By A P
All rights reserved to A P,  2010
The Air New Zealand jet landed at the Auckland Airport and taxied towards the International passenger terminal.  

On board was the famous WHEATEN WAGTIME BAND, arriving from Los Angeles, USA. 

They were met by members of the Press, all looking for a story about these world famous entertainers.

 As the Band members alighted from the plane there was an audible sigh of reliefAh, it was so good to have their feet on solid ground again! The flight had been a comfortable, but long one.

The boys were the first through Customs and they were admiring the Maori carvings.  Clancy was especially impressed, and told Guinny how much he was looking forward to their visit to Rotorua, after their Auckland Concert. The Maori people were so talented, and he had always wanted to travel to New Zealand. Now, they were HERE!

It was a dream come true!

Miss Grainne had brought a VERY LARGE Bully Stick in her luggage, thinking it would be a nice snack for them while travelling to their hotel. It was seized by the inspection officer and Grainnne was told it was in breach of the Quarantine laws.

When she growled at the man, he called the police!

Grainne could think of nothing but making a hasty exit before they could catch her and put her in prison! She took off like a greyhound, with Tobey (who had volunteered to help carry her luggage) close at her heels.

The other dogs got to hear about the drama, and one of the girls thought of a clever way to create a distraction - by pushing a fire alarm button!

After the resulting chaos of people fleeing from the airport, and the Fire Brigade arriving and finally announcing that there was NO fire, things settled back to normal. By then, the WWBand was out of the terminal and lining up in front of their coach to have a group photo taken.

Grainne wiped her fall out of her eyes and breathed a sigh of relief.  THAT had certainly been a close call, and a heart-stopping start to their Tour!  She took her place with the others and smiled her sweetest smile for the camera.
Meanwhile, the girls were taking a lot of time to be cleared by Customs. They had so much luggage, and some of it had NOT been declared, and one little lady in particular was in deep trouble!
Once they were all seated in the coach, they sat back to relax and enjoy the sights of Auckland. They all gazed excitedly out of their windows as they slowly passed the Town Hall where they would be perforimg that night. It looked impressive!
On arrival at their hotel, they were shown to their rooms and spent the next hour unpacking and getting settled in.

After this, they met in one of the conference rooms for Band Practice, and then it was time for dinner.

The hotel restaurant had a holiday atmosphere and they chatted happily while waiting for their orders to arrive.  Propositions were being made - one lady was getting a bird's eye view of the action - and Jackie, the Nurse with the group, was giving advice on pre-concert diets!

Henry, with his camera, was snapping away with gay abandon when people weren't looking!

Well, as you can see, every picture tells a story!

The Auckland Concert Hall filled to capacity, and the members of the Band assembled on stage. There was a stirring opening rendition of '76 TROMBONES'played by the brass section, with Henry on Bass and Cooper on guitar. This brought cheers from the audience and a standing ovation.

The whole company could not be fitted into the frame, but there would be more pictures to come.

Following this, there was a brief interlude, where Tigger, the Band's Drummer, gave a drum solo while the next performers were changing into costumes. He had the audience on their feet with his performance.
The next performance was somewhat of a surprise. It was really a comedy act, and who else to present it but the three 'Most Likely Lads'of the company. (The threemost likely lads to get into mischief'!)

Wheately, Barney and Bailey bounced onto the stage.

They were appropriately dressed and carrying guitars and a trumpet. They called themselves THE THREE DESPERADOS,and delighted the audience with a brilliant, and funny rendition of South Of The Border.

They took their bows and, before leaving the stage, they did their own version of the Mexican Hat Dance! 

The audience LOVED them!
The next item was in sharp contrast to the previous performances. The Folk Dancing group had everyone on the edge of their seats as they skillfully presented a Cossack Dance.  Music was provided by the Band.

The girls were Zoe, Chloe and Keeva, and the boys were Teddy, Argyle, Riggie and Benny. Oh, how those boys could leap into the air!
Before the band performed its closing medley, there was one more special treat.  It was the IRISH DANCE GROUP!

The Choreographer for this group was the famous Dance Director, Miss Grainne, who had been with the Wheaten Wagtime Band for 8 years.  She took the lead female role alongside her male counterpart, Mr Blughz, who had been teaching Irish Dance for some years before he joined the WWB.

Henry took one close-up picture, then later, a larger one of the company.

To the music of LORD OF THE DANCEthey moved as one, with backs straight, heads held high, and feet tapping out the exciting beat. 

The music got faster and faster, and their feet moved with unbelievable speed and accuracy. The members of the audience were caught up in the magic, and rose to their feet, clapping with the beat.

It seemed that all else faded, and there was nothing but the thrilling music and the stirring dance, and the audience became as one with the dancers!

It was a rare experience for all concerned.

The Troupe was brought back for two encores, and some eager youngsters even tried to get up on the stage with them!
It had been a very successful Concert. The  43 members of the Wheaten Wagtime Band and Company went wearily, but happily to bed.  Tomorrow was another day, and they were going to be leaving for Rotorua and their introduction to Maori culture.

2010 TOUR