Sunday, November 4, 2012

Showband!: Mahora and the Maori Volcanics by Mahora Peters and James George.

Showband!: Mahora and the Maori Volcanics by Mahora Peters and James George.  Hardcover book with pictorial boards (no dust jacket) published by Huia Publishers 2005, 242 pages with black and white photographs also contains a CD of the Maori Volcanics.

“If you like your Mãori culture served in a cocktail glass then Showband! is the book for you! Recollections of white mink coats, sequined gowns and glamorous resorts contrast with personal sacrifices and dingy venues. Travelling to the four corners of the world, Mahora and the Maori Volcanics wowed audiences with their unique blend of popular music and cultural performance. A compelling personal story, a wonderful collection of photos and a bonus CD: Showband! is sure to be a big hit!”

I got very excited when I found this book.  I had never seen a copy before i stumbled upon this one, but I had read about it… somewhere, sometime ago, so I knew it existed and recognised it as soon as I saw it.  What was really surprising was the great condition of the CD, which is always a definite bonus… where a bonus CD, now secondhand, is concerned.   

Maori culture and history have a fair amount of interest here in Australia, probably due to the large number of New Zealanders, both Maori and Pākehā, living here temporarily and permanently.  My slight interest in this subject comes from a record purchase a number of years ago of one such Maori Showband (I bought the record after reading about this book).  It had some killer tunes that varied from the saccharine schmaltzy end of the spectrum to the heavy funk that we all hope to discover by accident on these sort of records.  For some reason I think the record may even have been by the Volcanics… but I can’t remember exactly.  So when I found this book with bonus CD, I was pleased that I would be able to relive that wonderful moment when I found those funky tunes, as the record has long been sold for big $$$.  Unfortunately this was not to be.  The CD is definitely on the schmaltzier side and is sorely lacking in the heavy funk that I was eagerly awaiting.

Not to worry though, it’s got lots of great photographs and history and even though the CD isn’t to my own personal taste, the fact that this book exists is evidence enough that there are plenty of people out there for whom Maori Showbands are very tasty.  From what I gather from my quick browsing, these bands played and were popular all over the world for a long period of time.  I personally have never seen a Maori Showband and to be honest I’m not in a big hurry to see one now.  But it’s still a nice find and I’m sure someone out there either Maori or Pākehā, would love to purchase a lovely book like this one..

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