Welcome to my sentimental journey back to New Zealand through music.
Just as I remember some people, events, days or places by their fragrances, it’s a similar thing with music. Here are some songs which will always remind me my adventure in NZ.
UPDATED new link: Download my trip to New Zealand mixtape
ADDED 00. The Phoenix Foundation: Gandalf. I had listened to this song when I was packing for Australia and NZ. As I was doing it, I had this quote at the back of my head, something what Bilbo learned after meeting Gandalf and later tried to warn Frodo, It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
01. Flight of the Conchords: Bus Driver’s Song. My interest in NZ deepened when I started listening to FOTC a couple years ago. I must admit that they were one of the reasons why I wanted to go to NZ, but when I finally got there, started travelling around the country and meeting amazing people, it was even greater experience than meeting the Conchords. So when I saw Bret McKenzie at the Fly My Pretties concert in November, I wasn’t as stocked as I thought I’d be. In fact, I didn’t hear much of FOTC while in NZ and didn’t listen to it as well. The only time I heard their song was at the backpacker’s in Kaikoura. “Business Time” was played from the speakers.
Also, I’d like to dedicate this song to my friend from Australia who is a bus driver and all those special bus drivers from New Zealand who I was lucky to travel with, I’m thinking of James, Graham and the third one I don’t know the name of, but he remembered me too when he saw me for the second time.
02. Powderfinger: Burn Your Name. My Australian friend, P. played this song for me saying he liked the drum beat in it. I hope that was the only thing he wanted to show me in/through this song.
03. Talking Heads: Psychokiller. Even though I didn’t listen to much of FOTC, there were many other songs and things that reminded me of them. Psychokiller was one of those songs. I heard it soon after I arrived in Auckland while walking along Quay Street in the evening and immediately I had unintentional FOTC moment. Later on I heard this song many times in pubs and restaurants all around NZ.
04. The Woolshed Sessions: Only Your Arms. I got a headache from the noise at Nomads in Auckland and the amount of offers, choices and decisions I had to make at the beginning of my journey. The backpacker’s was in Downtown, close to busy Queen Street and I had nowhere to escape to find some peace and quiet. The Woolshed Sessions reminded me why I loved NZ and went there. They soothed my heart and gave me the peace I needed.
05. Garth Brooks: The River (Sail My Vessel). I already left Auckland, saw the beautiful countryside near Waitomo and spent amazing time with people in Hamilton. I was on a bus to Wellington. James was our bus driver and a Canadian tourist sang this song as part of the karaoke competition. The sun was shining and I had Lake Taupo and then Mt Ruapehu outside my window. I was getting more and more optimistic about my journey.
06. Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra: Sunshine of Your Love (live). It was the opening night of the Rugby World Cup 2011. I was in Wellington and saw them live for the first time. It was a big night seeing Age Pryor and the rest of the band, but Nigel Collins’ voice (and the legendary wind) swept me away.
07. Black Eyed Peas: Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night. It was always played before the kick off at the RWC matches. And then the countdown was starting and the thrill of watching the game live. Later when I was travelling around the South Island, J. the Spanish sang it all the time, mostly just a chorus. There was one more song played during the breaks in a match, but somehow I can’t remember it, nether others could. (EDIT: I remembered! It was Hey Baby, obviously)
08. David Bowie: Changes. The same story as with “Psycho killer”. One of unintentional FOTC moments.
09. The Phoenix Foundation: Supernatural (live). It’s immpossible not to include at least one TPF song in my mixtape. I felt like home when I heard their (and Lawrence Arabia, and The Black Seeds…) songs from the YHA Wellington speakers. It was my dream to see the band in Welly and I got a warm welcome from them. It was like the essential NZ dream to come true. They’re working on a new album and they played this new song. So many emotions and great memories I have listening to “Supernatural” that sometimes I can’t stop my happy tears from falling.
10. WIUO: Sweet Child of Mine (live). This Guns ‘n’ Roses song was again played everywhere in NZ from Auckland to New Plymouth by a cover band and to bars in the South Island. So, I wasn’t really surprised when WIUO played at their new EP release party. You can hear Age smashing the stool on stage at the end of this recording. He really rocked. 😀 It was a great pleasure talking to them after the concert and they loved the fact that they’ve got at least one fan from Poland.
The song is not on their new EP, but other awesome songs are there. I totally recommend buying the CD.
11. Fabulous/Arabia: The Ballad of State Highway 1. Mike Fabulous and James Milne, two awesome NZ musicians released an album together when I was in NZ and it’s so addictive and amazing. Their songs sounded even better live at Mighty Mighty, but the recording I have isn’t the best one, so I took the track from their album. I have driven many kilometers on SH1.
12. The Woolshed Sessions: Waterfall (live). You can guess they were one of the bands I wanted to see live and it happened during my unforgattable two weeks in Wellington. Sunny afternoon on Courtenay Place in front of the Embassy Theatre.
13. The Yoots: Nga Iwi E. Recommended by DJ Mike Fabulous, nuff said. The fact that he, Will Ricketts from TPF, Danny Yeabsley from WIUO and Toby Lang from Fat Freddy’s Drop play there even helps. I saw them live after The Woolshed Sessions.
14. Minuit: Aotearoa. Recommended by R. from Wellington when I was couchsurfing. At first I thought it was too alternative for me, but as it usually happens, Minuit grown on me and “Find Me Before I Die…” is one of my favourite NZ albums.
15. Ladyhawke: Magic. Starting from Ladyhawke till Fat Freddy’s Drop, these are the bands I was listening to all the time when I was writing my blog. I love Ladyhawke the most and I can’t wait to listen to her new album which is due to release in March, as far as I remember.
16. The Naked and Famous: Young Blood
17. Family Cactus: Fields and Fields
18. Fat Freddy’s Drop: Wandering Eye
19. The Black Seeds: Fire (live). The day before the end of the RWC and NZ’s victory. One big Kiwi fest in Queen’s Wharf in Auckland.
20. Gotye (featuring Kimbra): Somebody That I Used To Know. It was already big on the radio there. I had heard this song once before I went to NZ. I had watched the video and really loved it, but I thought I forgot the song. When I heard it again on the radio, I knew I had heard it before. It took me a while to connect the video with the song. It happened in a hotel in Wellington when I was waiting for the All Blacks victory parade.
21. Shakira: Loca. Don’t judge me! It was the song that stuck in my head when I was travelling along the West Coast of the South Island with my friends from Chile. Finally, not German tourists!
22. The Muppets: Life Is a Happy Song. “The Muppets” had its premiere when I was still in NZ and in my pessimism, I must admit that sometimes Bret McKenzie, who wrote this song, is right. Especially when you visit NZ.
23. Fly My Pretties: Journey’s End (live). It was ten days before my plane back to London (according to my first plan) when I went to see Fly My Pretties live. When Barnaby Weir introduced his song, I took it very personally. I was wondering where my journey will end.
24. Pulp: Sylvia. After FMP, I ran to see TPF in SF Bath House, but they had already finished playing. Luke Buda totally cheered me up “lamely” singing me a couple lines of this song before we said goodbyes and see yous in London next year.
25. Piotr Krępeć: Coromandel. I don’t know the name of this song, so I named it myself. I had recorded my friend’s performance when I was still in my home town and driving back to Auckland from Coromandel Town towards Thames I was listening to the recording having a beautiful sunset over the water on my right. His music helped me to say goodbye to NZ and prepare myself to my return to Poland.
26. Queen: Don’t Stop Me Now. I didn’t think of putting this song on my mixtape, but when I was already in London, I heard this song on the radio and automatically thought of this New Zealand advert I had seen so many times on TV. And… I think it’s a good song for the great finale. Or is it really the end of my adventure?