Show starters . . . Hoping to put on good, old-fashioned live music events in Kakanui are (from left) Liz Heenan and Tracey and Raymond Metternich. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

The good old days.

That is what the recent live-music concerts at the Kakanui Hall have felt like for Liz Heenan.

Until recently, the Kakanui Hall had been under-utilised, hosting the odd wedding, family function, or ball.

But it has been given a new lease of life as a live-music venue.

Ms Heenan, who owned the Manor Estate in Oamaru for four years, has been organising concerts at the hall, and attracting musicians to perform in the seaside town.

Now retired and living in Kakanui, Ms Heenan said she missed concerts, which she used to host in the Manor Estate’s ballroom, and was enjoying bringing them to Kakanui.

“The concerts were the one thing I missed,” she said.

With connections through the Manor Estate, performers began reaching out to her.

She changed the Manor Estate Facebook page’s name to “Kakanui Live – Music” as requests continued to come in.

The acts rented the hall and supplied their own equipment.

Ms Heenan co-ordinated the events on a voluntary basis.

The concerts were becoming increasingly popular – 50 people attended the first one while 113 are booked for tomorrow night’s performance by Daniel Champagne.

Just as a tight community does, Ms Heenan said people were helping her “set up and break down” the hall for the events.

Each show was accompanied by a supper of “southern fare” provided by Kakanui Hall committee member Raymond Metternich and his wife, Tracey, who run the Kakanui Store.

“In the older days, people entertained themselves by getting together,” Mr Metternich said.

Sometimes someone would play the piano, but it was mostly about spending time together at the community hall, he said.

Ms Heenan remembered super suppers where ladies would try to outdo each other, and the concerts were a good flashback to the good old days, she said.

“It feels like a ’50s or ’60s shindig,” Ms Heenan said.

“We had great nights getting dressed up in our finery.”

Daniel Champagne performs at Kakanui Hall tomorrow at 7.30pm, while coming concerts are Dr Blues on August 17, and Paul Ubana Jones on August 20.