Since the release of his first solo album 20 years ago, Wellington singer-songwriter Vorn Colgan has eked out a career as one of those artists who are widely acclaimed by critics and fellow musicians and largely ignored by the wider public.
This tendency to languish in obscurity certainly has nothing to do with output - Colgan has released 8 solo albums between stints working with avant pop savants Gold Medal Famous and providing accordion services for the Wellington Sea Shanty Society and is currently at work on his ninth album, tentatively titled How Much Do You People Want From Me??
But in this age of high-speed news cycles it is not enough for an artist to have a huge, high-quality back catalogue and and crack live band to turn out punters for a gig. You need a marketing gimmick. Having noted the success of the Chills in parlaying a Hepatitis C diagnosis into a successful film career, Vorn decided to go one better and develop Stage 4 Melanoma. "This isn't a joke", he said in a recent interview. "I have cancer. Will you come to my d*mn gig now?"
September 22 marks the start of the Last Chance to See tour, in which Vorn will attempt to play as many gigs around the country as possible before his illness prevents him. If you haven't been to a Vorn gig before, we recommend it highly - Vorn gigs are always something special and now have the added value of scarcity.
Disclaimer: In the case of a miracle cure for melanoma preventing Vorn's death, no one gets their money back.