A Life in Travel: Musician, songwriter and member of Salmonella Dub, Andrew Penman

To travel

A sunrise in Kaikōura. Photo / William Patino

Kiwi musician and member of Salmonella Dub, Andrew Penman tells us about his favorite trips to New Zealand, from childhood vacations to road trips with the band.

Kiwi musician and member of Salmonella Dub, Andrew Penman shares his fondest memories from New Zealand vacations.  Photo / Supplied
Kiwi musician and member of Salmonella Dub, Andrew Penman shares his fondest memories of New Zealand vacations. Photo / Supplied

What are your favorite memories of a childhood family vacation in New Zealand?

I have a lot of them, including fishing competitions with my grandmother on the Whakatū wharf. She always beat me. She was brilliant on a handline and always pulled two or three herrings at a time.

Another memory is that of Kaikōura. We always went there for Easter, stopping to pick mushrooms in the Hundalees and again in Oaro. We watched the apricot-orange full moon come out of the sea. It reminded me of the inside of one of those marshmallow Easter eggs. Phillip, my cousin and I spent the weekend picking up polished glass pebbles on the beach at the Stone Esplanade. We used them as cash in night time poker games – blue was rare and was worth $ 50. We also picked up the Ballins bottles. Back then you could take them to the dairy and get an 8 cent refund. Eight cents were heaps at the time and the 10c lollipop mixes were big.

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What’s your favorite off the beaten track / secret place in New Zealand to get away from it all and what makes it so special?

Our Hāpuku Creative Retreat in Kaikōura is the most sacred and special place in my world. It has a 250 kōwhai booth surrounding our Sal Dub room / studio. This is one of the inspirations for our new album. Troy Kingi wrote a song with me on the day of our last confinement “put your hands in the earth, it’s the only way to escape the turmoil. Back to the sea, back to the trees, I’m on my knees now” .

If you were going on a family getaway now, where would you go and why?

Kimi ora in Kaiteriteri. It is a beautiful thermal retreat nestled in the foothills. I highly recommend it. (kimiora.com)

What is your dream road trip in New Zealand and why?

The group used to take Friday and Monday off to visit the North Island. We were racing the diesel, Mazda Bongo, with all of our backline. We would depart Christchurch for the 2pm ferry across the Cooks Strait. We would then play Antipodes on Cuba St in Wellington on Friday night, sleep upstairs for a few hours and then drive to Auckland to play at Mikee Havoc’s Squid bar. Then to Whangarei on Sunday and back to Christchurch. If you left Auckland at dawn you could get to Wellington in time for the freight ferry and if you were quick enough you could grab a bench seat at the bar and go back to sleep. That was the time. The van eventually died in Kaikōura on Churchill St upon returning from a tour of the North Island. We have traveled 300,000 km in four years.

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Salmonella Dub will be at Rhythm & Alps from December 29 to 31, Wanaka, rhythmandalps.co.nz, and WOMAD 2022 from March 18 to 20, womad.co.nz.

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