To be honest, UB40 isn’t my favourite band. In fact, “Red red wine” is probably my least favourite song ever. But, it’s my dad’s favourite song and a band he loves. So when he was visiting from England, the two of us went along to the gig.
At the gig, my dad confessed he hadn’t been to a concert since he went to Eric Clapton with me 20 years earlier – goodness! And he’s never been to any outdoor concerts or music festivals, so this was a whole new experience for him.
So what was it like?
In one word: excellent!
Lovely vineyard setting (thank goodness the weather was fine). It was a sell-out crowd, and it was a busy event, but there will still ample personal space with room for picnic blankets etc. It was a family event with all age groups well represented, so there was a nice relaxed atmosphere.
UB40 (and support act, Herbs – a “world famous in New Zealand” band) played on a stage at the bottom of the hill. The vineyard is in a natural amphitheatre shape, but unfortunately the slopes are concave rather than convex, so it meant that if you were at the top of the hill, you couldn’t actually see the band! And alas there were no big screens either, so if you wanted to see any kind of band action, you had to be quite close to the front. Thankfully the sound system was very good, so even if you couldn’t see the band you still got to enjoy the whole vibe of it all and have a good boogie along.
The food and wine:
I didn’t realise until I had queued for a drink that I was meant to have purchased a card and loaded money on it (with a $3 card loading fee). I thought that was super annoying (and a money making racket, because how many people would queue for a refund at the end of the evening?!).
Thankfully the lovely couple behind me had enough money on their card to cover a glass of wine for my dad and I (red, red wine, of course), and I gave them cash to cover it, plus a bit extra as a thank-you.
The whole card thing put me off buying any more food and wine (the card was compulsory at all the stands, including the merchandise stall). The food stalls looked excellent, and I think the vendors probably missed out on sales because of the card thing. A shame.
OK, I’m still not a fan of “Red red wine” (the song – I love the beverage itself!), but much to my surprise, the rest of their songs were excellent. I’m not going to rush out and buy their album or anything, but it just shows that there’s nothing as awesome as live music. 🙂
Since the concert it’s been announced that Kainui Road is now permitted to have large events like this once a year… excellent! It’s awesome to have international, well-known bands here in the Bay of Islands.