Amanda Palmer returns to Arts Centre Melbourne for one night only

Singer/Songwriter Amanda Palmer reflects on her two years waylaid in Aotearoa New Zealand with her young son during the pandemic when she returns to Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on 3 February 2024, as part of an intimate run of Australian and New Zealand shows.

Palmer has lovingly collected the material she wrote and recorded during her accidental Kiwi pandemic period into a EP titled “New Zealand Survival Songs, which was funded by the 10,000 patrons who support her unusual, fully-crowdfunded career as a touring songwriter and recording artist.

She plans to have a ‘good old catch-up’, reveal the stories behind the songs, yarn about her time in lockdown, and play a selection of old Dresden Dolls and solo favorites during her tour of the Antipodes.

She’ll also be sharing a selection of brand-new unreleased works from The Dresden Dolls forthcoming album – their first in fifteen years (release date TBD) – arranged for solo piano, in anticipation of the Dolls’ return to the southern hemisphere.


It is still shocking to me that I wound up living in Aoteroa New Zealand – unexpectedly – for over two years of my life, and that my young child was raised in a foreign country while Covid raged around the planet. I came to New Zealand at the end of a world tour and was supposed to be in the country for four show dates and eight days total.

I wound up living within the borders for two and half years. Sometimes I wake up in New York and find myself short of breath and cannot believe that this all happened. I wanted to come back for a short tour – not only because I’m homesick for my Kiwi friends, but because I’d like to share the music – the handful of songs – that emerged from this unbelievably strange period of my life.

Usually a prolific songwriter, this period spent during lockdown and pandemic-times was anything but prolific admitted Palmer:

I was a solo mother for much of the stay, and most of my days were spent simply scared and disoriented, figuring out how to navigate normal Kiwi life, and trying to figure out my – and my son’s – place in the world. I spent much of the day, every day, wondering when we would go home. It took a very long time to accept what was happening, and there was almost no time for reflection or music-making.

I did, in the end, wind up writing about four songs in total over those few years, and they were mostly songs of catharsis and abject survival.

One of these, “The Man Who Ate Too Much”, was written right after the first lockdown and inspired by the kindness of Kiwi strangers, my horror at Donald Trump, my collapsed marriage, and the local landscape. I’d been gazing at the outline Te Mata peak in Hawke’s Bay, and the lyrics draw on the Maori Myth of the Tanifa who tried to eat through the mountain and choked to death.

She Said:

The Ballad of The New York Times” was written on Waiheke to try to describe my desperate relationship with the isolation of motherhood and doom-scrolling. “Whakenewha” is a howl of emotion inspired by the beautiful and haunting preserve of the same name on Waiheke, and “Little Island” is my complicated and heartfelt love letter to New Zealand and to the people who held and took care of me, as well as a pondering about our collectively difficult relationships with the past, and what “home” really means,

As part of the tour Amanda Palmer will also be performing in Queenstown, Auckland and Wellington, NZ from 21 January and Sydney Recital Hall on 1 February.

Season Details

Venue: Hamer Hall
Date: 03 Feb 2024

For more information click Here

Photo Credit: Duncan Innes

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