Beachware – Big Fan: February 3, 2023 (Concert Review)

Beachware brought their It’s Only Time Tour to Auckland and so we ventured out on this Friday evening to Morningside to catch the vibe.

Arriving at Big Fan and the vibe is good. We are greeted at the door and we can hear that opening act Haven has already taken the stage.


Haven is a trio from Wellington fronted by singer/bassist Ryan Connaghan and featuring guitarist Tyrone Henderson and drummer Harrison Maguire who bill themselves as a ‘three-piece indie-pop sensation’.

And they might be right.

Ryan has the looks and the chops while Tyrone seems to have his own gaggle of fans. Not bad for a band who has yet to release even an EP (there are three singles).

Despite this being one of those gigs where all the ‘cool kids’ are in attendance, Ryan had them swooning with his version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. And most of this crowd is too young to remember 10 Things I Hate About You (R.I.P. Heath Ledger) let alone Frankie Valli’s version.

Note to self…keep an eye on these guys.


It’s Only Time is Beachware’s debut album, although they released their first EP back in 2017. Since then they’ve gone through a few changes, but the core of the band remains: Rob Hartnett (vocs/guitar), Josh Nicholas (bass), James Mac (guitar/vocs) and Scotty Pearson (he of Elemeno P) on drums.

On the record two other musicians contribute…longtime keyboards player Alexandra Selkirk-Hanna and ex-Lexxa Julia Morris. But Alex is raising a family and pursuing her Masters and Julia is in London, so tonight Beachware is augmented by vocalist Cameo Velvet.

In true Kiwi fashion, the band is almost inconspicuous when they start their set, seeming to segue from the PA music to them playing the album’s opening track, Give It Up. As we’ll see, their exit is similar.

In between, we get a good taste of the album, which seems to be available in various configurations…the bandcamp version has a slightly different lineup to the vinyl version.

That’s OK, we get songs from both.

Where Could Our Love Go is a catchy single from the album, while the following Not Letting You Go is a bandcamp only entry.

I particularly enjoyed Strange Feeling, another track not on the record…some great dynamics there and a cool melody.

The highlight, though, was The Look & The Feel, thanks to the back and forth vocals between Rob and Cameo and James’ trumpet playing. I’m a sucker for a good blast of trumpet.

Cameo got her shot in the spotlight singing Fur Patrol’s Lydia and Scotty close the set with drums a-blazing on Rip City.

Then, instead of an encore, the sound man brought up the house music and the band disappeared. Fans seemed a bit stunned and some wandered out into the street.

But Beachware was not finished. The five musicians returned, the sound man doused the canned music and we heard one more tune…album closer All My Dreams…and then it was time to go.

It’s Only Time, the album, is indeed just released, so give it a spin, and keep an eye out for Haven.

Over and out!

Marty Duda

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Beachware setlist:
  1. Give It Up
  2. Where could Our Love Go?
  3. Not Letting You Go
  4. The Arcade
  5. Strange Feeling
  6. Talk About Trust
  7. The Look & The Feel
  8. Want Somebody
  9. Lydia
  10. Marimbas
  11. Rip City
  12. All My Dreams