A Kiwi singer-songwriter and producer who spent 40 years at the heart of the Aussie music scene and now has a studio in Paparoa will be performing at the Leigh Sawmill later this month.
Brian Baker has collaborated with countless well-known bands and musicians over the years, including The Angels and Eddie Rayner of Split Enz, but moved back to NZ two years ago to be closer to his family.
As well as setting up a professional production studio, The Bakery, he has written and released a new solo EP called Open Up Your Heart and is getting back into performing live.
“I got to New Zealand in December, 2020 and had to go into MIQ for two weeks. I came out on January 1, 2021,” he says. “I moved to a beautiful 10-acre permaculture block in Paparoa and set up a studio where I’m a producer, engineer and session player.”
Baker is passionate about helping other musicians to make the best possible music.
“Apart from writing and performing, that’s my forte – I can help people,” he says. “Song writing is a really big deal for me, I work so hard at it, and it’s very dear to my heart when people come in and I can help them.”
However, he’s also looking forward to getting back on stage and performing in front of an audience.
“The next stage is to really get out and play live. I’m the same as all other musos – we’ve all been sitting on our hands for so long.”
Baker is particularly looking forward to getting on the Leigh Sawmill stage, a venue he’s long wanted to play.
“I’m very happy to be able to play my music here – finally! I haven’t played there before, but when I was living in Australia I’d come back and see my Dad in Whangaparaoa and every time we’d head up north and one of the first stops would always be the Sawmill Café at Leigh.
“I’ve been there many times over the years with my family – my Dad, my brother and kids – so I feel like I have a real affinity for the place.”
Baker sings, plays guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums and percussion, with a musical style described as “indie blues/rock music with heart, melody and chops”. However, the Leigh show will be largely laptop-based, with the computer supplying specially recorded backing tracks over which Brian delivers vocals and electric guitar.
Supporting him will be electro-pop performer coda muso and singer-guitarist Street Georges.
The show takes place on Saturday, August 27 from 8pm. Tickets cost $25 and are available from www.undertheradar.co.nz