Bic Runga excited about playing for home crowds

JESS MCALLEN
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2014
Bic Runga
DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
COMING OUT TO PLAY: Bic Runga

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It has been three years since Bic Runga sang to a New Zealand audience.

In the meantime, she has jammed with former Mint Chicks frontman Kody Nielson (forming Opossum), had another baby and toured Britain.

And she will perform for her Kiwi fans in September alongside Neil Finn on the Dizzy Heights tour.

While Runga enjoyed the buzz of performing overseas, she is looking forward to playing to home crowds.

"It feels a bit more like a holiday in a way," she said. "Going out to these smaller towns - it's just more relaxing."

Runga's first single, Drive, was released in 1997, and New Zealand music had changed dramatically since then, she said.

"It's never been so vibrant," she said.

"It's very international and I don't think anyone feels like we're handicapped by being in New Zealand any more."

However, her sound had remained the same.

"I've always skirted around what's in fashion and it was always just about songwriting," she said.

"In hindsight, that wasn't a bad thing to do.

"It's hard to trace fashion in music. Even now, when I'm going to write again, I'm just concerned with writing watertight songs."

Runga is working on a fifth album and hopes to test the songs on the road.

The themes will be the same.

"My songs are either about partying, love or breakups. It's really one of those three things," she said.

These will be her first New Zealand shows since 2011's The Acoustic Church Tour, and Runga is excited about hanging out with the Finns.

"They've always been pretty good to me, inspired me and helped me. I just really rate them," she said.

What: Dizzy Heights New Zealand Tour

Who: Neil Finn with guest Bic Runga

Thursday, September 18: Municipal Theatre, Napier.

Friday, September 19: Opera House, Wellington.

Saturday, September 20: Power Station, Auckland.

Friday, September 26: Regent Theatre, Dunedin.

Saturday, September 27: CBS Canterbury Arena, Christchurch.

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