Pretties grace Wanaka

Fly My Pretties 'ringmaster' Barnaby Weir, left, and one of huge cast of musicians involved in the project on stage in 2009.
Fly My Pretties 'ringmaster' Barnaby Weir, left, and one of huge cast of musicians involved in the project on stage in 2009.

Barnaby Weir is the creative powerhouse behind Fly My Pretties, the renowned live experience that has showcased many upcoming New Zealand talents before they became household names.

Blending sublime music with dramatic theatrics, this year's much-anticipated national tour, sponsored by, will include Wanaka for the first time.

Weir's day job is the singer and guitarist for The Black Seeds, and he's touring the United States at the moment. Before he left, Grant Bryant caught up with him to get the down low on this year's Fly My Pretties.

Firstly, are you looking forward to bringing Fly My Pretties to the deep south?

Wanaka - I always love turning the corner into your beautiful town! Lakeside with the Pretties will be awesome!

How would you describe Fly My Pretties to someone that hadn't heard about it?

FMP is a live musical showcase. We get a bunch of different artists from different musical backgrounds and make a show which we film and record live.

The line up and the main artistic themes change every time. We have made 4 albums since 2003. This project is always evolving so it's not really a band in the usual sense. FMP is an experience and an experiment.

How did the concept come about?

I wanted to do a musical showcase in a more theatrical way so I asked some of my friends from different bands if they'd be interested. I had a bunch of songs that weren't for the Black Seeds and needed an outlet.

That's how it began and when I purposed this to Mikee from Loop he agreed it would be fun and we went from there.

We hear it's a return to roots, reminiscent of earlier Fly My Pretties releases, what can we expect?

You can expect a return to the roots for sure but the show always evolves and I try not to put too many rules about what the show is until we jam together and check out the demos. We have a new line up and we have never done a big tour like this before to the far reaches of the country.

How do you choose the cast?

I just go to a lot of shows and meet people and then think about the cast like a list of ingredients for a magic meal!!

* Fly My Pretties will also play at the Queenstown Memorial Centre on September 29.

The Southland Times