[Here's a plug for next Saturday's gig that we're circulating. Click to enlarge the poster...]
A crew of Kiwi musicians, writers and political activists is throwing a party next Saturday night to celebrate freedom of expression and raise money for the campaign against the Terrorism Supression Act.
The Party for Your Right to Fight, which is being organised by Titus Books and Powertool Records, will be held at the PR Bar on Auckland's Ponsonby Road from seven o'clock on the first of December. Entry is free, and donations will be taken for the Civil Rights Defence Committee. The event will be headlined by Powertools musicians Bill Direen and Otis Mace, who will also use the evening to mark the end of the national tour they started in Dunedin last week.
Bill Direen is a Kiwi music legend, as well as a prolific novelist, poet, and translator. In the 1980s Bill worked with the likes of Chris Knox and David Kilgour, helping to define the Flying Nun sound that revolutionised music in this country. Bill has spent most of the last decade in Berlin and Paris, but this year he has made a long-overdue return to the stages of New Zealand. After seeing Bill perform a few months ago in Auckland, Russell Brown described him as 'magic' and a 'justifiable legend'.
In last weekend's Sunday Star-Times, Grant Smithies gave rave reviews to both Bill and Otis Mace's new albums. Smithies called Bill's Human Kindness a 'rare gift' which 'credits you with having a brain and banks on you enjoying surprises' and makes the world 'a perceptibly better place'. Besides Bill and Otis, next Saturday's bash will features some of Auckland's best writers reading from their work, and speeches by several activists involved in the campaign against police terror in Aotearoa.
The writers will include the much-published Jack Ross, who has just guest edited a controversial issue of Landfall, New Zealand's oldest literary journal. Ross has been a strong opponent of the encroachments on our civil liberties that have taken place in recent years. In 2004 and 2005 Jack helped to translate and publish the poetry of Ahmed Zaoui, as a protest against Zaoui's unjust imprisonment. Other readers will include Tourettes, the young poet, winner of the national emcee award, and drummer for popular Auckland band The Vietnam War, and Louisa Jones, who is a key member of Auckland's trade union movement as well as a regular on the live poetry scene. Next Saturday's speakers will include Justin Taua, a long-time activist in the National Distribution Union and Maori rights movement. Justin, whose whakapapa includes many members of the Parihaka movement, has often been a critic of police treatment of Maori. He was heavily involved in the fight for justice for Stephen Wallace, the young man shot in the back by a Taranaki cop in 2000. Justin also plays a mean guitar, and is rumoured to be bringing a country blues band up from the Waikato to the PR Bar...
When: next Saturday, seven o'clock
Where: PR Bar, 2 Ponsonby Rd (the Gt North Rd end)
Organisers: Powertool Records, http://www.powertoolrecords.co.nz; Titus Books, http://titusbooks.online.fr