LAB band members Brad Kora and Miharo Gregory make the most of Hawke’s Bay visit

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LAB band members Brad Kora, drums, left, Miharo Gregory keyboard signing posters for local fans at the Hastings i site. Photo/Warren Buckland

While in town for the Waiata Māori Music Awards, two members of LAB’s band toured schools, toured local venues, and toured venues where they were scheduled to perform next year.

Backing vocals and drummer Brad Kora and keyboardist Miharo Gregory visited Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wananga Whare Tapere o Takitimu on Friday.

LAB founding member Brad said, “The powhiri at Takitimu Kura was, wow, it was a spiritual experience and gave me speed bumps.”

Miharo added that there was “so much mana”.

LAB <a class=band members Brad Kora and Miharo Gregory visited Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wananga Whare Tapere o Takitimu in Hastings. Photo / Provided” class=”article-media__image responsively-lazy” data-test-ui=”article-media__image”/>
LAB band members Brad Kora and Miharo Gregory visited Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wananga Whare Tapere o Takitimu in Hastings. Photo / Provided

On the Friday afternoon before the Waiata Māori Music Awards, LAB encountered lines of fans outside i-site Hastings waiting for a signing session.

In groups of three at a time, fans were brought to Brad and Miharo to chat, take a photo and have a poster signed.

Every fan tagged the two musicians, they said, “from first to last.”

LAB did not expect the number of people who showed up to show up, as it was impromptu, they said.

“Normally we see everyone from the stage, but being able to interact with them face to face is awesome,” Miharo said.

“Warm fans showed up.”

The first person who came was a mother of two young children who had recently lost their husband and father.

Brad said it was a rough start.

However, it made the rest of the signing easier, he said.

Finally, local man DeeJay Bryan came with his friends to the signing and played and sang a song for the guys before leaving.

Hastings man DeeJay Bryan hands over his guitar to be autographed by LAB band members Brad Kora, centre, and Miharo Gregory.  Photo/Warren Buckland
Hastings man DeeJay Bryan hands over his guitar to be autographed by LAB band members Brad Kora, centre, and Miharo Gregory. Photo/Warren Buckland

Both LAB members were blown away by DeeJay’s signing and guitar skills and said it was a wicked way to end the signing session.

Asked about the crowd of people who showed up, Brad said: “It was amazing, and it’s worth it, especially when we do so much work and it goes unnoticed, and then when we do something like that, it turns out.”

Hastings NZ has offered gifted fans queuing for signed band posters on i-site a free ticket to the LAB concert in Hastings next year.

After signing their fan posters, Brad and Miharo joined many other Maori musicians at the Tooi Event Center for Waiata Māori music.

LAB was in the running for four venues at the Waiata Māori Music Awards in Hawke’s Bay on September 09.

The group was nominated for:
Best pop album.
Best Waiata/Single.
Best Maori band.
Best Maori Songwriter.

LAB won three awards in the four categories in which they were nominated, winning Best Pop Album for LAB V, Best Waiata or Single for Mr Reggaeand the band also released Best Maori Band.

Brad said, “We don’t write and create our music specifically to win awards; we just like to create the music and then perform it.”

So it’s like a bonus to be nominated, Miharo said.

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