Dave Dobbyn is an icon of the New Zealand music scene. His bands over the years included Th’ Dudes (1975-1980) and DD Smash (1980-1986) before he set out on his solo career in 1986. He has had many hits in New Zealand as well as success in Australia (he lived here for a while in the 80’s on the success of his hit 1986 song Slice of Heaven from the Footrot Flats: The Dogs Tale animated movie – a beloved comic strip from NZ and one of my favourites as a kid).
Dave’s performance on November 14th, 2012 at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne was his first in Australia for almost twenty years! The current tour was a greatest hits show of the music throughout his career and a large crowd of Kiwis living in Melbourne turned out for it (mostly originally from Wellington it seemed). I felt a bit out-of-place being an Aussie in my own town! All in all it was a great night and Dave’s singing was brilliant. He was ably backed by an excellent and multi-talented band of Kiwis. Crowd favourites included Whaling and of course a huge sing along to Slice of Heaven! Great stuff!
The support act for Dave were Dukes (from Christchurch, NZ) who performed a great set of original music with a cover of the Johnny Cash and June Carter classic Jackson. The lead singer Matt Barus joked they are the only “brown band” doing country music in New Zealand. Two members of the Dukes also performed in Dave’s band for his show (Jo Barus on Bass and L.A. Mitchell on keyboards/vocals).
The good news for Aussie fans of Dave Dobbyn’s music is that he has a new album coming out and will be touring in Australia again soon. Enjoy the Kiwi rock!