Make Like a Tree @ The Incuabtor!


Another awesome, chill event down at this awesome venue, which has quickly become a sort of hub for the alternative creative scene here in Tauranga.

This was a little different than the usual gatherings that I have previously attended at the INC in that it required a pre-booking. A fund-raising effort for the feature act Sergey Onischenko, who is taking the Make Like A Tree act on the road. I am not sure if this was a first, for the incubator, but it was awesome.

When I got down to the INC, after cruising through the misty drizzling Cameron Road. I didn’t see many cars, resting in the parking spaces outside the village. I guess I was there early…but as I parked, I could hear the calming music coming from the INC.

They had a tent set-up, outside the entrance, with seats and everything. It was like walking into an exclusive club, even more so, when I got there and was ticked off a kind of a VIP list of the pre-bookers. There weren’t a lot of people there yet, but the venue was set up to look like an awesome  almost-victorian lounge- with couches and seats everywhere including church pews and armchairs, The mic and PA system were set up right in the entrance underneath the hanging DoD skull…I found myself a prime spot, right in front of the amplifier.

Other than the feature act there were two openers, firstly Michael Sutherland, whom is a progressive/psychedelicguitar maestro. I hadn’t seen him at any other gig as of yet, but when he started playing the guitar, it was some serious stevie ray Vaughn swag. The dude, just let it rip on the guitar, even though there was no actual singing, you can feel the passion through the strings, he was dancing with the guitar, really feeling the music, with seamless loops for a mandala of electric guitar sounds…
Edward Gains was up next, I was familiar with his act,  as I had seen him perform at the 4th birthday for Tauranga Music Sux, which also took place at the incubator. He had an awesome set, while Sutherland was electric and entrancing with his awesome guitar loops, Gains, levelled the energy with slow, moody riffs and and his soulful mournful voice, the words and lyrics really changed the vibe as well, self-reflective and contemplative as well as simple. A wicked change of pace.

Before the featured act Sergey Onischenko, hit the stage, I had a chance to walk around the gallery, which displayed photography from Sergey, they weren’t really large prints, but they captured nature in an interesting way. The way I would describe it best, is that it was a portrayal of the mind landscapes, and captured beautiful as well as strange and abstract elements that could be found in nature all around us, but that one might not notice in the way that his photos had captured, naturally then I was curious to hear what the music had in store.

And when the homie from Ukraine took the stage he did not disappoint…Funny thing about music and the messages contained therein, they transcend all cultural bias. In the beginning, he gave a speech regarding his intentions with the performance, the only thing I was concerned about was the accent. It was strong, and I wondered how it will translate into the songs…but all that disappeared though, with the first strum of the guitar, and what followed was an awesome medley of poetry and instrumentalism, which even the audience got a taste of, sergey had a whole range of obscure instruments, which he urged volunteers from the audience to play, and they got to join in the celebration.

The music and the voice was a perfect match. The themes and the words, complemented the photography in a perfect way. One phrase that I remember clearly is ‘To The River’… which may have been a message of destination to those that were present, as well as the direction that he was going, …Understandably, as after this gig, Sergey wandered onto Hamilton, and who knows where his musical journey would take him.

But for a brief moment, our community had an awesome Jam, a cross-cultural, cross genre event….and hence it was a special treat to see near the end of the set, when he invited Michael Sutherland and Edward Gains, to join him in the final pieces…Which led to a kind of genre and musical-fusion, which I cannot wait to see again.

If you are out and about in our country and you get to see this dude LIVE! Then it will be a treat. And who knows how the incubator team found and put together this awesome evening. And all the other cool events that they have put on since the inception, but every visit to this place is a trip and a half.

By Dhaivat Mehta

Archaeo Outdoor Table

(Editor – ARTbop alternative)

Dhaivat Mehta is a film-maker and performance poet, and a member of the Tauranga Writers…Involved with many aspects of local creativity! As an organizer he was responsible for last year’s National Poetry Day event “Caught In The Act” He also raps and does spoken word under the stage name Mantra



Photos By Johnny B:

10404855_904961406214622_4691187998890970394_nMy name is John Baxter but I frequently use the pseudonym Johnny B, for fun, in artistic and musical endeavours. I am the bass player & back up singer for local alternative band The Carradines and guitarist and back up vocalist for Tauranga punk band Liberated Squid. As well as having played, written songs for, and sung in numerous other local bands I am an artist, prop maker and photographer at The Incubator art space at the Historic Village, Tauranga.  I have been involved in the Tauranga music scene ever since I left school (a long time ago) and still love being a part of it whether playing or attending gigs. I would say the local scene is in a better state now than it has ever been due to the awesome underground gigs happening with greater frequency around the city which in turn helps attract bands both from other areas. The number of bands I have seen or heard over the years would be into the thousands, but I still get a real buzz from hearing new music and especially from seeing bands and solo artists play live. I try to be as truthful as I can be with my reviews, but not be rude; I will try to be constructive and helpful with any criticism (but if you truly suck I will let You know!)


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ARTbop has been written, collated and distributed as a free Bay of Plenty arts focused periodical to cafes in Tauranga and its surrounds.  Starting as a simple text newsletter, ARTbop now has several excellent contributors and covers a wide range of topics informing readers of the thriving art scene and interesting events that happen in the Bay of Plenty. You might have heard about us through friends, or even picked up a copy to read while you were out having coffee. We've got lots of exciting and ambitious plans for this website.  If you’re interested in contributing, advertising or you would like to profile your portfolio on our artists gallery, or have an event that you think should be reviewed, please contact us at

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