For thirty eight years I consider myself to be one of the luckiest entertainers in New Zealand. While no household name, I have been proud that my gig guide has been so busy year in, year out.

Well, not this year sadly.

Regular venues have become less and less and I refuse to blame Covid for this trend of reduced work. I remember going to a BB King concert at the Civic not long before he passed away and I felt so sorry for him. Clearly this legend of an entertainer had past it. To get through the gig he talked through most of it. Forgot the name of his band members and constantly thanked his manager for keeping him in the business. I think when you are not delivering the quality of show you have always been remembered for, it is time to reduce your performances to the practice room.


There are others though that just seem to keep on going as good as they ever were. People like New Zealand entertainers Tom Sharplin, Jordan Luck, Shane Hales, Suzanne Lynch and Tina Cross to name just a few.

When I perform I really feel I am still producing some of my best work. I have a larger repertoire than I have ever had and I have many different shows to deliver. What is the most frustrating for me (and maybe other entertainers) is when a new manager takes over a venue. They want to stamp their name on the place, which I respect, so they go for a change for change sake. This has happened to me recently with one of my favourite venues. I love playing there on a reasonably regular basis because the shows are so consistent. They always pull a good crowd, the dance floor is full and most of all, people come up at the end of the night saying how much they loved the show. When a new manager reduces your bookings and you are left wondering why, it’s tough. You feel you have built a really strong relationship with a customer and then you have to try to extract the information as to why this has happened? When you ask what you could do to improve things they say “nothing, your a brilliant entertainer” we just want something fresh. I guess that’s a valid reason but its a bitter pill to swallow when the majority are having so much fun when you are playing there. My challenge now is to find managers at other venues that also want something fresh. Could that be you?

Record numbers have been turning up at Ellerslie Races this summer and from the 5th November last year to the 13th March 2021 I have been playing at selected race meetings providing the “Call To Post”. Not one to shy away from an occasion, Ellerslie certainly is just that and I lap it up! Huge crowds, beautiful weather, the grandeur of the racing, friendly professional and organised staff, a bit of media attention, bands, fireworks and entertainment you need to experience to believe. This is an amazing day out and long may my relationship with Ellerslie continue.

Once again I would like to acknowledge my amazing sponsors. Its not easy to get sponsorship and support from private enterprise devoted to New Zealand entertainers. My shows boast the inclusion of the best audio sound from EDWARDS SOUND with their DAS speakers and awesome lighting from KENDERDINE ELECTRICAL. Before Christmas, we added CarolBrass to the list. Two of these sponsors are involved at Ellerslie. EDWARDS are the official provider of sound there and their engineers make my CarolBrass trumpet sound absolutely amazing as it rockets around the Ellerslie infield and grandstand. Please support these companies as they support others.

Life is good and I am forever thankful for the opportunities I get to play in front of the public. Some people say you need to have a lot of confidence to be an entertainer. Maybe even an ego dare I say it? But for me, the driver is to make people feel happy. Those that are good at it, deserve to be paid for the practice and preparation they do. There is no better reward than watching the reaction of people, as you pour your heart and soul into delivering the best performance you can, every time! Without a doubt that gets harder and harder to do, when you are not working regularly.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been reflecting on just how much I want to be out more playing to the public. Just last week I received a call from TV3 and the AM Show inviting me on to the show. They were so generous in their description of me and what I had achieved over the years as an entertainer. At a time when I was feeling a little down about the recent lack of public engagement, they made me realise just how much happiness I have brought to people. You can view the link below. I am convinced I have a lot more years of producing some of my best work yet!

We have had the calm when it comes to entertainment, now let’s bring back the storm!

Until next time……

Bye bye from the TRUMPETGUY

John McGough