Events at The Free House

All Free House events start at 8pm unless stated otherwise.


SUN Nov 2 JAZZING IT UP - LIVE - Sizzling jazz music will accompany poems about love and loss, joys and sorrows, work, politics, honour and betrayal, youth and old age among other hot topics. Keyboard virtuoso Gabor Tolnay and saxophone wizard Simon Williams will improvise on stage responding to the words of Nelson poet Panni Palasti. Shane Clayton of Soundpit will record the hour for a new CD to be published soon. 5pm, $5 with drink purchase.



In a nutshell, a group of musicians (instrumentalists and singers) will get together in the Yurt to play music together. This is where everyone plays along, some will do lead breaks on their instruments and others will sing harmonies against the melody. You need to be a fairly competent musician to join a jam session but remember, if you don’t feel your musical skill base is up to this, every jam session needs singers and most musicians love to have an audience. Just come along and listen in and join the fun. Anyone is welcome - if in doubt about your ability to join in - just bring your instrument and listen for a song or two to decide. It is all aimed at fun with music. More info from Anna Heinz on 546 7262.
7.30-10pm, free entry with drink purchase.



Author of ‘When Happiness is not Enough’ and ‘The Power of the Second Question’
Chris is a well-known presenter and clinical psychologist from Dunedin, who has recently returned from a 3 month trip to the UK promoting his latest personal development book The Power of the Second Question. This popular book invites the reader to value the importance of structured self-reflection in their lives. His previous book, When Happiness is not Enough- Balancing Pleasure and Achievement in your Life, was extremely well-received and Chris has presented workshops on lifestyle balance across Australia and NZ. He has presented twice before in Nelson during 2012. Entertaining and thought-provoking, both books provide a great opportunity to reflect on what is important in our lives. Chris’s relaxed and easy-going style makes for a great evening out. Bring a friend who needs some direction in their lives…and wants a good night out! Both books will be available for purchase at author’s discounted price.
7.30pm Free Admission with purchase of a drink



- a world-touring circus sideshow who specialise in acts of the beautiful and bizarre. They fuse vintage circus with a big dose of comedy and tasteful burlesque to create a show like no other! They have performed over 700 shows in 13 countries, been featured on TV shows, in magazines and in music videos for world-famous bands. They combine the daring of Evil Knievel, the beauty of Marilyn Monroe and the wit of Lucille Ball with stunts like sword-swallowing, whip-cracking, knife-throwing and escapology....All this plus comedy, magic, singing and dancing promises a unique night you won't forget in a hurry! This marks their very first New Zealand visit.
8pm, $10 on the door. THIS IS AN 18+ EVENT - WARNING - CONTAINS NUDITY



Mon Nov 24 NELSON LIVE POETS feat. Harry Ricketts
Harry Ricketts is a poet, academic, editor and reviewer. He studied English at Oxford University and lectured in Hong Kong and Leicester before arriving in New Zealand to a post at Victoria University in Wellington in 1981. He has edited collections of verse, critical essays, and other works of non-fiction and his acclaimed biography of Rudyard Kipling was released in 1999. His poetry is defined by dramatic and satiric devices and tones, often grounded in personal commentary.
6pm Koha Entry with purchase of drink.



Sat Dec 6 JOSH RENNIE-HYNES supported by Liam Gerner
Possessing a wonderfully honest Australian accent and smooth vocals, the songs are effortless and well constructed, the sincerity and unaffected performance refreshing” Amorina Fitzgerald-Hood, The Music. “Few young artists in recent memory have so effortlessly bridged the gap between the younger generation and the elders educated by the American folk and country legends” – Martin Jones, Rhythms Magazine

LIAM GERNER: Steeped in blues and country music, Liam Gerner left his rural family life in Adelaide hills to seek his fortune in London. Almost immediately he was treated as a “hot new talent” and experienced the music business at its most corporate. Breaking free, he headed to the US, joined Texan country rocker Ryan Bingham’s band on guitar and experienced frontline American roots music. Liam also plays and works with his new Melbourne based band The Alan Ladds. 8pm Free Admission with purchase of a drink.





Sat Dec 13 SIKA
Sika - Acoustic Tribal Trance - "A dynamic fusion of instruments from many indigenous cultures. Didjeridoo, drums, percussion, native flutes, & ocarina mixed with ambient and upbeat soundscapes to journey into other worlds."
Touring in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand since 1990, Sika's contemporary compositions express his respect for all people of the world.
He has played with Aztec elders at The Sun Pyramid Teotihuacan in Mexico and with Aboriginal people in the Australian desert. He has played Didj for Aboriginal Elders on stage and in healing ceremonies,performed at The NZ Embassy, Te Papa, The Commonwealth Institute, Stonehenge and Westminster Abbey. Sika has travelled extensively learning much from the indigenous tribes he has spent time with. Much of what Sika composes comes from his deep connection to Great Spirit. This knowledge and experience is incorporated into his music. He continues to mesmerise and inspire audiences at festivals, concerts and sound journeys as well as producing beautiful albums.



Tom’s Field are a Motueka/Nelson based acoustic roots/folk ensemble who serve up a high energy fusion of Irish, folk, & bluegrass sounds delivered with a contemporary flair. Their combination of toe-tapping rhythms and thoughtful vocals has been impressing audiences in the region. The group’s repertoire includes bluegrass harmonies & rhythms, stomping reels & jigs, original compositions and soulful songs all interspersed with cheeky irreverence. Bring your dancing trousers and be prepared to raise a sweat. Collectively Tom’s Field are: Helen Mayhew on vocals/whistle/percussion, Sean Magee on mandolin/banjo, Simon Guppy on vocals/guitar and Tamsin Leenhouwers on violin/viola.

Sun Dec 21 XMAS CAROLS in the YURT with Anna Heinz, 6.30pm FREE



With their unpredictable on-stage banter, exquisite sibling harmonies, irresistible pop melodies & songs that are akin to your favourite stories put to music, The Little Stevies have built an exceptional reputation as a must see live act, drawing keen, loyal, Little Stevie-loving fans wherever they go. They've toured Australia, Canada & the USA extensively and have release three studio albums, their most recent 'Diamonds For Your Tea', released in October was described in the Sydney Morning Herald as "incredibly well-honed, gorgeous songs rip out of the speakers with a deep, warmly polished sound that is better than just about anything I have heard in recent history".
8pm, $10 on door.

Midge McCleary is a jazz, funk, roots and blues inspired musician, and is predominantly a percussive finger-styleplayer.
Although having played and performed in many different lineups he has recently been embarking on solo acoustic missions - no backing band, no gimmicks or fancy effects, just his acoustic guitar, vocal chords & Bigfoot Stomp box. He uses alternate tunings, slapping basslines & appegiated chord progressions, which create a lot of depth andsonic interest in the sound of the guitar. 8pm, FREE with drink purchase

A solo appearance from Mara Simpson of MARA & THE BUSHKAS. Songstress, writer, independent musician, player of various musical instruments and partaker of Hootannany hollaring. Currently living in Berlin. Folk, Rock, Soul, Pop ? or an echo of decades past ? you'll need to hear her to find out.
8pm, FREE with drink purchase





Thurs Jan 29 DYLAN WADE
Innovative guitar player, smooth soulful vocalist, writer of unique songs… Dylan Wade is a performing musician with many years of musical experience. Combining catchy rhythmic percussive feels with insightful uplifting lyrics, from subtle intricate sweet finger picking instrumentals to roots powered funky grooves, it will take you on a musical journey, infusing new age soul into blues, reggae, folk, funk, jazz, with a stream of consciousness ever-fresh vocal delivery. Since the 90’s Dylan has formed, managed and was the front man of several bands and has considerable experience as both a band player and as a soloist.



Sat Feb 14 UNDERSKORE ORCHESTRA (USA) on St. Valentine's Day
The Underscore Orkestra is a Portland-based band, playing a blend of Balkan, Klezmer, gypsy jazz and swing, with a repertoire consisting of both original and traditional material. They have been touring all over the US, Canada, Central America and Europe for the past 7 years. Instrumentation is Violin, Guitar, Accordion, Horns, Clarinet, Bass, Sousaphone Percussion, Harmonica, Piccolo, Ukulele, Bambazoo and Belly Dancing.




Ralph Bennett-Eades has "been singing the Blues ever since the world began" ...well at least since the 70's which is before the world began for some.
He plays Slide, Finger Picking and Driving Rhythm Guitar, as well as the Blues, he writes and performs New Zealand Road Songs, a dozen of them are on his C.D. "The Southern Journey"

You may have seen him Supporting Bo Diddley, Hammond Gamble, or Midge Marsden in the 80's or at any of the North Island Festivals; Nambassa, SweetWaters, Mountain Rock, Strawberry Fields in the 90's or performing at the Gypsy Fairs and Blues and Folk Clubs in both Islands this Century.

8pm, FREE with drink purchase








Fri May 29-31st CEOL AENEAS Irish Music Festival

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Email is here

Our address is:
95 Collingwood Street, Nelson (opposite the Giant Squid !) or PO Box 1975 Nelson.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Thurs: 3pm to 10.30-ish, Fri: 3pm to 12-ish,
Sat: Noon to 12-ish, Sun: Noon to 10.30-ish.
Mon-Thurs: 4pm to 10.30-ish, Fri: 4pm to 12-ish,
Sat: Noon to 12-ish, Sun: Noon to 10.30-ish.

Our tel nos are:
03 548 9391 (opening hours), 03 548 3887 (office hours)

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