Tipene fan club grows for final
As Palmerston North musician Benny Tipene prepares for the final push for glory on The X Factor, the venues where he honed his skills are rolling out the red carpet and getting ready to cheer him on.
Tipene will be back in Palmerston North tomorrow to visit friends and family, before performing at The Stomach in Lombard St from 1pm.
He will be accompanied at the venue by show mentor Ruby Frost and The X Factor host Dominic Bowden.
On Monday night Tipene was voted through to Sunday night's grand final where he will face off against Jackie Thomas and Whenua Patuwai.
The only way to get tickets for the Palmerston North show is to win them off More FM.
Tipene has performed multiple shows at The Stomach, and used its rehearsal spaces as a member of The Nerines.
The Stomach manager Craig Black said Tipene could easily fill bigger spaces, so it was a bit of a surprise to hear he was heading to the small community venue. "He has a definite tie to The Stomach, like many Palmerston North musicians do."
That tie to the venue helped him secure the venue for tomorrow, Mr Black said.
Two Palmerston North bars that supported Tipene's fledgling solo career are getting behind him for his finals performances on Sunday.
The Village Inn Kitchen in Albert St and The Celtic Inn, between Broadway Ave and King St, are throwing The X-Factor parties.
The show will be played live at both venues and other entertainment will be provided throughout the night.
Village Inn Kitchen owner Nigel Lynn said it had been great to see how Tipene had grown as an artist since he started playing covers at the bar about 18 months ago.
Scott McIntosh from The Celtic Inn said things had gone crazy since listing the bar's The X Factor event on social media.
"We just put it up on Facebook as a bit of a joke, then people started messaging . . . We started booking a few tables but had to stop, because we can't reserve the whole damn pub."
The bar would be running both the Sunday night live show and the decision show on Monday night.
Neither venue was charging an entry fee, as they wanted as many people as possible to support Tipene.