Smith revels in performing to small crowd

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Hollie Smith has played in front of some big crowds in her time.

There were more than 50,000 people in attendance when she played at the Montreal Blues Festival in 2014.

So playing in front of 50 people at the Grainstore Gallery last Thursday night was quite a different experience for the New Zealand songstress.

Tickets for her Oamaru show were limited to 50 and sold out within minutes.

Smith is in the middle of a South Island tour, playing at many smaller venues.

“This would be one of the more unique places. I hope I don’t get nightmares,” she joked, pointing out some of the artworks that line the walls of artist Donna Demente’s Grainstore Gallery.

“I was just looking at more intimate places to perform.”

Many of the songs Smith performed in Oamaru were new – and she liked having the opportunity to test them out in front of smaller audiences, she said.

“I just want to see how they feel with people.

“In some ways, playing in front of a smaller crowd is more intimidating, because it is more honest.”

Demente said Smith’s performance was “amazing”.

“It was quite an interesting crowd, a lot of out-of-town people, a few of Holly’s super-fans.”

The event sold out very quickly, she said.

“I felt a bit sorry for our loyal locals because they missed out.

“A lot of people tried to get tickets in Lyttelton but missed out, so they had travelled down from north of Christchurch.”