Awards win catches performers unaware
Kicking off her shoes, Invercargill musician Liv McBride sat back and waited for someone else's name to be called.
McBride and her co-musician Graeme Woller were at the National Country Music Awards in Hamilton on Saturday where, as duo Into The East, they won New Zealand Country Group/Duo of the Year.
McBride said they did not have much faith they would win the award, being up against duos with international recognition.
Arriving late to the ceremony, they "sat at the back and I kicked my shoes off," she said.
Woller said they did not sit in their allocated seats. "They announced we won and this spotlight went on these two empty seats."
A quick dash from the back of the theatre, sans shoes for McBride, and the pair proudly claimed their award.
The pair are familiar with awards and nominations, including a Tui nomination for best folk album. But what got McBride so excited this time was their escape from the "folk box" that everyone put them in, she said.
They describe their sound as alternative, folk, country, and found it frustrating that they had to "tick one box", she said.
Woller said the award was not their only recognition on the night, as Twizel singer-songwriter Sarah Conlan took a major scholarship award.
"We actually produced her album," he said.
Conlan will go to Australia for a five-day "immersion retreat" and will rub shoulders with some of the country's top songwriters.
The Southland Times