Make a big difference to The Big Idea.

Help us tell the most creative stories.

Become a supporter

Word on the Street

Tom Scott.
Artwork by Gemma Syme
Members of The Crescendo Trust
In his new column, Dominic Hoey highlights upcoming events that might otherwise fly under the radar. This week, confronting art and a chance to see Aotearoa’s next big things before they blow up.


YGB Boxing Day party

Auckland rapper Tom Scott’s group, Avantdale Bowling Club, took out album of the year and best Hip Hop Artist of the year at the Vodafone Music Awards. Tom, who has long been labeled controversial for having the audacity to have an opinion as an artist, used the platform to encourage Jacinda to visit Ihumātao.

All of this is a preamble to talk about the YGB Boxing Day party announced this week. The event is happening at the Pah Homestead in Hillsborough, and will run over the whole day. In case you don’t keep up with the local hip hop scene, YGB used to stand for Young Gifted and Broke, a loose collection of musicians and artists. Now everyone is getting a bit long in the tooth, the acronym stands for Years Gone By, and the collective has become a record label. 

The first label release was Bird Of Paradise by Hone & Karnan, and the two musicians  are returning from overseas to perform the album in its entirely as part of the boxing day shindig. Joining them will be a who’s who of local hip hop artists including Christoph El Truento, Frank Booker, Soraya, Haz Beats, Tom Scott himself, Whitney Wainui and Manuel Bundy.

Sounds a lot more fun than wandering around St Lukes looking for half-priced socks. 

Pah Homestead, 72 Hillsborough Road, Hillsborough, Thursday December 26, 2019 at 2 PM–10 PM.

Artwork by Gemma Syme 

Small Gestures II

Next week, artists Pat Kraus and Gemma Syme are holding an exhibition in central Auckland’s newest bookstore, Strange Goods. 

Christchurch artist Gemma Syme is one of those annoying people who’s good at everything: music, painting, performance art. For her exhibition, Small Gestures II, she’s turning her hand to print making. She’s been working out of The Old School Te Kura Tawhito, a community hub at an ex-school site that has been gifted to local artists by the New Brighton community. Gemma says the title of the show refers not only to the size of the prints but the subjects themselves.

Pat Kraus also works in various disciplines. He’s been a mainstay of the Auckland music scene for years playing in bands like the Maltese Falcons and Kraus and is a big part of the Audio Foundation collective. His exhibition is called Roast World and uses photography to look at what Pat calls the “psychological impact of climate catastrophe”.

Both artists make original and often confronting work, but have a knack at not taking themselves too seriously which allows them to tackle serious topics without overwhelming their audience. 

Strange Goods, 281 Karangahape Rd, Thursday 28th November, 5.30pm-8.30pm.  

Members of The Crescendo Trust.

The Jam Cellar

And last up is The Jam Cellar, a bi-monthly event put on by charity The Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa (CTOA). CTOA was set up in 2012 by Blind Spot guitarist Marcus Powell to work with rangatahi who are interested in music. They not only help them record their songs, but also guide them through the many pitfalls of the music industry. Alumni include current Hip Hop stars Church and AP.

The Jam Cellar is a chance for the CTOA rangatahi to come together and share their talents. This is a particularly special night as there will be label reps in attendance, so everyone is busy honing their best songs in the hopes of getting a label deal. The event is being held at the Corban Estate out in Henderson, a hub for creative West Aucklanders.

All money goes back to the performers, so not only will you be in for an entertaining night, but you’ll be supporting the next generation of musicians to do their thing. 

Corban Estate, 2 Mount Lebanon Lane, Henderson, Friday 29th Nov 2019, 6:30pm. $10 tickets on the door.

Written by

Dominic Hoey

22 Nov 2019

Dominic Hoey is an author, playwright and poet based in Tāmaki Makaurau. His debut novel, Iceland was a New Zealand bestseller and was long-listed for the 2018 Ockham Book Award.