The band went into the studio in 1986 and recorded a Barry Saunders/Wayne Mason song "Hands of My Heart". Released as a "single", the song received significant national airplay and led to the recording and release of The Warratahs' first long-player "Only Game in Town" in late 1987. The album spent 26 weeks in the charts and clocked up "gold" sales.
Covering the country, The Warratahs were now a full-time touring band reaching almost every part of New Zealand with their distinctive sound. A Saunders-penned song - "Maureen" - was lifted from the album and also received heavy airplay. Both "Maureen" and "Hands of My Heart" are still among the most-requested songs in The Warratahs' repertoire.
Like most bands who have extensively toured the relatively small New Zealand market, Australia soon beckoned and The Warratahs quickly built up a steady following in Sydney and Melbourne. New Zealand tours with Billy Joel and Johnny Cash (twice) followed, as well as their own headlining shows on both sides of the Tasman.
Also during this period, in 1991, a second album was released; "Too Hot to Sleep" featured the singles "St Peter's Rendezvous", "Fool's Paradise" and "Bruno's Last Ride". Two more albums followed, as well as a "Best Of" which went platinum - but after eight years of flat-out touring it was time to take stock. With differing song writing styles and directions emerging Mason left and was replaced with accordion/piano player Alan Norman. Singer and songwriter Saunders used the hiatus to write and record two solo albums -"Weatherman" and "Magnetic South" - the latter winning the New Zealand Music Country Album Award.
By now it was 1999 and time to take the Warratahs out on the road again. The band joined legendary performance poet Sam Hunt and headed out on the "Drivin' Wheel" tour - to find that their following in heartland New Zealand was as strong as ever. In November of the same year a new Warratahs album was released - "One of Two Things", featuring guest appearances from Hunt and singer Caroline Easther, garnered much critical acclaim and also picked up the NZ Music Country Album gong.
Four years later a Warratahs "Collection" album spent six weeks in the charts and reminded fans of the vast catalogue of (largely Saunders-composed) songs that the band had amassed over the years. Around the same time a new Saunders album "Red Morning" was gathering considerable critical acclaim and marked a milestone of his 'singer-songwriter' career.
Now, twenty-odd years on, The Warratahs are a New Zealand music institution. The distinctive vocals of Barry Saunders and individual violin style of Nik Brown reach all the way back to the band's beginning in 1985 and, along with Saunders' elemental songs, form the core of 'The Warratahs Sound'. Still touring and playing shows and festivals, they continue to pull the crowds and deliver strong and exciting performances. Although they play songs from their five albums they have always continued to develop and record new material.
The Warratahs - Line up:
- vocals & guitar
Nik Brown - fiddle & mandolin
Sid Limbert - bass
Alan Norman - keyboards & accordian
Mo' Newport - drums
Only Game in Town -
Too Hot to Sleep - 1991
Wild Card - 1994
Big Sky - 1997
The Best of The Warratahs - 2000
One of Two Things - 2002
Collection - 2004
Keep On - 2006