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Hendrix returns to Tavern


Jimi Hendrix Project-7259-hires-610Four years ago The Hendrix Project performed at the Mangawhai Tavern to rave reviews. So after such an enthusiastic reception, why has it taken them so long to return?

“Touring, lineup changes, illnesses, a break with management – pretty much every excuse in the book!” confesses lead singer and guitarist Phil Roberts. 

The undertaking of the Jimi Hendrix mantle initially terrified Phil when the project was formed in late 2015. 

“I didn’t sleep much,” he explains. “It was a big deal to me to get it right or I’d ditch the whole thing. But after three months of rehearsal, much to my relief, things came together. It probably took another three months after that to settle in completely and actually enjoy what we were doing.”

Since 2015 the band have played shows and festivals up and down the country, most recently at the Reminisce Festival in Tauranga performing to around 5000 attendees. 

Almost 60 years have passed since Hendrix’s death but Phil says interest in his musical legacy shows no signs of abatement.

“Along the way we’ve seen Hendrix tattoos, Hendrix number plates, Hendrix lookalikes, they all come out of the woodwork for these gigs! Jimi’s memory and music is very much alive all over New Zealand,” enthuses Phil.

An important milestone was meeting American Hendrix impersonator Randy Hansen during the NZ leg of Hansen’s 2017 Hendrix Revolution tour.

“Randy’s bass player Ufo Walter saw one of our performances on YouTube and told us ‘you guys rock, we should meet in NZ’, so we did! It was very humbling. Randy is the only Hendrix impersonator endorsed by the Hendrix Estate, so you know he’s the real deal.”

Phil is joined by Paul Fisher on bass and NZ rock royalty Peter ‘Rooda’ Warren (ex-DD Smash, The Narcs, Graham Brazier Farewell) in what promises to be a suitably electrifying performance.

The Hendrix Project play The Mangawhai Tavern on Saturday April 20 at 9pm. Tickets $20 from iTicket.co.nz or phone 0508 484 253.

Lead singer and guitarist Phil Roberts says the Hendrix memory is alive and well across New Zealand. -PHOTO/Megan Moss Photography

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