Hard News by Russell Brown


Party Time, Excellent

We've always liked a party hereabouts, and I've always appreciated Gemma Gracewood's description of Public's Address's Great Blend events as a kind of "conscious party". So I'm stoked to announce the Orcon Great Blend Christmas Party, next Friday December 4.

The venue is the old Birdcage Tavern, through the wall from Shanghai Lil's – 133 Franklin Road, nestled beneath the Victoria Park overpass.

The doors open at 6pm, and from about 6.30 there will be another round of Nat Torkington's very popular Ignite series of lightning presentations, as follows:

• Vaughan Rowsell (The Big Ride)
• J Karen Waldie (Dyslexia)
• Melanie Pohl (Mars: Myths and Misdirections)
• Ian Kirk (Brains!)
• (TBC)
• Ben Gracewood (Spooky Action at a Distance)
• Russell Briggs (How Do You Make 1.3M People Fall In Love With A
• Jayson Bryant, @thewinevault (Turps)
• Ana Samways (Enchanting Children's Books)
• Peter Griffin (Dangers of Faith-Based Decision Making)
• Courtney Johnston (Sex and New Zealand Art)

Then there'll be some tunes courtesy of Peter "Dubdotdash" McLennan, before the live band for the evening.

Which is …

2009 Silver Scroll Winner Lawrence Arabia!

And if you're all suitably appreciative, James Milne's Reduction Agents pals might just join him on stage for a few of those wonderful tunes too.

There are a couple of wrinkles: we're limited to a capacity of about 150 for the Ignite talks, so the RSVP form will have that as a separate option. I expect it will fill up very quickly – but we have tons more room for the rest of the evening's festivities.

Which will also include more funky stuff from Peter M, and I will be troubling the decks (or, more accurately, fiddling with my laptop) during the evening as well.

If you'd just prefer to hang out meeting other Public Address people, the venue allows for that too – we will have the venue's conservatory, a lovely, quirky space that we'll look to fill with a few treats.

So, to reiterate: Up till 7.30, capacity is limited to about 150. Thereafter: party on! If you think you might come down after the Fly My Pretties or Jarvis Cocker shows that evening, that's fine – just do the RSVP and let us know.

I'm hoping you can all plan to stay late and party with us. The last few Great Blends have been on a school night, so it's nice to be able to throw a party with the weekend to recover. Come on down.

It's all free, from Orcon, Matawhero Wines, Epic beer and us, to you. You'll just need to complete the RSVP form:

Click here to RSVP

See you there ...

PS: No, we can't come to Wellington, but Wellington readers, don't forget you can join us tomorrow for the launch of Haywood's and Emma Hart's books, at the Grant Hall of Parliament and upstairs at the Thistle Inn respectively. We'll be convening at the Backbencher from 5pm before proceeding to Parliament about 6pm, and I'd expect we'd be setting off for the Thistle on foot about 7.30, for an evening's merriment, where the drink prices will be most friendly courtesy of Monteith's and Matawhero Wines. The invites with RSVP details are here.

PPS: Don't forget that we're also launching the two books in Auckland at Sale Street's Velvet Room, from 6pm (I'll race down the hill from our Media7 recording at 7pm) on Wednesday December 2. The RSVP details are also at the above link. As in Wellington the Public Address books, which would make excellent Christmas presents, will be available at the venue.

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