Author: Simon Mercep

BLACK PANTHER: stirring adventure, and social document of our time

There’s a Black Panther movie to review, and there’s a Black Panther phenomenon to discuss. If you’ve been surfing American news outlets in particular over the last few weeks you’ll have found a great deal written about this latest Marvel…

ROBBIE WILLIAMS – media conference, Auckland February 13

Two birthday cakes, apparently both vegan, one bearing a large “RW”, adorn the table where Robbie Williams is to give a media conference in Auckland on the day of his 44th birthday. For at least 20 minutes before he appears,…

HIBISCUS & RUTHLESS – Heartwarming, and a tad hokey

There’s a lot to like about this local comedy, both in the big picture it’s presenting, and in its central performance. As the Hibiscus of the title, Suivai Autagavaia displays natural talent, poise and grace. She shows herself to be…

THE STRANGLERS, with The Rutz, Auckland February 2: Kick Ass, but with a question

Third song in, and singer guitarist Baz Warne decides it’s time to say hello. He tells the crowd in the Auckland Town Hall that back in 1979 The Stranglers were supposed to play at this venue. Management decided it wasn’t…

DARKEST HOUR: a stirring film, stirring controversy

Joe Wright’s take on Winston Churchill’s first days as Prime Minister, has, to use a military phrase, copped a lot of flak. It’s inaccurate, critics say, inventing scenes which didn’t occur, changing the way certain characters behaved, and portraying Churchill…

Rising pop stars Sheppard: new single and interview

If you were at Auckland’s Mt Smart stadium last year to see Justin Bieber you may have caught opening act Australian pop band Sheppard. They play catchy melodic pop, and with five years performing and two recorded albums under their…