A bellyful of grooves - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
 Issue 220

Photo by Emma Robinson

A bellyful of grooves by Madelaine Empson

Too Many Chiefs roll four of New Zealand’s busiest songwriters – Wayne Mason, Rob Joass, Andrew London, and Charlotte Yates – into one collective. All tour their own respective shows, but occasionally collaborate in sharing songs and stories from the road.

Yates, an independent recording artist with seven solo albums plus extensive collaborative and compilation work to her name, is the newest Chief.

“I felt a little nervous at the first rehearsal”, she says. “When you find yourself sitting next to Wayne trying to play Nature, you don't want to mess that up too much!”

Thankfully, Yates continues, “they were all very welcoming, and there’s an easy camaraderie and collective sense of humour I felt very comfortable with”.

On Friday the 7th of June, Too Many Chiefs will play Vogelmorn Upstairs, an intimate, funky, and comfortable venue and bar in Brooklyn. Yates says the setlist is always a round-robin affair with an even number of tunes from each writer. The musicians each sing and play arrangements on each other’s songs, with the repertoire varied across styles – though the set is largely acoustic with a decent vocal harmony stack.

“Think singer-songwriters with a bellyful of grooves, from the firecracker boogie woogie piano that Wayne delivers through country-tinged rock from Rob, Andrew’s self-deprecating swing, and I’m running alongside them as fast as I can, happy to have the funk factor cranked up with extra acoustic bass, piano, and six-strings aplenty.”

View more articles from:
« Issue 220, May 21, 2024