Singer gets to meet her pop idol
Singer Samantha Toner-Green will get a late birthday present when she performs on the same bill as her childhood idol at the Mission Concert.
The ‘British and Irish Invasion' themed lineup includes Billy Ocean, Ronan Keating, Leo Sayer, Mel C and Sharon Corr.
Samantha and mum Celine Toner will also perform at the concert on February 15, four days after Samantha's 24th birthday. Samantha is most excited to meet Mel C, aka Sporty Spice.
She sang Spice Girls songs into a hairbrush as a child. "I think everyone who grew up in the 90s did that."
The acts all have their own dressing rooms but get to mix and mingle backstage.
Both Samantha and Celine have performed at the concert before, but never together. Celine opened for Kenny Rogers in 1997 and Samantha performed in 2011 and 2012 ahead of Rod Stewart and Sting.
The concert is held in the Mission Estate Winery in Hawkes Bay.
Samantha says performing there gives her the biggest adrenaline rush ever.
"You come off and feel like you can conquer the world. I love it, I really do."
The pair have faced a tough couple of months after their concerts in China were cancelled when Samantha started having seizures on the flight over.
The plane was diverted and she spent five nights in hospital in Australia.
Under the name Mo Ghra, the pair had just released an album Alba To Aotearoa, a mix of classic Celtic and New Zealand songs, to celebrate their Kiwi and Scottish heritage.
They were about to embark on their first New Zealand tour, but were forced to cancel due to Samantha's health.
But the duo are looking forward to the Mission Concert and rescheduling their New Zealand tour and trip to China.
North Shore Times