When Nick Maybury steps up to the microphone on Saturday night, it will be a moment that has been years in the making.
Passionate fan Nick is the lead singer of Everybody Hurts, an R.E.M tribute band which is performing hits from the iconic American alternative rock band such as Losing My Religion, Man on the Moon, Shiny Happy People and The One I Love at a charity gig in aid of the Taranaki Retreat.
“I have loved R.E.M’s music and Michael Stipe’s lyrics since I was a angst-ridden teenager,” Nick laughs.
“I’ve always wanted to be able to perform their songs and was in a tribute band in the UK but we never made it to the stage, for various different reasons.
“So performing on Saturday will be a bit of a dream come true, I suppose.”
Everybody Hurts was formed after Nick joined well-known local singer-songwriter Dave Ritchie Smith and his band The Affordables as a backing vocalist.
Andy Bassett, another well-known Taranaki musician and R.E.M fan, is also a member of the band and the two could talk for hours about their shared passion.
“I mentioned one day that I would love to form a tribute band and perform and Andy said ‘Just do it – I’m in’,” Nick says.
“Then everyone else said they would be part of it and suddenly there I was, standing in front of a mic singing Orange Crush!
“Everyone else” is Dave Ritchie-Smith on guitar and bass, Marc Gernhoefer (drums), Adam Sedgwick (guitar) with Dawn Colless on backing vocals.
“We decided to put on a charity gig because all we wanted to do is perform the music we love, so every single cent from ticket sales is going to the Taranaki Retreat,” Nick says.
“I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t been touched by mental illness in some shape or form and the Retreat do such a wonderful job helping those who need it.”
The last time a night of R.E.M music was played in Taranaki, it was Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck themselves standing on the Bowl of Brooklands stage in the pouring rain in front of an enthralled and ecstatic crowd.
That night has gone down in Taranaki music history, and Nick hopes that people will come and relive the magic on Saturday.
“It seems that everyone has at least one R.E.M song in the soundtrack of their life,” he says.
“The lyrics, the melodies and the harmonies just seem to resonate with people and they produced so many wonderful songs, it’s been a real challenge to choose a set list.
“But I think its safe to say that all the R.E.M favourites are in there, so nobody will be disappointed.”
Everybody Hurts is performing at The Mayfair on Saturday 29 June.
Doors open 7.30pm.
Tickets $20 on the door or $15 in advance from The Mayfair, Vinyl Countdown or online at www.remtaranaki.eventbrite.co.nz.
Words by Polly Catlin-Maybury