KToo House Concert • Sunday 6 May, 2pm

“Ktoo” are Kevin McLoughlin and Kevin Ikin, two folk veterans who hail from Dunedin and first played together at The New Edinburgh Folk Club in the early 1980s. They both played (at different times) in “The Pioneer Pog ‘n’ Scroggin Bush Band” and are currently part of Wellington ceilidh band “The Jimmies”.

KToo - small copy

Both Kevs have family links to the South Island’s West Coast and this has stimulated their new collaboration: to gather and record a collection of songs and tunes about the Coast. Ktoo’s CD, “Land of the West”, was released in December, 2017.

They have unearthed tall and true tales from many sources, reflecting the unique character of the region and its people – stories from the goldfields, coal mines, towns and landscape of the Wild West, not forgetting the weather! They include songs from the colonial balladeer Charles Thatcher, Phil Garland, Willow Macky, Alwyn Owen and poems from Dave Ogle and the former West Coast MP, Paddy Blanchfield that they have set to music

There are original songs and tunes as well, rounding out a fascinating and highly entertaining collection ranging from the serious to the silly.

Instrumentally, Ktoo is as diverse as its material. The duo accompanies its songs on guitars, tenor banjo, mandolin, ukulele, bass, bouzouki, harmonicas and percussion.

Bookings are essential – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.


Mandy Connell and Girl Friday House Concert • Saturday 14 April, 2pm

Mandy Connell and Girl Friday visit New Zealand in April 2018, and will play a MusicHaven house concert this Saturday, 14 April, from 2pm. Award winning songwriters, and well loved in Victoria and Australia, they head to New Zealand to make new friends and see new horizons.

GirlFriday MandyConnell

Mandy Connell has a striking voice and an immense command of her space. A strong story teller, Connell is completely spellbinding, leaving no doubts as to her skills with words, and with her handmade guitars The front woman for Stray Hens, and host of a video series featuring chat and duets, “An Otherwise Quiet Room”, she offers us a full set of her own work.

Girl Friday (Tracey Hogue) with her folk, jazz and blues sensibilities evokes a sense of nostalgia, innocence and melancholy. Her rich, soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics remind us that people have felt and sung about the same things forever and a day. Girl Friday’s arrangements mark her out as a talented writer on ukulele and guitar, and it’s her evocative, tender style that has us in the palm of her gently strumming hand.

Bookings are essential – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486. Admission is $15 and a small plate or bottle for afternoon tea. 

MandyConnell NFF

Mandy Connell singing at the National Festival in Canberra.

Gary Elford House Concert • Saturday 3 March, 2pm


Gary Elford will do a house concert at MusicHaven, 17 Waldegrave Street, Palmerston North, at 2pm on Saturday 3 March.

Gary is a poet, dance caller and entertainer based in Christchurch.  His shows can present a range of poetry, dance, acoustic music, rock and roll and country rock music.  His poetry is mainly in the form of bush ballads.

Admission $10 and a small plate or bottle for afternoon tea.

Bookings are essential – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.

Two concerts in January • Alan Reid, Sunday 14th • Pete Grassby, Wednesday 17th

Alan Reid • Sunday 14 January • 2pm

Admission $20 and a small plate or bottle for afternoon tea.

25994847_10210071139607411_6130073459068901028_nAlan Reid is a gifted singer, songwriter and musician, best known for his time at the helm of Scotland’s Battlefield Band, who have been pre-eminent in Scottish traditional music for over forty years. Alan spent several decades as with the group, as they toured worldwide to an ever increasing audience. His songs and keyboard playing were a major feature of their repertoire during this period.

Since retiring from the band in 2010, Alan has been performing in a duo with Dutch guitarist and singer Rob Van Sante and also as a solo artist.

Alan and Rob played Musichaven back in 2011 and we are delighted that Alan the soloist will make this return visit singing some of his popular songs.

Bookings are essential – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486. Remember to also bring extra cash to buy CDs.


Pete Grassby • Wednesday 17 January • 7.30pm

Admission $15 and a small plate for supper.


Pete will sing some songs, play some tunes, and possibly call a dance on the back lawn (depending on the weather and the audience).

He is a native of Coventry, England and has been singing and performing since the age of four.  On leaving school he started a folk group in which he was lead singer and composed many of their songs and tunes. In the seventies he started playing with the Sherbourne Ceilidh Band, first on bass guitar and later on melodeon, and began calling dances. Currently sings/plays in his band called the Aardvarks.

Over the years he has become increasingly interested in  learning, playing and teaching a wide variety of dances from both the English  tradition and further afield. He travels extensively as a Morris dancer with Coventry Morris Men and for his job as “The Melodeon Repairer”, which brings him into contact with many dance groups from whom he continues to expand his repertoire. He has won a number of singing awards, including the coveted Sidmouth Singer competition.

Bookings are essential – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.


Robin Laing House Concert • Tuesday 17 October, 8pm

Robin Laing will be playing a house concert at our place on Tuesday 17 October at 8pm.

Robin is recognised as one of the most brilliant singer / songwriters from Scotland and has been a full-time musician since 1996, when he “downshifted” from a professional career. He writes wonderfully sensitive songs about friends and family, fantastic story songs about characters from Scotland’s history and also excruciatingly funny songs too.

RobinLaing CD

He has released many successful solo albums to date, the last few being songs and stories about his other passion – malt whisky! In this regard he has another string to his bow and regularly chairs whisky tasting panels for the Scottish Malt Whisky Society in Edinburgh – what a terrible job, but someone has to do it! This combined with his songs about the drams of Caledonia has made him very much in demand around Europe and Scandinavia with his unique musical whisky tastings.

Admission price for this concert is $20 and a small plate or liquid contribution for supper.  Make sure you bring cash as you will be tempted by his CDs.

Bookings are essential – email ruthlbirnie@gmail.com or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.

Kieran Halpin House Concert • Saturday 23 September, 3pm

Kieran HalpinKieran Halpin will be playing our next house concert tomorrow – Election Day.  Don’t worry about missing the results, the concert is at 3pm.  Cost is $20 and a small plate or beverage contribution to afternoon tea.

This will be a unique opportunity to hear a world class writer and performer in the intimate setting of Musichaven.

About Kieran
To date Halpin has released 22 CD’s, and 3 songbooks with 137 published in all 3!! It is a remarkable achievement for any artist to be so prolific and still maintain such high standards. If the measure of a songwriter is the number of artists singing their songs – then Kieran Halpin must be considered a great modern writer of songs. There can be few writers on the acoustic/folk scene in Europe today who have had more songs covered. Often the songs are better known than the writer himself!

Halpin’s songs cover every conceivable subject from love, loss and celebration, to the more global concerns that face all of us today and is often described as a modern protest song writer. He is never afraid to tackle topics that will provoke opinion and debate. His performances are at once powerful and passionate, intimate and intense. His songs in concert are underscored by an incisive wit in his introductions which helps an audience understand where the song comes from and hint at where it might be going.

2017 sees the release of Halpin’s latest CD – Doll. It contains 11 new songs and was recorded and produced by legendary German producer Manfred Leuchter.

Bookings are essential for this concert – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.

$20 cash at the door.

WilkieMac House Concert • Sunday 10 September, 3pm



WilkieMac, Lynne Wilkins and Michael Mackinnon, explore acoustic musical styles: from contemporary songs by a range of local and overseas writers, through to Wilkins’ own compositions; and from traditional folk songs and ballads through to their “folk-ised” take on classic popular songs. they are based in the coastal community of Raglan, a creative community and surfing town located on the west coast of the North Island, but settle in for a trip around the world, an exploration of matters of the heart, a journey through time, and a study of lighter subjects… brought to you through a soundscape of guitars, wind instruments, and blended vocals.

Bookings are essential for this concert – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.

$10 cash at the door.

Matt Ryan House Concert • Saturday 5 August, 3pm.


Scottish born singer and guitarist, Matt Ryan, plays mainly covers of social commentary. His repertoire ranges from contemporary ballads to new wave country influenced songs by the like of Guy Clarke and John Prine (Bob Dylan’s favourite song writer).

Bookings are essential for this concert – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.

$10 cash at the door.

Chris Penman – House Concert, 23 July, 3pm

Unaccompanied songs drawn from struggles, love, hope and victory.


Chris Penman has been singing since birth and hasn’t stopped! Her family has been associated with traditional Scottish music both in New Zealand and Scotland through the tremendous singing of her father Jack and his sister Eileen back in Edinburgh. Since emigrating to New Zealand in her childhood, Chris has forged a very successful life in the folkscene and beyond – appearing at all the major folk festivals and captivating audiences with her strong, clear vocals and emotive delivery, along with a sometimes hilarious stage presence.

Chris has enjoyed being in many bands over the years and has toured nationally with the “Warratahs as their support act for their final tour.  She loves all music and styles – evident in her repertoire. This tour sees her revert to her first love – unaccompanied traditional and contemporary songs drawn from struggles, love, hope, victory – linking the past to the present, whilst saluting the rock from which she was hewn. 

Bookings are essential for this concert – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.

$10 cash at the door.

Helen Capes – The Hexhamshire Lass – House Concert, 18 June, 3pm

The Hexhamshire Lass.JPG2Singer and Northumbrian piper, Helen Capes has a unique sound and repertoire.

Helen grew up in Hexhamshire, in Northumberland. She emigrated to New Zealand 20 years ago and took her musical heritage with her. She has been enthusiastically sharing it ever since and has performed at festivals in New Zealand, Australia and Britain. As she travels, she gathers influences from the new environments and incorparates them into her performances.Helen Capes-The Hexhamshire Lass

Helen sings, recites, and plays the Northumbrian Smallpipes with an infectious humour. Her songs range from very ancient to new and touch on all the human emotions: cry about loss, laugh about love, suffer with those who struggle, celebrate with those who triumph. The tunes will make you want to dance, tap your feet, smile or remember special moments.

Be taken on a musical journey.

Bookings are essential for this concert – email ruth@musichaven.co.nz or contact Ruth on 027 451 5486.

$10 cash at the door.