Browse Month: November 2016

Pixies returning to New Zealand

General tickets go on sale at on December 6. Recent set lists, such as their November 29 gig at London’s Brixton Academy, suggest long sets featuring a thorough mix of their old and new material. The four-piece will play Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena on March 9, Wellington’s TSB Arena on March 10 and Auckland’s Vector Arena on March 11. Alternative rock legends the Pixies are heading to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington next year for their first New Zealand shows since 2010. The ‘Where is My Mind’ hitmakers are currently touring the UK in support of their latest album, Head Carrier.

Need for pee not an excuse for speed

A driver caught going 176km/h down a Waikato highway has told police he was desperate to get to a toilet. he got stuck behind a truck in a temporary 80[km] zone anyway – pointless, not to mention downright dangerous,” police said. “The worst part … “It is now the hÄ«koi express for this driver.”
NZN Police are warning drivers to make sure they have a bathroom break before setting out after a man pulled over for going nearly 80km/h per hour over the speed limit on the Waikato Expressway told officers he was “busting”.

Netflix announces offline viewing for smartphones and tablets

Shows available for download at this stage include Netflix originals Stranger Things, The Crown, Narcos, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, and other networks’ shows like Shameless and Broadchurch. You can now download Netflix shows and watch them offline. The global streaming service announced on Thursday morning (NZ time) users can now download select TV shows and films to view later on smartphones and tablets – but not PCs.

Rise in prison population gets comic spin

The two teams are named after Bill English’s 2011 quote, when he called prisons a moral and fiscal failure – but it’s not easy to pick a side. “It’s a shame prison separates parents from their kids. After the Government announced plans to spend around $2.5 billion on prison expansion, community group Just Speak sprung into action. “We can’t talk about politics in 2016 without talking about Donald Trump – and I think it’s important to note that his popularity sprung off the back of being able to say controversial and entertaining things,” the Green Party’s Chloe Swarbrick said. Instead of locking them up, the Government should be headhunting them,” comedian Raybon Kan joked. If only more children committed crimes,” Ray O’Leary quipped. A panel of comedians and activists joined together in Wellington on Wednesday night to provide entertainment on a topic that’s usually not entertaining – prisons. The debaters say entertainment hooks people into a serious topic in a different way. It wasn’t just comedians getting involved either, with MPs and academics giving it a go too. “I think the Government perceive housing Maori in prison as part of the Treaty settlement,” sociologist and ex-inmate Dr Paul Wood joked. It’s a panel show with a difference – and with the Government increasing its spending on corrections facilities, it’s timely. And ultimately there were no winners on Wednesday night – with New Zealand’s prison muster topping 10,000 for the first time today, it’s an issue that will carry on well outside the confines of debate. “Many entrepreneurs have businesses that go into the red – these ones stay in the black. It wanted to start a conversation, giving some uncomfortable truths along with laughs. That’s their power.

Canadian police threaten to punish drink drivers with Nickelback

In 2015, Queensland Police Service posted on their social media accounts to warn Brisbane residents ahead of a Nickelback concert that the band was expected to be “And when we catch you, and we will catch you, on top of a hefty fine, a criminal charge and a year’s driving suspension, we will also provide you with a bonus gift of playing the office’s copy of Nickelback in the cruiser on the way to jail. It’s not the first time Nickelback have been mocked by police. Police in a small Canadian town have revealed a new weapon to address drink driving this Christmas: Nickelback. You don’t drink and drive and we won’t make you listen to it.”
The post received more than 1000 shares and reactions. “So please, let’s not ruin a perfectly good unopened copy of Nickelback. Kensington Police warned in a Facebook post that anyone caught driving drunk will be fined, suspended, and forced to listen to the “office’s copy of Nickelback in the cruiser on the way to jail”. “Now, now, no need to thank us, we figure if you are foolish enough to get behind the wheel after drinking then a little Chad Kroeger and the boys is the perfect gift for you. The Canadian rock band has never been considered the most fashionable of musical groups, and Kensington Police Service on Cape Breton Island appears to be using that to their advantage. They said that as the holiday season begins, officers “will be out for the remainder of year looking for those dumb enough to feel they can drink and drive”.

Why the Amazing Spider-Man films broke Andrew Garfield’s heart

Andrew Garfield has opened up about his time as Spider-Man, saying the character’s story was “compromised” which broke his heart. Although the films collectively pulled in over US$1 billion at the global box office and weren’t savaged by mainstream critics, they weren’t well received by many comic book fans and pale in comparison to many of the iconic Marvel Cinematic Universe films. “There’s something that happened with that experience for me where story and character were not actually top of the priority list, ultimately,” Garfield told Variety. The Social Network star played the radioactive web-slinger in two films – 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel. I signed up to serve the story and to serve this incredible character I’d been dressing as since I was three. And then it gets compromised, and it breaks my heart. I got heartbroken a little bit.”
He made the comments in a Variety feature with Amy Adams, who has also starred in superhero movies, and likewise felt heartbroken after the experience. “And I found that really, really tricky.

Nintendo ‘world’ coming to Universal Studios

“Together we are building it with an eye for what guests will actually experience. We’re working hard to create attractions that can be equally enjoyable to anybody, regardless of age.”
Details on exactly which characters and games the areas will feature are said to be coming soon, but in a promotional video today there is an emphasis on Mario. “We are constantly amazed how the park developers are bringing the essence of our games to life in the real world,” says Nintendo director Shigeru Miyamoto. Japanese media previously reported that an area inside Universal Studios in Osaka would be a US$350 million section focused entirely on Mario and that it should open by 2020, just prior to the Tokyo Olympics. ‘An entire Nintendo world’ will be opened at the Osaka, Orlando and Hollywood venues featuring attractions, restaurants and shops, says Mark Woodbury of Universal Creative. Japanese videogame giant Nintendo has given fans more of a look at what to expect at its upcoming attractions at Universal Studios theme parks. Nintendo says the goal of the project is to use its iconic characters, action and adventure so fans can step inside the games, with the attractions capturing the “adventure, fun and whimsy” of franchises like Mario, Pokémon and Zelda.

The Edge, The Rock, George hosts moved in MediaWorks radio shuffle

Jono and Ben are moving from The Rock to The Edge as part of multiple key talent moves across MediaWorks’ radio brands announced today. “It’s about taking our talent to where their audience sweet spot is, to grow and challenge them while enhancing our brands.” “We have the best talent in the business and the changes we have announced today only strengthen our line-up,” says Leon Wratt, MediaWorks Radio group content director of music. Thane Kirby will also move from George to The Rock afternoons, Andrew Mulligan will return to the Morning Rumble and The Edge host Clint Roberts will join George FM Breakfast.

James Rolleston presents trophy at Attitude Awards months after horror crash

The Boy and Dead Lands star features in photos tweeted by the official account of the awards, which recognise the achievements of Kiwis living with disabilities. “Amazing to have James Rolleston to present the ACC Supreme Award #AttitudeAwardsNZ,” a photo of him on stage is captioned. Rolleston presented the ACC Supreme Award to Debra Lampshire, an advocate for change in the mental health system. Rolleston was seriously injured after the car he was travelling in hit the Otara Bridge near Opotoki on July 26. Actor James Rolleston has bounced back from the car crash that almost killed him in July to present a trophy at the Attitude Awards on Tuesday night. Another Attitude photo features Rolleston alongside his Dark Horse co-star Cliff Curtis and sportsman Sonny Bill Williams.

Kiwi crowds still get opera star Simon O’Neill’s heart thrumming

He’s used to performing to thousands of Europeans, but it’s the small crowds in New Zealand that get his heart racing. “That was my thing and I thought, ‘I want to be like that!’ And I’ve gone on to work with two of those people which has been amazing.”
Now he’s booked out years in advance, with a performing schedule packed until 2023. “That’s what got me into opera was Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras – they did the world cup soccer,” he says. “I don’t know if I’m even going to be alive in 2022-23, but it’s amazing that that happens.”
But for now O’Neill is enjoying being back home, reflecting on a somewhat unexpected career. “I usually sing in the Mediterranean where it’s like a carpet of people – here you see people, it’s terrifying,” he says. Simon O’Neill is regarded as one of the finest tenors in the world and has been back in New Zealand for a series of shows. “They’re right up close, it gives me great nerves.”
The 44-year-old got his big break in 2004, when he went for an audition for a small part in New York but ended up as understudy to his idol Placido Domingo. An Ashburton-born, globally renowned opera star has swapped the international stage for something a little closer to home. “My dream was to be in the band or to be a teacher but this is the route I took and it really is a great life, I thank my lucky stars.”

Round-the-world sailors stop off in Bay of Islands

Riley had just bought La Vagabonde on a whim. “A single-handed sailor rolled in, he introduced himself. She uploaded the videos to YouTube and it turns out more than just her mum was interested in watching. We were out one night and I was like, yeah whatever you don’t have a boat,” Elayna explains. “As I explain to people, I’d hoisted the main sail, a main sail, exactly twice before… I knew that I would love it and I did.”
Elayna was working in the Greek Islands. “A lot of people write in saying we find what you’re doing inspirational and we’re going to try to imitate some of the things you guys are doing,” Riley says. As they whip around deck it’s hard to believe Riley Whitelum and Elayna Carausu have only been sailing for four years and even harder to believe they are self-taught. At first I didn’t believe he had a boat. “When the boat was sinking, I Googled, ‘my boat is sinking’ in a harbour in Savtat so we’re very much millennial in terms of our learning strategies,” Riley says. The couple met in Europe. To keep their families up to date, Elayna began filming their adventures. Two young sailors have arrived in New Zealand part way through a round-the-world trip. Nowadays, they have more than 230,000 followers on Youtube but they finance their never-ending voyage by posting the videos to a site called Patreon, which enables benefactors to back independent artists. “We started looking into crossing the Atlantic Ocean, how do we do it, we were reading a lot of books, and yeah we geared up and we crossed the Atlantic,” she says. After a few months island hopping around Greece, the couple set off on their first ocean crossing – their destination, the Caribbean. That makes them around $7000 per episode and their popularity has helped them land the deal of a life time: A heavily discounted million dollar catamaran from France they can pay off with their social media income. They will spend the next couple of months in the Bay of Islands before selling La Vagabonde, interrupting their circumnavigation of the globe to fly to France, pick up their new boat and begin their round-the-world adventure all over again. In true millennial style the Australian couple taught themselves to sail and now they document their adventures on YouTube. They can now also afford to expand and they’ve hired a videographer to join them at sea.

Neil Young cancels New Zealand shows

However, Young is still named on the bill for Australian festival Bluesfest in April, and organisers have declined to comment. At the time of publishing, his New Zealand and Australian concerts are still listed Frontier Touring’s official website. “We regret to advise that Neil Young will unfortunately no longer be undertaking a 2017 AU/NZ headline tour as previously teased on socials,” Frontier Touring’s official Twitter account announced. The folk-music star was set to perform at Auckland’s Vector Arena and Wellington’s TSB Bank Arena in March, 2017, but the promoter announced on Tuesday that these shows aren’t going ahead. Neil Young has cancelled plans to perform in New Zealand next year, according to Frontier Touring.

The Newshub guide to Secret Santa

Whether you’re the office Grinch, or you don your reindeer earrings from October, every workplace is forced to embrace the festive spirit come the holiday season. Here at This comes with it the age-old tradition you either love or loathe: Secret Santa.

NZ music legend Ray Columbus dies

In a career spanning four decades, Columbus won dozens of awards including the Silver Scroll twice and an OBE for services to entertainment. He also became one of the earliest stars of New Zealand television with his own show Club Columbus and work on Happen Inn and C’mon. “You hear the voice come down from up high from the director, saying ‘Someone put some lacquer on that idiot’s hair’…’cause I was shaking it all over!” Columbus once recalled. Thank you TV.”
Columbus had been suffering from poor health ever since a heart attack in 2004. “He was a complete gentleman and never stopped being a gentleman,” says Ellis. Columbus shot to fame in the early ’60s when his band Ray Columbus & the Invaders covered The Senators’ ‘She’s a Mod’. “And TV gave me a chance to exploit that. New Zealand music legend Ray Columbus has died at the age of 74. “I’m a vaudevillian basically, a modern day vaudevillian,” said Columbus. Columbus went on to work in event management and promotion. In 2009 he and his Invaders band members were inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. He also managed Christchurch band Zed. Columbus & the Invaders followed up that success a year later with ‘Til We Kissed’, and had other hits including ‘People Are People’, ‘Willie & The Hand Jive’, ‘Travelling Singing Man’, ‘Happy In A Sad Kinda Way’, ‘Yoyo’, ‘Now You Shake’ and ‘Hold Me’. But it wasn’t just as a musician that Columbus enjoyed success. Celebrated music mogul Paul Ellis describes Columbus as a “trailblazer”. Columbus toured in concert with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, Shirley Bassey, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Ben E King and Robin Gibb. “It’s like Elvis has died.”

Not everyone appreciated the iconic ‘Mod’s Nod’ dance that went with his original hit – least of all the director of the song’s music video. The song became the first New Zealand record to top the Australian charts and made Columbus a household name. In 2002 he toured with the Long Way To The Top – the history of Australian Rock N Roll show, which saw him perform to over 220,000 people in 20 arena concerts throughout Australia. Whether it was performing or presenting, Columbus loved the limelight and New Zealand loved him right back. But the public loved it.