A wise man once said ‘laughter is the music of life’ – but for musician Fraser Ross, the two go hand in hand.
At the Grainstore Gallery on June 12, Ross will perform alongside fellow Christchurch musician Amiria Grenell, the daughter of “country music legend” John Hore Grenell.
In Oamaru, the pair would play folk music broken up by “raconteuring” and banter. Ross said the songs were tender and melancholic, lightened up by silly stories.
“It is the best grounds for comedy, when it’s serious.
“It’s just a bunch of dry twigs for comedy because everyone wants to laugh to release.”
The show was loosely based on Another Name for Thesaurus, which Ross performed at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Ross lived in Scotland for three years before returning to New Zealand for a holiday.
“I ended up losing a bet and [stayed] for five years.
“I finally went back [to Scotland] for about four months and then Covid happened.”
Now on tour, Ross and Grenell were mostly performing their own songs.
“I like writing … you feel some sense of accomplishment by creating something succinct.
“It’s something that’s always been in my life.”
But his work was something he struggled to get out there.
“It’s quite nerve-racking.
“But I’m sort of just getting to the age where I don’t care … I’m going to die sometime, so who cares.”
When it came to performing, he was nervous for the first 10 minutes then quickly turned into a “show pony”.
“You get the limelight on you and you’re like
And he certainly looked forward to the limelight Oamaru had to offer.
“I like rural people … they have a fresh way of looking at things compared to people living in cities.
“It’s a bit more hard case.”
He grew up in the country so felt more at home, though his songs freaked some people out.
“They are just a bit weird.”
Ross and Grenell will play at the Grainstore Gallery on June 12 at 8pm.
- The Oamaru Mail has two double passes to give away to Fraser Ross and Amiria Grenell’s Oamaru show at the Grainstore Gallery. To be in to win a double pass, email Ruby Heyward at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number. Please use the subject line “Fraser Ross”. The winner will be drawn at noon on June 9.