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Debbie Harwood to sing at great Napier gardens gig

Published: 6 January 2023

Last Updated: 16 January 2023

Debbie Harwood to perform at Botanic Beats

Debbie Harwood, Napier raised singer songwriter, who is performing in next month’s Botanic Beats.

Local music legend Debbie Harwood of When The Cat’s Away fame will perform at Botanic Beats.

The Napier born and raised singer, songwriter and music producer will share some of her favourite tunes at the great outdoors gig on 12 January at the Napier Botanical Gardens.

Opening the family friendly free event will be talented youthful singers Project Prima Volta (PPV).  The Academy Band will also take to the stage to perform some “big bangers” and classic ballads.

Botanic Beats has become a much loved and anticipated annual event since it was first held in 2016, says Kevin Murphy, Events Manager, Napier City Council. “Council has created this opportunity for musicians to perform live. The amount of appreciation the community show at each year’s event makes it all worthwhile.”

Debbie Harwood was a founding member of award-winning all-female group When The Cat’s Away, most famous for their number one charting cover of Melting Pot. She loves any music that moves her, she says, and performing in Hawke’s Bay just “feels like being at home”.

“I can’t perform without feeling a song, so what people will hear from me are songs for piano and voice that I absolutely adore. I want the audience to feel good and go away happier than when they came in the gate.”

The Academy Band’s drummer Rob Franks says be prepared for an “hour of power”. “We’ll do a mix of moden classics. Maybe some Katy Perry, a bit of Miley Cyrus and Pink, and some upbeat oldies from the likes of CCR and Dragon.”

The band members – Rob, Cam Burns, Daniel and Hayley Munro, and Henry Alexander, have performed together in various line-ups over the years. They also all teach at the Napier Music Academy, run by Rob.

PPV showcases teenagers with potential, helping them to develop their music skills and  performing experience, including working with Festival Opera. Fans of classical music may get a sneak peek of what is to come in 2023 production The Magic Flute.

Botanic Beats runs from 6pm to 8pm, 12 January. Bring your own picnic, or buy from the food trucks on site. More information will be shared closer to the time at Botanic Beats events page.

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