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Spotlight: Hahko Presents A Night With Ha The Unclear

Spotlight: Hahko Presents A Night With Ha The Unclear

Hahko / Ha The Unclear / C.C. / Hahko photo credit: Benji Taylor at Poynton Studios / Wednesday 25th May, 2022 12:58PM

Tāmaki-based podcaster and electronic producer Hahko aka Isaac McFarlane is presenting a two show follow-up to his sold-out recent A Night With . . series, this time starring eminently catchy guitar-slingers Ha The Unclear. Happening this Thursday 26th May at Whammy Bar and on 2nd June at Ōtepoti's ADJØ, each event will feature an intimate performance and conversation with Ha The Unclear, including audience Q&A sessions. As a snappy primer for the coming week's mini-tour of Aotearoa, Hahko invited lead singer Michael Cathro to share a formative musical memory...

Ha The Unclear Musical Memory — 'Don’t Cry Joni' by Conway Twitty

“When I was at primary school I used to pull sickies so I could stay home and transcribe lyrics from Beatles cassettes, playing and pausing and trying to hear the words. I think it was like a categorisation kind of thing I was into and the first CD I owned of my own was The Fugees. But the earliest song I remember having a strong affect on me is a song by the country singer Conway Twitty called 'Don’t Cry Joni'. It’s this (retrospectively terrible) duet from the '70s where the singers alternate verses in the form of letters they are sending back and forth — Joni falls in love with this older boy Jimmy, and is asking him to wait for her. But long story short, Jimmy moves away and can’t stop thinking about Joni. The big plot twist is that he returns to Joni only to find she has married his best friend John. I must have been about 8 years old and I was distraught about it. I remember feeling this really deep sadness about it and I would ask my Dad to play it over and over. It was really an early introduction to what a song can achieve through story, the emotional clout it can carry. I encourage you not to listen to the song though, it's a clanger.” — Michael Cathro, Ha The Unclear.

Instead you should stream the latest Ha The Unclear single ‘Mannequins’ and come along to A Night With Ha The Unclear, tickets from UTR...

A Night With Ha The Unclear
Thursday 26th May - Whammy Bar, Auckland
Thursday 2nd June - ADJØ, Dunedin [sold out]

Tickets available HERE via UTR

'A Night With . .' raison d’etre

The through-line in my work for the last few years seems to be my attempt to highlight the voices and ideas of musicians in a way I think they are traditionally limited.

In a culture where the tools for making music have been democratised and simplified, I believe that the intention behind music has become far more interesting than the ability to execute the music creation itself.

When we lurched back into the Red Alert setting I was acutely aware of the crisis music venues would face. I believe the importance of physical spaces for music is not only the performances, but also allowing musicians to mix, mingle and interact. Things that are integral to any kind of cultural scene growing sustainably.

In an effort to help keep people continuing through the doors of Whammy Bar I combined my existing love of music and conversations and developed the idea of ‘A Night with . . ‘ as not only an exciting enjoyable event but one that works extremely well in the intimate seated and socially distanced setting we are existing within.

‘A Night with . . ‘ is the kind of show I’ve always wanted to see. A combination of live music, alternate versions, interviews and insights that allows a multi-dimensional view of some of NZ’s best music, and for the artists behind it to speak to their experiences on the other end.

Ultimately, I am a giant music fan and that is the energy I bring to everything I do, from the podcast to the Mt Noise community to these new events. I also understand how valuable it can be to allow musicians the time and space to articulate themselves beyond the tiny boxes they are usually kept in.


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A Night With Ha The Unclear (Akl)
Thu 26th May 7:30pm
Whammy Bar, Auckland
A Night With Ha The Unclear
Thu 2nd Jun 6:00pm
ADJØ, Dunedin