Winery Tour 2017 – Villa Maria Winery February 19, 2017


The 2017 Winery Tour wrapped up its 10th season with a show at Villa Maria Winery. The weather was perfect, the crowd well-behaved and the music was…well, it was OK.

I’m afraid I have to say that this year’s line-up for the Winery Tour was a bit underwhelming. Headliner Brooke Fraser makes a pleasant brand of easy-listening pop, but nothing that I would go out of my way to hear.

The same can be said for newcomer Benny Tipene.

Bic Runga, on the other hand, I have plenty of time for. Unfortunately she was second on the bill and only performed for about 45 minutes.

Making up for the lack of stimulating music was the vibe. The sun was out, the grass was green and there was no threat of rain…perfect for sitting outside, enjoying a glass of wine and listening music.

There’s not much I can say about either Benny Tipene or Brooke Fraser. It’s clear that they have their fans…although it looked to me as though the turnout was lower than most years.

Both artists make pleasant music that never really packs an emotional punch. For me, Brooke was at her best when covering Paul Simon’s The Sound Of Silence. Both Benny and Bic were brought out at the end of Brooke’s set for a singalong of Better Be Home Soon.

As for Bic, one has to wonder how serious she is about continuing to move forward with her musical career. Perhaps she is happy to concentrate on her family life and record and perform when she feels like it.

Her latest album, Close Your Eyes, is made up of two originals and the rest covers. She didn’t perform anything from 2011’s Belle album. The songs she did performed proved what a wonderful songwriter she is.

I don’t know if its lack of confidence or lack of interest, but it seems like Bic Runga is underselling herself. She should have been headlining this tour.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Michael Flynn:

Brooke Fraser:

Bic Runga:

Benny Tipene:

More Photos:

Bic Runga set list:

  1. Winning Arrow
  2. Get Some Sleep
  3. Something Good
  4. Close Your Eyes
  5. Precious Things
  6. Listening For The Weather
  7. What’cha Say
  8. Things Behind The Sun
  9. Dream A Dream
  10. Sway
  11. Drive

Brooke Fraser set list:

  1. Better
  2. Deciphering Me
  3. Betty
  4. Coachella
  5. Magical Machine
  6. Je Suis Pret
  7. Albertine
  8. Sailboats
  9. The Sound Of Silence
  10. Kings & Queens
  11. Thunder
  12. Therapy
  13. Shadowfeet
  14. Something In The Water
  15. S. Lewis Song
  16. Better Be Home Soon
  17. Arithmetic