Category Archives: news

The Wesley Market is a nice place to play at. Tuesdays and Fridays. Look out for me there at the Ono stand

The new normal

Hello friends – how have you been and are you back to the so called ” new normal” we evidently have to face.

I prefer hypernormal and too busy and prioritisation challenged leaving a huge pile of washing to normalise into clean clothes later and a junk filled yard to tidy itself.

Do you like my Blog?  It’s probably a little dated as it’s more a push play world now but I know my friends are with me on this leap backward.  I still think and hope you still like plain old words coz you can’t beat a book and there’s nothing better that text now is there?

Really grateful for the support my friends gave me over lockdown especially Sunlines generosity throughout coz without her help it would have been a lot tougher

My album HAPPY ISLES came out just before the lockdown so it’s kind of still NEW as we haven’t had a chance to promote it much so let’s start …. you can hear it here. (Did you know that you may listen to the whole album for free 3 or 4 times.)

Graham Reid did a review.

Happy Isles is, I believe, Hurley’s first vinyl album since ’86s Police State (the title track also on that Best Of) and – aside from a more stately, poised and measured and revisit to Albatross as the more reflective and relevant Alba at the end of the first side – introduces all new material.

The title track manages to prod the complacency in these islands through a litany of “beautiful” nature and people. Hurley doesn’t club these cliches, just lay them bare for how shallow they are: “We are the least corrupt place in the world, because we say so, and we are honest . . . we’re so clean, we’re so green”.

Read the full review on Elsewhere over here. What do you think?

We also made these videos in the lockup time ( in case you missed them)

Jan Bille is preparing an ep at the moment it’s called JUNGLE. Jungle and Love Button is not on Happy Isles.

After that we release two live albums and start work on the next big thing!

All I need from you good people is that you share this with your internet friends just send this link if you have a moment. Use share buttons below.

Also check my instagram for latest photos and videos. Trying out IGTV for longer clips too.

Bandcamp says : To support musicians during Covid-19, we’re once again waiving our revenue share on all sales this Friday, July 3, from midnight to midnight Pacific Time (check for time zone demystification).

Details are here, and please help us spread the word! In New Zealand this is Saturday and every little bit helps thanks. Buy a download and stream one or more albums.

Making music is easy making music that sells isn’t. As my old mate Ed Higby would say “you don’t make money telling the truth”

It’s like in medieval times where the troubadour relied on his patrons.  I’m out and about and looking to play live for you if you have a gig or a house concert – please get in touch with me.

Had a very fortunate find today I found two books I absolutely love

The White Nile by Alan Moorhead “Capturing in breathtaking prose the larger-than-life personalities of such notable figures as Stanley, Livingstone, Burton and many others, The White Nile remains a seminal work in tales of discovery and escapade, filled with incredible historical detail and compelling stories of heroism and drama.”


The Blue Nile

The Blue Nile by Alan Moorehead. “Alan Moorehead continues the classic, thrilling narration of adventure he began in The White Nile, depicting this exotic place through the lives of four explorers so daring they can be considered among the world’s original adventurers — each acting and reacting in separate expeditions against a bewildering background of slavery and massacre, political upheaval and all-out war.”

Africa gets in your blood especially if you lived there through nine impressionable years like i did.  Note from Ed: GUEST MUSICIAN LUKE HURLEY shares a portrait of the artist as a young itinerant Interview with Graham Reid on early life including Africa

These books speak most eloquently of the explorers who risked and often lost their lives trying to discover the mysteries of the wonderful continent what they went through is unfathomable.

Would they have closed down the world on account of an invisible new danger real or imagined ?

They faced deadly diseases and ferocious beasties and their mission was to open up the world so the politicians could come along and close it down

Be safe and sound ok?

Pls write to me with you suggestions and general thoughts we gonna make this site lively write to

Take care back soon


Fighting Things I cannot see- Rachel Garland

Fighting things we cannot see

Hi friends we find ourselves in a blended reality where no one knows what the next move is in the proverbial chess game where the powers have us playing chequers.

In the lockdown Jan Bille has fashioned three videos. Jungle. Love button. Happy Isles. Three songs – two of which are very recent. Jungles much older and I wrote it as a gentle opt out call at a progressively dehumanising system. This was about ’84 and we were relatively free then! People had time to listen . There was this nice window of tranquility before thumping vodoo beat electronic music took over everywhere.

Lockdown isn’t foreign to me. I kind of lost interest long ago and locked myself out. Just couldn’t see the point . Like the dream of Kasper Hauser where he sees humanity scramble up a hill fighting to get to the top. At the top there is nothing. I kinda dipped out.

It’s hard to feel much shame at my trade off. I got obsessed with music. It was a need to communicate something. I was feeling this lockout way back then. New York to Paris now that song is a perfect proof. Listen to it now

And then watch this – a video of Happy Isles by Jan

And if you are really keen to buy the Happy Isles album – listen below

Please write if you want me to explain anything but please go to bandcamp and listen to my songs so we can have a rap.

In conclusion here is a superb letter a wonderful supporter wrote:

“I’m not entirely sure why I describe this time as weirdly exhilarating but it is – I think because alongside very real pain, worry & risk, there’s also a sense of new possibilities beyond the pandemic. A chance to re-set & re-work various aspects of New Zealand’s life, culture & economy, and re-discover what’s really important, like our connections with each other and our communities, and our precious ability to grow and produce wonderful food.

I hear that as a challenge in your album Happy Isles too – to replace our cliched, rosy-coloured vision of New Zealand with real depth & substance.

I hope you’re doing okay too, making new music perhaps, and supported by good food, love & friendship, maybe a little wine!”

My reply: “Thanks again for your bountiful support and insights.

I agree that this time of house detention has its good side. In fact many advantages from cleaner air to reduced transport fatalities clear skies. Quiet. Opportunity to get closer to family. Time to plan for when things normalise into the new Orwellean Normal…..which I am sure is gonna encourage pushback (the banksters are prepared for this and planned their defence decades ago)

However I understand a new technology will soon be adopted and will change everything. Have you heard of a book called Life After Google?”

Thanks to all of you for your support at this time especially with no live music possible.

Happy Isles – Listen and buy if you like it. Long ago mum advised that i should get a bread and butter job and do music in my spare time.  You can’t do better than be a plumber. These guys worked with great enthusiasm fixing drains in one property and their next job was at a house where a Tangi was in progress and all this in the middle of a national emergency.

I gave them a Happy Isles for being such a great inspiration. If only I had listened to my mum. I could have been like them – not a care in the world and prospering at all times. These guys would have worked on doomsday and just carry on regardless.

The artwork is from a print by Rachel Garland who lives in Whanganui -check out her work..

A while back Graham Reid at Elsewhere ( Music and Travel blog) asked me some background questions and very kindly published them in the last few weeks.

Elsewhere is an ever-expanding on-line magazine for people curious about new music, different travel, interesting arts and much more. 

GUEST MUSICIAN LUKE HURLEY shares a portrait of the artist as a young itinerant

Part 1 tells some of the early background e.g.

“Gk Chesterton said that when the cord of boredom is stretched very tight it breaks with a sound resembling a song. It was out of that intense boredom that I started songwriting in my third season at the works but this time Dunedin.”

Part 2 continues

LUKE HURLEY INTERVIEWED (2020): And as we wind on down the road

Includes many stories such as the answer to this one
“The first song of yours which you really felt proud of was . . .? And why that one?”

Thanks again to Graham and all of you for your support. As always listen to all albums and songs freely over here.


Simon Raby captured this moment back when we were free to gather and catch whatever we felt like catching.

We have hours of material like this and need a sponsor to turn it into a very long movie.
Think about it OK? Call me if ya wanna help in this project 021 0259 2919

Anyway. I hope you enjoy this song about our great leaders Starbucks, the late Starmart and the critically ill Burger King.

Luke Hurley - jungle video

Thinking about a lockdown video stream

Hi friends.

Prior to LOCKDOWN Jonathan Woodford Robinson called with a novel request. He wants to do a live stream for me in two weeks time and wondered which app would work best. I don’t know but someone reading this does so please if you be that person then get in touch so we can invite you into the project. It’s something to do during LOCKDOWN thats all the fun of a gig but without leaving home. Perfect!

Editors Note: Of course under lockdown rules the logistics of filming are more difficult so Jonathan will be remote producing but…

Jono has edited some great movies including District Nine – my favourite. Vickers is the ultimate tragicomic antihero and that’s something worth aspiring to.

With the imminent entry into virtual reality gigging online gigs are a no brainer. Gigs can become larger than life without all the huge hassles of travel.

I was recently introduced to a virtual reality graphic novel where you can virtually walk around life sized three dimensional illustrations. It’s sensational. The way of the future for gigs also.

Keep safe and don’t freak out and if you want a road map of how we got to this point then check out my albums on www Bandcamp. Com  My take on humans and how dumb we are. Ha ha. Fact is we need help but the last thing we would ever do is ask for it.

On that note. If there is anything I can do for you don’t hesitate to ask and if you have a few bones to throw please support my Bandcamp stall by listening to my song theories and tunes and if you feel moved to do so fire an electronic digit or two our way.

Make a donation – during livestream or just to help Luke now

Thanks to all of you who have bought the new album or made donations too. (Note: you can still order the vinyl online but deliveries will be delayed.)

By the way we have a few releases ready to launch so watch this space. Jan Bille has come up with a great production to follow up on the vinyl release Happy Isles

Anyways stay safe. Enjoy the time out & ask the absolute for lucidity.

Will write again soon

Here is recent video for ‘Lord of The Jungle’. Jungle being its new incarnation.
Here is a song I wrote with Chris Benges & Doug Wright for a capping week gig at Otago University about 84 or even earlier re-recorded last year by Jan Bille in Diamond Harbour – he also made this video. It’s a good one for live gigs. Might play it in the livestream


What do you think?

Header alchemy

Music is the alchemy of the human spirit

Hi friend’s.

Just because we are faced with great danger doesn’t mean we have to give in to the mourning news pumping us up with angst and despair barking out hoarding and avoiding suggestions all deigned to move products so fast the shelf stackers have trouble keeping up.

Public gatherings are being cancelled / postponed. Everything’s closing and people are getting pummelled with news. Speculation opinion. Social justice warrioring.

And fear and angst is the general mood
Or is it?


That means me

So if you can please help out so this crumbling empire of sound can keep going and if you have an suggestions of where I can play please let me know. In these times tiny gigs might be just the thing so let’s do some house concerts and limit the numbers to within the acceptable protocols.

Fact is we gotta keep moving in these high risk times. I been predicting it for a long time and have always avoided the so called big time.

“These are the days of tiny. The little time is the new big time”.

Let’s go for the little time.
It’s less contagious.
It’s hearty.
It’s convivial.
Its human.

We don’t need to isolate we just need to scale back and adopt the agreed safety measures.

As for terms like social distancing. Well.  I prefer to call it measured sane response to danger  and just carry on but with caution and consideration for others yes?

Please send us suggestions of how to conduct micro events in a way that ticks all the virus wary boxes.

We are needed in these times to keep morale up. Music is the alchemy of the human spirit. We can be soul doctors in the turmoil



Editors Note: Photos taken in the last few weeks before latest news on pandemic.

Little & Local

Snells Beach Friday 3rd of April / Postponed

Update: Sat 21st March – This event has been postponed. Apologies everyone. But Covid 19 restrictions mean it is inadvisable to hold the event till later.

Live @ Little & Local presents: Snells Beach Friday 3rd of April 7:30pm.

Little & LocalLuke Hurley – consummate guitarist / singer / songwriter

“I love tactile stuff even if many can’t be bothered with it. I want to hold it and put it on a spinny thing and know it cost me money and it cost me time and it cost me all the best years of my mind. Vinyl records are tactile; to me they represent true personality; true music that becomes part of who we are.”

Thus speaks Luke Hurley on the eve of his first vinyl release since the late eighties. Happy Isles is his new album, the 10th collection of songs in a thirty-year career that has seen him perform in concert halls, cafes, festivals and street corners the world over.

Luke is a consummate guitarist / singer songwriter based in Auckland. He will be bringing his raw and attention-grabbing acoustic music to Mahurangi East on Friday 3 April.

His concert will kick off the ‘Autumn Sessions 2020’ at the Little and Local Coffee Kitchen in Snells Beach. The Autumn Sessions will take place on the first Friday of each month and will include an open mic segment show casing local singers and poets and musicians.

“Luke comes from the singer/songwriter tradition,” says Live @ Little & Local Mark Raffills. “He is a hard-working troubadour who believes in the joy of making music and performing it where the people are. His guitar playing is brilliant, his voice is raw and his songs have bite!.

Explaining a little of the process that produced his new album Happy Isles, Luke quotes poet William Blake and credits producer Jan Bille with helping him develop the sound for the new album.

“Blake said that ‘opposition is true friendship’ and producer Jan Bille certainly put me through ‘bootcamp’ to get the best out of me and the songs. He awakened in me a will to fight and the courage to take risks. We spent some months working on something that turned out to be a big wide sky!

The show at Little & Local Coffee Kitchen kicks off at 7.30 pm with an open mic session featuring local poets and musicians. Luke will take the stage around 8.15pm for a 40 minute set.

Doors open at 7.00 pm and Little & Local Coffee Kitchen looks forward to welcoming you to an entertaining evening of great musicianship and lyrics to muse on. $10 at the door. Coffee and counter food available.

Further info: Mark Raffills, 027 2154 969

Update: Covid-19  Please check link at left for any updates. Especially this > “You will need to consider what you can do to ensure the safety of people attending your gathering regardless of size.

  • If someone is unwell, they should not attend gatherings of any size.
  • If someone has returned from overseas and needs to be in self-isolation, they should not attend gatherings of any size.”

Caption: Luke Hurley brings his big, wide sky songs and music to the Little & Local Coffee Kitchen to kick off the monthly series of concerts for 2020.

Kaiwaka says hello

Happy Isles CD Coming

Hello friends. Hope you are well and happy. If you need someone to talk to dial 0800pizza. Or call me and I will call by and play for you 0210 2592 919. If you have an out of town gig then so much the better. The photo up top  is from Kaiwaka – Eutopia cafe last week.

Last week I played a gig at a venue designed for career drunkards and got fired for taking a long break to get some relief from a big table of of highly wasted girl gang members talking extremely loudly with their table virtually part of the stage. The people who came to hear me were dining inside out of view with no chance of enjoying the show. Depressing? What do you think?

But that’s a normal gig in these happy isles. Drunks often get to call the shots coz they generate the profits. So. I guess we have to tolerate them and learn moron as a second language

Anyways I wanna tour these Happy Isles and the world beyond please invite me somewhere or suggest places pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease. My new email for this is. Lukehurley @

By the way. The new album will be out on cd as well as record but we will be needing pre-sales.

A happy customer
A happy customer with Happy Isles vinyl

If at any stage you pre bought a vinyl record then make sure you let us know if it hasn’t arrived yet.

If you want to pre-buy a cd please do so as it makes it easier to make them to the highest quality in super jewel cases that don’t crack and fall apart.  (Ed’s Note: We are working on this and setting up a pre-sale option right now.)

I love tactile stuff even if many can’t be bothered with it. I want to hold it and put it on a spinny thing and know it cost me money and it cost me time and it cost me all the best years of my mind. You can lean on my machine friends.


Graham Reid on Elsewhere wrote a review thanks Graham.

Listen below to the whole album for free

Luke Hurley - Happy Isles

Happy Isles album Released today

Hello friends. Long time no write. I love  this simple direct old school blog way and we are  also linking instagram so it’s soon gonna be possible to add videos and stills to this blog (more easily) including your  input . Follow along on IG

Happy Isles - Vinyl - Luke Hurley

The new album which took two months to record and mix down in Lyttelton and Diamond harbour is now physically in stock and we just pushed the button on the 12 inch record release….

My first record since 1987.  This one is either a good listen or a good investment or both. The skills of producers Jan Bille and Ian McAllister exceeded expectations. Very happy with Happy Isles.

If ya wanna make an album talk to these guys first. Audio Centric IG

OK so here’s the plan. How about I  turn up and play at your place. Big house or small. Anywhere at all. Invite me and  your buddies and  let’s move these records before the bailiffs do. This project took a lot of work and a pile of loans which need to be paid.

In other words. Call me now 021 0259 2919 and invite me to launch Happy Isles at yours. It’s gonna work but only if you guys get behind it. Very confident you will!


Have a listen to the whole album below.

If you live outside NZ we can ship the album to you.  Some notes on shipping over here and bandcamp has a table for the main countries.

If you are in Auckland Flying Out in Pitt St has a small number of the vinyl albums in stock.  They can also help with turntables too. We are hoping to have copies at selected places in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin too. Pennylane Records at 430 Colombo Street in Christchurch has stock now.

Playing at Mt Albert Market on corner of Asquith and New North Rd till about 12 noon on Sat 29th then at Diablos in Kerikeri on Sat night if you want to see the album hear some of the new songs live. Also on Sunday Morning at Kerikeri markets. Now playing at Eutopia cafe on Sunday 1st of March from 11:30am till 2pm.

If you pickup a copy of the album where Luke is playing and want to pay online this button below is the best way to pay if you don’t have cash. It misses out the delivery fees. Also – once we have your email address we can send you a download code. It still uses PayPal so we don’t see your card details and they are kept safe 🙂

Buy Happy Isles Vinyl $40 (NZD)