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Top Ten Tunes

Toa Fraser


Ladies and Gentlemen! And Eurotrash. Welcome to the Dayglo Disco, your very own doofdoof -- free club, where Cristal spraying is positively verboten, and if you think we might play The Gypsy Kings' My Way - THINK AGAIN! And ... oh oh, that's the Eurofolk gone -- so, it's just us then. Happily the aircon is back, the suds will be on about 5 am, and in the meantime - tonight's very special DJ is nearly here, a man possibly from Mt. Raskol, but flown direct courtesy of Two Paddocks Virtual Air (first class, where only those with dangerous allergies are served the peanuts, Fairtrade of course), one of New Zealand's finest literary talents, and latterly a major contributor to our National Cinema. A man who has pushed the Prop firmly out of his comfort zone not once, but actually twice: once to play the Rev. Dean Spanley in the eponymous film about 3 years ago (a man of the cloth with a vaguely canine dimension), and then to appear LIVE for the first time in 30 years on the actual stage in Bare last year in aid of Christchurch (playing a part written by Toa as a drunken female dog lover). A man we rate very highly indeed, a sharp observer, an excellent companion, an insightful director, a graceful writer, and look, why don't we get out of his way, here he is coming up on stage, and with more useful things to say in five minutes than we could muster in a month, a man who would love Two Paddocks, the libation, if only he wasn't actually tea-total -- and big ups for that my friend! - the writer and director of one of our very favourite films -- No. 2 -- make absolutely sure you see this movie -- a lovely fellow indeed -- here he is the one and only ... Mr TOA FRASER!

Kim Dotcom said, “When wine, women and song become too much for you, give up singing.” They did all get too much for me, back in 2008, and one of them had to go. But for me -- startling place, really, to announce this, chez-TP - it was the booze. I was in a hole and as the British winter closed in on the South Downs, I sang my way out of there, blasting these jams across the fields.

They say a frog in a well cannot conceive of the ocean. These songs got me to the shore.

  1. You Do Something To Me - Paul Weller

    I saw a picture of a younger Paul Weller on the roof of the Hyatt on Sunset Boulevard. I'd had my own experience (read: nadir) of that joint a couple of years prior, and the picture spoke to me. This is an entry level singalong for my voice, and always feels good to hit, “Hangin' on a wire/Said I'm waiting for the change…”

  2. Wild Horses - Alicia Keys, featuring Adam Levine

    “I'm hoping to get close to a peace I cannot find.” A great, great song.

  3. All Things Must Pass - George Harrison

    One of the great love songs, and Alicia Keys's version makes my heart feel nice. Yeah, it was given to me by a girl.

  4. All I Need - Jay-Z

    It is also one of the few songs I can play on the ukulele, and drove The Prop crazy between shots on Dean Spanley (“Will somebody please tune that ukulele!” he shouted, from one of the stately rooms of Peckover House). Strikes me, he is the man to ask: was it written for Marianne Faithful, or not?

  5. Forever Young - Bob Dylan

    Bit more challenging for my vocal chords, I remember singing this at full voice coming out of the Tube station at Leicester Square, before the Dean Spanley UK premiere. For me, when I can sing this in the same key as George H., I know I've been working out my vocal chords.

  6. A Change Gonna Come - Sam Cooke

    He was my Mum's favourite Beatle and now he's inspiring to me. “A mind can blow those clouds away… It's not always gonna be this grey.” I think about this song just about everyday. All things must pass. Big or small, happy or sad, things come, things go.

  7. It Makes No Difference - The Band

    One of the few songs I know all the lyrics to by heart.

  8. My Weakness Is None of Your Business - Embrace

    “Now understands we can't be stopped/From blowin' Swisher Sweets outta candy drops/Like we underground kings, ridin' dirty/This n___ been focused since I said hi to 30 (what up?)”

  9. I Believe in You - Cat Power

    Nuff sed.

  10. Show Yourself - Tim Finn

    With this song I got my swagger back.

Thank you Toa! IMMACULATE! Now as a footnote, speaking of Toa and music -- we had a little Two Paddocks party in Auckland last year -- with music galore, including Eddie Rayner, Che Fu, Tim Finn, Don McGlashan, Suzanne Lynch and Mike Chunn -- a line up of iconic New Zealand musicians in other words. Toa and his then heavily pregnant partner, the wonderful Miriama McDowell, were there. The excitement must have been a little much -- instead of going home, they went straight to hospital, and their daughter was born that very night (see above, the littlest one). Another top result for Two Paddocks.

Thanks Toa, and may we collaborate on many more, mon ami.

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