After nearly 2 years, Stretch returns to the stage this September, playing two beautiful venues in Hawke's Bay. Joined by the incredible sound of Paula Sugden on cello, with Arahi Whaanga and Cam Burns lending their exceptional talents, these will be nights filled with a special level of anticipation.
After releasing the album 'Our Dreams are Changing' in the tumultuous year of 2020, the response was...interesting. 'Because of pretty unique timing, I was one of the only musicians in the country releasing a new album that year! But it was still a struggle to get any attention from the industry. It was hard listening to RNZ play reruns of recorded performances when I was sending out a new album, requesting a slot for this new music and getting ghosted on that’.
Meanwhile, those reviewers that would pay attention were full of praise:
‘... raw beauty with the panoramic sweep of the opening track Last Call For The Road
shimmering and glistening with bittersweetness, 5/5’ Mike Alexander
‘A hugely accomplished suite…4.5/5 - Rob Harbers
‘Intense and soul driven, these are songs that reverberate in the chest and
wrap themselves around the heart’ - Rosheen Fitzgerald
And the audiences who saw Stretch with Paula and Arahi on the tour for that album were treated to one of the best live performers in the country playing his heart out. ‘Well the shows felt amazing, the audiences were totally into it every night and the sound created with Paula and Arahi was so different.
It just didn’t fit the boxes for magazine articles.
Stretch’s return to the stage follows a phase of re-assessing whether it’s really worth doing the thing you love. The answer came from the outside rather than within. ‘What I needed to do was a lot of stuff that had nothing to do with me actually, it was all about looking after other people! A new family and working at a Primary School has put a lot of the ‘stuff’ around the arts and music into perspective.
What isn’t important is being part of a select little scene’.
Reunited with Paula Sugden on cello and the energy they create, means these shows are going to be full of electricity. From dark-hearted ballads to roof-raising choruses, Stretch has a passion that sets shows alight. Unforgettable performances opening for the likes of Damien Rice, Jeff Tweedy, Angus & Julia Stone and Elton John are testament to this sound and talent.