The French Conundrum: Ria Hall on Fly My Pretties

New Zealand and France are like Gandalf and the Balrog in Lord of The Rings, grappling as we tumble into the abyss.

The battle between the good New World and the bad Old World is the making of us both.

Of course after the contest we will be supping on red wine and mussels with our on-field rivals.

A tryst such as this possibly produced the gorgeous Ria Hall, justifiably lauded songstress who performed stirringly at the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup in Auckland a couple of years back.

“I’m part French,” Ria reveals to On Mag. She “loves” France and enjoyed a fortnight in Paris.

“I got a sense of where my sometimes abrupt attitude comes from,” she laughs.

Ria‘s identification with Europe resonates with many New Zealanders.

Indeed the very name of the ensemble cast for the upcoming tour of Fly My Pretties describes the impetus of the bold and beautiful to depart these shores for the overseas experience so well known it is often referred to by the initials OE, and typically preceded by “big”.

Barnaby Weir and Ria Hall in full flight

Barnaby Weir and Ria Hall in full flight

The wide world calls but right now Ria is producing her new album ‘Rules of Engagement‘ here and will be touring with the rest of the cast including progenitor Barnaby Weir in September, hitting Wanaka on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September.

“The South [Island] give us heaps of love. With what’s been happening in the South Island with the earthquakes and people not going out much they really appreciate it when you come to see them,” says Ria.

She was receptive to the suggestion the FMP crew rehearse a quake drill along with the tracks for the show, especially given they will be doing wobbly Wellington, her adopted home, on September 18.

After that is Nelson, Westport, Christchurch, Ashburton, Dunedin before the Tauranga-born Ria‘s first visit to the Otago town with no traffic lights on September 28. They’ll be at Lake Wanaka Centre, 89 Ardmore Street.

Although not a snow sports aficionado, Ria is up for hitting the slopes “if we get the opportunity”.

On: Out of your fellow cast members, who is most likely to be tucked up in bed with a Milo first?

Ria: Probably me. Maybe Anika [Moa] as well.

On: Who us most likely to stay out til dawn?

Ria: Definitely Barnaby. Without fail. Other cast members will support me in saying that.

On: What is the prettiest thing you’ve seen today?

Ria: The sunrise this morning was gorgeous.

On: How do you feel about flying?

Ria: I love flying. Man wouldn’t that be a dream to be able to have wings, to levitate.

Her enthusiasm for life and her performance schedule is obvious, even over the phone.

“It’s a new cast, it’s a new feel, taking the concept back to its roots. It’s been nine years since the first show. It’s a really exciting prospect,” she says, and we believe her.

WIN a ticket to the Saturday gig by telling us which band member is most likely to stay up til dawn. Email the correct answer to to go in the draw. Winners announced here and Facebook on September 21.

More info here:

Le French mix‘ featuring Antoine De Saint-Exupéry‘s “Le Petit Prince‘, Stèphane Pompougnac, Daftside, DSL‘s ‘Padampam‘, an unholy trinity of David Guetta, Ne-Yo AND Akon playing “hard”, and Pierre Dudan with ‘Clopin-clopant‘, available for streaming and download right here:

If you’ve an iPhone you can subscribe to the podcast and play it in iTunes, or use the free Podomatic app.

Got some great ideas for mix themes or beat distribution? Write to Michaeat

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