I wrote my first review of a gig for the Dominion Post – then The Evening Post – back in late 2001. I’d conned my way into writing CD reviews for the paper, all but begging. No pay, but I was in. And then to some reviews. Over the years I reviewed anything, nearly everything – kids theatre, musicals, author-talks, jazz, blues, rock, pop, the ‘mainstream’ classical gigs that the dedicated classical reviewers snubbed, stand-up comedy…if there was a gig and the paper needed a review and no one else would do it I was the guy. And in and around that tall order I got to see hundreds of shows I loved – the main gig was rock/pop/jazz I guess…I also loads of things I hated. Of course. The nice surprise was always in seeing something where you weren’t necessarily a fan, or weren’t likely part of the “Target Demograhic” and yet it worked; it transcended, you found the good…
I reviewed Engelbert Humperdinck twice. About 10 years apart. The first time he was good – couldn’t really fault the show, good fun. But the second time, just last year, he was even better. Weird, that at 80, he could improve over 10 years. Amazing really.
And I didn’t know it at the time…because how could you I guess…but that was the last review I’d write for The Dominion Post. The Wellington newspaper. Fifteen years, almost to the day. It was a long, strange trip. And then almost weirder than how it started I was done.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.