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Sun Oct 9th, 2011

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Hailing from disparate realms of the musical universe, Lawrence Arabia and Mike Fabulous are two of New Zealand's young musical titans. In 2009, they became penpals, their first and only physical correspondence being two CDs of instrumental soul/funk/lounge/pop that Mike sent from Dunedin to Lawrence's mum's place in Christchurch.

To Lawrence they sounded like gems from a lost time. It was a shot at retrogressive authenticity and actual funkiness that I couldn't have dreamed of creating myself. He went into his childhood bedroom and composed lyrics and melodies over four of the instrumentals within about two hours of receiving the package, including one lyric about a paranoid visit to Christchurch's number one dining offer, Sequoia 88, which would eventually provide the album with its title.

The following day in Dunedin, Mike Fabulous received an email containing these early efforts. To Arabia's relief, Fabulous dug them. I had long been imagining a distinctive voice to sit on them and push them into different territories. I'm a firm believer that songs have their time and place to come into the world, and often some or many years will pass before their time arrives.

Over the following two years, interrupted by all manner of world tours, Fabulous and Arabia exchanged further ideas down the wires, and even met up once to record together. Mike made biryani.

Captured just before the onset of mid-life crisis, these two boy(-ish) wonders have created an album that will both amuse and distract you from the pain and suffering inherent in material existence. At times irreverent, at times deeply heartfelt, you will not fail to be touched by the themes and textures that run deep through this unique musical collaboration.

The live presentation of this unique collection of songs will be nothing short of spectacular, featuring a rare combination of heavyweights never before seen on stage at one time. Tom Watson (Cassette, Head Like A Hole) Toby Laing (Fat Freddy's Drop), Riki Gooch (Eru Dangerspiel, Trinity Roots) Hayden East (Panther and the Zoo) and of course Fabulous and Arabia, will nimbly recreate the magic with flawless three part harmonies, interjections of brass and smatterings of searing guitar, all underpinned by an elastic and funky rhythm section.

You've enjoyed barbeque reggae, now get ready for Fabulous/Arabia.

Unlimited Buffet, out Oct 3 on Economy Records/Rhythmethod.

Kings Arms
Sunday 9 October
Doors 8pm
Presales $15

Onstage 10.30pm sharp, after the rugby.

Tickets on sale from


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