29 April 2009 - 0 Comments
A blogger recently asked,"What does Kiwi FM do for the month of May? Play New Zealand Music? That's not making a change - that's what they do for the other 11 months. Surely they're allowed time off for (supposed) good behaviour?"
As a station committed to playing 100% New Zealand music Kiwi certainly can't increase that percentage. Instead, the station has launched an ambitious programme of live-to-air performances; and they've vowed to have at least one act live in their studio for every day of May.
"31 Bands in a Box" is the result.
The small but perfectly formed Kiwi FM studio (the "box") is no stranger to live performances than often belie its size. In fact, it once hosted the Windy City Strugglers - although vocalist Rick Bryant did have to sing through an open door from the workroom. But Kiwi has never attempted such an intensive schedule before. In fact, few radio stations ever have.
After just one week Kiwi is well on target to beat its target. Fifteen artists, duos or bands have already performed - including Minuit, Samuel Flynn-Scott, the Have, the Twitch, George and Queen, Labretta Suede and the Motel 6, Motocade, SideKickNick, Tahuna Breaks and Sarah Brown.
Acts still to come include Flip Grater, the Electric Confectionaires, Ruia, Reb Fountain, Autozamm, White Birds and Lemons, dDub, Paul McLaney and Charlie Ash.
But the live performances are just one aspect of "31 Bands In A Box". Video footage of all of the month's performances is being posted on the station's website at www.kiwifm.co.nz Viewers will be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite band - and the winning band and a lucky voter will be outfitted by Gravis Footwear.
Kiwi FM Programme Director Michael Higgins says the station is relishing the challenge but that it's far from being just an exercise in numbers. "The important thing", he says, "is the quality of what we're hearing and seeing from both an artistic and a technical point of view. Some acts are electing to play stripped down performances and we're seeing a whole new side of them. Others are just going for it and doing what they do best. And all of the performances are providing ample evidence of the great depth and variety of New Zealand music."
Streaming on www.kiwifm.co.nz
Nationwide on Sky Digital Channel 500
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