She's due - on stage and at maternity ward

19:20, May 22 2014
anna van riel
OH BABY: Lake Hawea musician Anna van Riel in Invercargill ahead of the New Zealand Country Music awards in Gore tonight.

When it comes to excuses for not being somewhere, musician Anna van Riel has a really, really good one.

She's 12 days overdue with her second child and is nominated for a Tui, so she's either going to be having a baby, or have just had a baby, or be still waiting for said baby to arrive while the awards are gong on. Talk about timing.

Van Riel has garnered a New Zealand Country Music Album of the Year nomination for, Whistle and Hum, which will be announced at the New Zealand Country Music Awards in Gore tonight.

Scheduled to perform at the ceremony as well, she had planned to attend the awards babe-in-arms but now will either be sitting and waiting, or very, very busy indeed.

And this is where a life lesson comes into the story - kids, it pays to have fabulous friends. Because van Riel's good pals, successful Southland musicians and fellow Tui award nominees Into The East are stepping in. "When I entered, my baby was due on the 10th," van Riel said. "And I had a feeling I'd go early, so I thought I'd have a 2- or 3-week-old baby at the awards."

"Luckily, Liv [McBride] and Graeme [Woller] have agreed to perform for me."

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McBride said it was a "no-brainer". "Anna is a very good friend ... we wanted to go out and support her performance - I just thought I'd be holding the baby," she said. "We've always got each other's back."

Van Riel and Into The East have been moving in the same circles and towards the same goals since music school, so it was lovely to be able to celebrate each other's successes, van Riel said. Both Into The East and van Riel were among those nominated for a 2014 Taite Music Prize.

"It's cool to be from the deep south and so many of us getting acknowledged."

Into the East were nominated earlier this year for a 2014 Tui for Best Folk Album.

The Southland Times