Marlborough Magazine December/January Edition - Page 44

ENTERTAINMENT it was just like riding a bike. “There was the odd bit but generally it all came back quite quickly. “Playing altogether in the same room brought that stellar* sound back that is so unique to the four of us.” Performing is a part-time gig for each of the members who are all busy with individual pursuits. Boh Runga has her own successful jewellery line, which was brought to international attention recently after Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was spotted wearing some during the New Zealand royal visit. Andrew Maclaren and Chris van de Geer are music producers and Kurt is a concert promoter. With busy lives, the group made a conscious decision to only take up opportunities they liked the sound of, in places they enjoy visiting. While Kurt has visited Marlborough often, the band have not yet played in the region. “Marlborough Wine and Food Festival definitely fits the bill, we are really looking forward to checking it out, catching up with friends and enjoying a fantastic wine holiday!”, says Kurt. 45 favourite songs, but the band are not reliant on the nostalgia of their fans. “One of the really cool things about touring again is bringing all our songs back and finding they are still relevant and relatable today,” he says. “It’s been awesome to see the reactions of people, and amazing the amount of people singing along, I guess they still get played on the radio a lot, so they’ve never really gone away.” Theatre Marlborough The Marlborough Wine and Food Festival is returning again to its stunning venue among the vines in the Brancott Vineyard near Blenheim on 9 February 2019. With dozens of wineries and food stalls on site, expect a fantastic day experiencing some of the region’s best wine and food, and cutting loose on the grass to one of a number of incredible bands and musicians. For all the festival information and to buy your tickets check out the website And keep up to date with exciting news, band announcements and giveaways: Facebook: @marlboroughwinefestival Instagram: @marlboroughfest Twitter: @MarlboroughFest Old school fans of stellar* will be stoked to hear a great line up with all their A Stellar Headliner STORY BY KAT PICKFORD Twenty years after releasing their award winning first album Mix, Kiwi electronic rock band stellar* are bringing their signature sound to the 2019 Marlborough Wine and Food Festival on 9 February. Festival revellers will be able to dance and sing their hearts out to a super set of stellar*’s greatest hits performed by singer/guitarist Boh Runga, drummer Andrew Maclaren, bassist Kurt Shanks and guitarist Chris van de Geer. stellar* was one of the greatest bands in New Zealand in the nineties and noughties, releasing three albums and winning eight NZ Music Awards together before disbanding in 2010. Speaking from Auckland, bassist Kurt Shanks says the band’s success came at a golden period of New Zealand music. “There was a lot of really great music around that was getting a lot of airtime on radio and television,” Kurt says. “It was a perfect storm of strong radio support, record companies on the lookout for promising artists, music- dedicated tv channels and the birth of [the independent New Zealand broadcast funding agency] NZ on Air.” Fast forward almost 20 years and people in their 30s and 40s will no doubt remember the lineup of New Zealand rock bands gigging at that time. Along with stellar* there was Shihad, Elemeno P, Supergroove, The Feelers, Evermore, Head Like A Hole - the list goes on. The runaway success of their first album, which included hits Violent, What You Do, Undone, Every Girl, and Part of Me was backed up with two more hit records Magic Line in 2001 and Something Like Strangers in 2006. stellar*’s statistics are impressive: seven Top 20 singles, three top 10 albums (including two at No. 1), more than 100,000 units sold and eight NZ Music Awards. But for Kurt, touring Australia, Germany and the UK and the consistent high standard of music across their three albums are personal highlights. “I am really proud of the recording of our three studio albums - each of them very different, but really strong with lots of hits,” he says. “We took our time and worked really hard, the awards are just a night of fun really - music is not a competition.” stellar* disbanded in 2006 to pursue individual endeavours. It wasn’t until they appeared at the 2017 New Zealand Music Awards, performing a cover of Maxine as a tribute to legendary Kiwi singer songwriter Sharon O’Neill, that they seriously considered a reunion. “That process of getting together, joking around like we used to reminded us how much fun it was,” he says. “We were all available and all keen, so we decided to go for it.” More than a decade later, the music flowed like they’d never stopped playing, he says. “It’s such a cliche, but stellar* was one of the greatest bands in New Zealand in the nineties and noughties