Wellington is a city that, among other things, is proof that size isn’t everything. Despite being a city of technically little more than 200,000 people (discounting the wider Wellington area), the place is packed with all sorts of cultural delights. With more cafes and bars per capita than New York, its small size emphasises the central role culture plays in the bustling hive. And part of that is reflected, as you’d expect, in the calibre of the acts that call Wellington home.
From black metal batterings to acoustic balladry, New Zealand’s capital has played host to a range of acts courting both global success and local prestige. To help you get started in your own journey into the city’s music, we’ve asked five of our favourite Welly acts to recommend us their own suggestions for local acts to check out. You can thank us later.
Fruit Juice Parade
Recommended by: Same Name Confusion vocalist/guitarist, Luke Courtney
Andrej and I kind of stumbled upon Fruit Juice Parade at Newtown Festival a couple of Sundays ago - apparently they were a Palmerston North band but now they're a Wellington band?? They're just a two-piece, which is cool by itself, but it was the way they effortlessly produced this really well defined but also super unique and engaging sound that hooked us. There was a song where the drummer picked up a melodica and I was thinking: this is just silly. And 99/100 times it surely would be, but then it wasn't silly at all. It suited their style to a tee. "I've been living in a rice cooker" was a stand-out lyric too. They seem very confident in the music they're making, which is inspiring.
Recommended by: Miss Cressida
An act that comes to mind is Nation, which is a soul/funk/pop band that have been playing phenomenal shows around Wellington since 2016. Their sound is strongly reminiscent of well known classic NZ artists such as Kora, Katchafire and House of Shem. However, they blend this nostalgic Kiwi sound superbly with their own individual influences, creating an insanely unique experience.
If you're looking for a groovy, poppy, talented, unique, high energy and NZ authentic sound, we would absolutely check out Nation.
Hans Puket (plus Same Name Confusion)
Recommended by: Stink
We are loving the Wellington Music Scene at the moment, it's too much fun and feels like a bunch of buds going at it. We are really liking Same Name Confusion, their live shows are insane and their debut EP is such a treat. We’re also loving Hans Puket!
Recommended by: O-Boy!
Our favourite local band is for sure Earth Tongue. They just play that two-piece, big riff, hot shit that we love. They’ve been super influential for us over the years so now it’s cool to be in the same city as them! Earth Tongue rocks, they’re the tits.
Womb (and Hans Puket)
Recommended by: Mermaidens drummer Abe Hollingsworth
It’s hard to choose my favourite band in Wellington because we have such a diverse music scene! My favourites have to be Hans Pucket and Womb. Both of these bands are really great friends of ours (PS everyone knows everyone here) and they are so great to listen to for very different moods. Hans Pucket is an amazing pop rock band, but with an honesty and sincerity in their lyrics that make them danceable and also thinkable. I think they are best described as 'Modern Kiwi Classics'. Also the guitarist and bassist are identical twins! Womb are three siblings who make ethereal dreamy music. Char Forrester has the most beautiful powerful voice. Char and Hazzy are twins too!!