Bold and brassy

Hopetoun Brown (from left) Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart are joined by Finn Scholes (right) at...
Hopetoun Brown (from left) Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart are joined by Finn Scholes (right) at Dog With Two Tails tonight. Photo: Paul Taylor.
Swinging and stomping brass duo Hopetoun Brown are in town this weekend, bringing with them a special guest.

The former horn section for iconic Kiwi band Supergroove, the dynamic duo of Nick Atkinson and Tim Stewart, are currently in the running for the Taite Music Prize, a prestigious national award recognising outstanding creativity for an entire collection of music contained in one album.

"The Taite Prize nod is a biggie for Tim and I," Atkinson said, having just performed in Okarito on the West Coast.

"We’re an independent band running our own record label. We’ve had almost no airplay and somehow our second record is in the running for the Taite Prize with seven of the hottest local acts to release albums in the last year. It does seem a bit surreal that we beat out Ladyhawke, The Naked and Famous and Steve Abel for a place in the finals."

The duo, which typically performs with "nothing but brass, a bass clarinet, two sets of tambourines and tonsils ..." is also bringing a special guest along for this tour, Finn Scholes from cinematic Auckland jazz outfit Carnivorous Plant Society.

"Believe me when I say that Finn Scholes is the finest trumpet player in the country," Atkinson says.

"I mean the man is hitting some serious high notes. I’ve been a massive fan of Finn since I saw Carnivorous Plant Society. As well as being a brass beast his keyboard skills are outstanding. He will destroy the piano at Dog With Two Tails this Saturday. He’s fresh from being hand-picked by Neil Finn for his current touring band. He’s also travelling with a tuba! You can hear him playing vibes, organ and trumpet on our latest record. We’re very lucky to know Finn."

Hopetoun’s sound is heavy and soulful, going down like a finely aged whisky, but it’s always fun, the band punching up each song with their sense of enthusiasm and an off-the-cuff vibe. After the Dunedin show, the band head to Queenstown to perform at the Sherwood before returning to Auckland for more shows, and possibly some new material.

"We do have a brand-new song called Let’s Not Be Friends (yet). The bass line is bad-ass. I’m hopeful we’ll have it out in the next few months. The thing is we’re currently tied up touring the most beautiful island on Earth ... The sets are humming this week!"


Francisca Griffin, member of seminal Dunedin group Look Blue Go Purple, performs tonight at None Gallery.

Griffin is currently working towards the release of her solo album, the spaces between (out soon on Christchurch’s CocoMuse Releases), and for this show will perform with Mick Elborado (Terminals, Negative Nancies) and Gabriel Griffin (Sewage).

Griffin’s 1998 solo record, Some From The Sky is an oft-overlooked (and underrated) piece in the Dunedin jangle puzzle, with expansive churning guitar complemented by a West Harbour melancholy, and an air of naturalness and nature. Griffin will be supported by mid-fi folk duo Terrified, and Richard Maybe’s Passion For Nature. 


The gigs

Hopetoun Brown and The Genius Finn Scholes, tonight at Dog With Two Tails, $20 on the door from 8pm. Presale tickets from

They also play tomorrow at the Sherwood, Queenstown, doors 6pm, music starts at 7pm.

 Francisca Griffin (Look Blue Go Purple), tonight at None Gallery with support from Terrified and Richard Maybe’s Passion for Nature. Doors 8pm, tickets from

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