A ROCKIN’ YULETIDE
A staple of Saturday night viewing since 2005, ROCKWIZ has come to occupy a special and unique place in Australian music culture. The show, helmed by the sharp and sassy Julia Zemiro and created by super music nerd Brian Nankervis, quickly became the most enjoyable show on SBS since Des Mangan’s Cult Movies (read borderline pornography). Not content to rest on their laurels, the RocKwiz family is hitting the road for the second time in their short history with The RocKwiz Christmas Tour.
“Last year we did a huge 35 date tour around the country; people said that they loved the show but asked how we were going to do it on stage,” Zemiro says when asked about the practicalities of transforming the television format into a live show. “Brian Nankervis, the band and myself are used to being on stages. We don’t have to worry about camera shots, swearing and we have a much better time. We can run around more as the set is bigger and there are just more people. We have 2,000 people there instead of the usual 300. The atmosphere is electric!”
Zemiro believes that there is much to look forward to with the tour’s Christmas theme. “It gets harder and harder every year to find songs that are new and are about Christmas and we don’t want to do a Mariah Carey Christmas,” she says. “But there will be heaps of songs about peace, love and understanding. One Christmas show we had Tim Rogers singing Christmas from the Tommy musical by The Who, the whole place just went berserk.”
The highlight of RocKwiz is its live performances, and there is a clear Australian flavour when it comes to Zemiro’s favourites of the past few years. “We have had 120 shows, so that means we have had at least 240 guests!” she laughs. “For raw energy, I think Tim Rogers is a standout. He just gives every time he is on the show. He is so extraordinary, and we just love the kind of energy he brings. A personal favourite of mine is Chrissy Amphlet of Divinyls. I just thought she was wild and absolutely amazing. They are the kind of performances you remember and will always love.”
As for working with Nankervis, Zemiro says that she is “the luckiest girl in the world. Brian is like a big brother to me now. In fact, everyone who works on RocKwiz is like a family now. But Brian is one of the most patient and funny people I have ever met. Whenever I am feeling a bit down I think, ‘what would Brian do?’. He would find that little extra bit of patience that he has got left somewhere so that he can just get through that moment and connect with the people and connect with what you have got to do.”
The RocKwiz Christmas Tour will be landing in Canberra on Thursday December 1, at The National Convention Centre, Royal Theatre. Tickets are through Ticketek for $79.90.