Ant Tarrant and Band – Big Fan: August 18, 2023

Ant Tarrant headlined a night of diverse, joyous and soulful music at Auckland’s Big Fan.

Ant Tarrant is a globe travelling New Zealand musician currently based in Auckland where he is releasing a series of singles, leading up to an LP due in November. Last night’s performance at Big Fan gave us an insight into what to expect. In a word…fun.


LochFirst up, is Loch. Billed to be playing with a band, Loch’s drummer is “down with fever” so it’s just Loch and his electric guitar. He opens with an original…his first song he tells us…and reveals a quiet intensity fuelled by 90s grunge.

That influence is laid bare when he performs Pearl Jam’s Black, which he “strips right back” and The Black Crowes’ She Talks To Angels.

Also covered are The Butlers (No Good Nina) and London buskers Sam & Ren (Blind Eyed). But it’s the originals such as the final song, possibly titled Float Like A Butterfly, which he tells us he wrote two days ago, that made Loch one to watch.


SophSoph is tall , blonde, glamourous and full of confidence. She and her band…there are 7 in all…come out with guns blazing. The song is You Ain’t Comin’ In and it’s a driving soul/rocker that immediately gets the crowd’s attention.

The majority of the 40-minute set is originals and there are uniformly excellent…a couple written by local guy, “Ed”, who I met briefly waiting for the music to begin.

The crowd eagerly sings along to Cry (not that song) and they get down to a disco shuffle titled Until Dark before performing RHCP’s Otherside and Amy Winehouse’s Valerie. Check out the video to set closer Whatcha Gonna Do and see what you think of Soph.

Ant Tarrant

At 10:20pm sirens are wailing in Bug Fan, but don’t panic, it’s just Ant and his band taking over to start their set with This Is An Emergency.

Ant Tarrant“Welcome to the show, everybody”, says Ant and off we go…

That band is comprised of keys, sax, bass, guitar and drums and they are funky-as.

You Can Be A Little Sexy is both the title of the second song played and permission to dance.

And this is a show…Ant engages the crowd to create a jam from random song titles from the audience…they settle on Bob Marley Under A Big Sky…there is an “air-sax” playing contest and a freestyle segment where a couple of audience members show off their stuff.

When Ant and the band mellow out with a jazzy Freedom, the crowd gets restless so the energy is rekindled by Paul The Kid and set closer Call Of The Wild.

Ant Tarrant

Encore is Guy Like Me and by then it’s late and cold outside. Off we go into the night. A good time was had by all.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by David Fu

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