With an ease of lyric and warmth of vocal delivery, effortlessly good enough to remind you of your own favourite male acoustic guitar-wielding singer-songwriter (be that Jack Johnson, Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, Mitch James, Ryan Adams even…), Dan Sharp really ought to be a Kiwi household name already. By the time he completes his upcoming round-the-country Water Went Away tour, which will run up and down from mid-April through until the end of May, he most likely will be. Tickets are available here.
Touring Aotearoa to promote his consistently fine new 5-song EP ‘Water Went Away’ EP, Dan will play 19-dates in a variety of up-close and personal venues. Never veering too far from the seashore (well, you can’t really, can you?) the tour also takes in some classic Kiwi freshwater spots less known as being live music hotspots, intimate venues like Okere Falls Store and Taupo’s Two Mile Bay Sailing Club.
NZM challenged Dan to link his new EP’s five songs to his tour itinerary – and he quickly proved his Kiwi travelling man bona fides. Bearing in mind that some of the shows are free entry, you can find out more and should book tickets at dansharpmusic.com
This track to me is about days gone by and things having changed. That, for me, is the Coromandel. I grew up here. The fundamentals of who I am as a person and as a musician are all founded here. I forget how much I love the place until I go back and realise I have been away too long. My first ever ‘gig’ was in Thames, covering for my guitar teacher’s Sunday afternoon restaurant gig. I started out with a $25 unbranded microphone from Cash Converters and got paid about $50 for 3 hours. My mic would hiss the whole time and I sounded terrible. Four gigs later, I had enough money for my first Shure SM58, which I still have, and use from time to time. Things have certainly changed!
Cafe Melbourne, Thames – Thurs April 15
Lukes Kitchen, Kuautunu – Fri April 16
The Theatre, Waihi – Thurs April 22
I love the South Island. I would drive from my hometown of Thames to Dunedin and back every year when I studied down there and always made a point of seeing and doing something new. I began really writing songs while living down south. I found love there, met my best mates etc. It was an amazing time in my life and I am super grateful for it.
When I go back to those places that hold such strong and special memories, I definitely get the sense that the place will never quite be what it was. The buildings have different people in them, the flat names have changes, bars have closed their doors. It’s a natural part of life and moving on. Louisiana is about realising that you won’t go back to a place that you once loved, because it doesn’t have the same things that made you love it in the first place. Therefore this song has to be dedicated to the beautiful city that is Dunedin.
Le Cafe, Picton – Thurs May 6
Wunderbar, Lyttleton – Fri May 7
The Perc Club, Dunedin – Sat May 8
Southland Musicians Club, Invercargill – Sun May 9
Bay of Plenty – without a doubt! I have lived here properly for the past 18 months, after being overseas and having Covid changing my plans to return to the UK. In my time here I have had amazing opportunities as an artist. I met my manager, signed to a record label, played some of the best gigs of my life and built my studio. I love it here. The ‘relaxed-but-still-effective’ kind of work/life balance suits me. Brighter Skies. I could see myself here in the future, running my studio, writing, recording, playing shows and mentoring young artists. That would be a beautiful life in the best Bay, for sure. One day…
Okere Falls Store, Lake Rotoiti – Sun April 18
Night Market, Rotorua – Thurs April 29
Mata Brewery, Whakatane – Sat May 15
Totara St, Mt Maunganui – Fri May 28
Little Fires is an appreciation of beautiful/special relationships, so I’m going to say the two places I have had my favourite musical memories. Hawkes Bay and Wellington. In Wellington, I got to work with Thomas Oliver, who was a bit of an idol of mine, and is now a great mate! That is where my recorded music really started to take shape and opportunities started to come my way. We worked again together overseas and then back in his studio in the Hawkes Bay. Some of my best experiences have been in these studios, playing with amazing musicians.
I got to open for Thomas at Toi Toi in Hastings and for Dave Dobbyn at Black Barn this summer, which were two of the most enjoyable crowds I’ve been in front of. I have no doubt that many more awesome memories will be made and the Wellington show of this tour is the one I think I am looking forward to the most.
Tsunami Sound Studios, Levin – Fri April 23
Raumati Social Club, Raumati – Sat May 1
Poquito Cafe & Bar, Wellington – Wed May 5
Common Room, Hastings – Mon May 13
This song for me… is actually overseas! I have worked in the NZ music industry for a few years now, playing shows, learning the ropes, improving my craft. I definitely feel like I can hold my own in writing rooms anywhere, and I have been overseas and co-written songs around London, Ireland, parts of Europe etc.
I love it and I find that to be one of the most exciting times I’ve had in my life. Therefore, despite not being able to play any shows overseas for a while (look out trans-Tasman bubble!), By Your Hand is here dedicated to when I can get back overseas and connect – and the three remaining show venues not accounted for…
The Yot Club, Raglan – Sun April 25
Smash Palace, Gisborne – Fri May 14
Sweat Shop, Auckland – Thurs May 20