By Emily Norman
Singer songwriter Monty Bevins has been on the road for four and a half years.
With no fixed abode, the nomadic folk musician travels in his people mover, which he has lovingly dubbed Toyota Sensible, playing gigs all over the country.
But Martinborough, where Bevins is set to play this month, is a special place for the musician.
It’s a “little home” for him on his circuit around New Zealand.
Bevins, originally from Auckland, hit the road at the end of 2012 and has been travelling ever since.
On May 13, he will be kicking off the first Tora Tora Tora session at Ventana Creative Collective in Martinborough.
The sessions will take the place of the annual Tora Tora Tora (TTT) music festival which is on a rest year for 2017.
The TTT sessions at Ventana is a spinoff of the coastal music event aimed at recapturing intimate moments where festival goers can experience singer songwriters up close and personal.
Bevins recalled playing at the TTT festival last year, and was excited to be the first musician to kick off the TTT sessions for 2017.
He also played at Ventana Creative Collective on Kitchener St last year.
“It was just a perfect show for me,” he said.
“It was one of those shows that reaffirmed why I’m doing this.
“The guys at Ventana really care about hosting musicians and did everything they could to make me feel welcome.
“I went away thinking Martinborough would be another little home for me on my circuit around New Zealand.”
Bevins said he had become used to the nomadic lifestyle he led, but for the first couple of years of touring he had dealt with “a lot of uncertainty and vulnerability”.
“Now that I’ve established a circuit and a network of friends and supporters, it has become a lot more joyful.
“The tough times are not so rampant.”
Before hitting the road in his people mover, Bevins did a stint around London playing gigs for a couple of years, and then Wellington for about a year and a half.
“But I wanted to be hardcore, I wanted to be on the road fulltime, and there was no reason not to,” he said.
“I was just daydreaming outside too many windows to not have a crack at it.
“I wanted to be doing what I was imagining, rather than just dreaming of it.”
A touring highlight for the musician was when, in 2015, he cycled from the very top of the North Island to the very bottom of the south – “from the Cape to the Bluff”.
“It was about 3000km and I carried my amp, guitar, mic stand, and leads in a bob trailer behind me.
“I did 20 shows along the way and about 70km a day, which took two months.”
Bevins heads to Europe at the end of May.
To get tickets to his intimate Martinborough performance, visit ventanacreativecollective.co.nz.
Musicians featured in other upcoming sessions will soon be revealed by the venue, but it is understood that performances will include Eb and Sparrow and Amiria Grennel.
TTT music festival is set to take off again in 2018.