New Zealand Law Society - Hunting Brief's late night Blues gig

Hunting Brief's late night Blues gig

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By Jock Anderson 

Simon James (Simon) Davies-Colley
Entry to law
Graduated LLB from Auckland University 2008. Admitted 2008. 
Senior Lawyer in Jackson Russell's employment team, Auckland. 
Speciality area
Litigation and disputes resolution.
Simon Davies-Colley
Simon Davies-Colley

Simon Davies-Colley won’t forget the day of his Auckland shift from Minter Ellison Rudd Watts across the road to Jackson Russell, where he was recently made a senior lawyer.

“It was 1 May five years ago and I took a long weekend to go duck shooting in between, which is always a reminder of the date,” says Simon.

Brought up on a sheep and beef farm in mid-Northland, keen duck shooter and hunter Simon was out on the family farm for the opening of the game bird season this month with his trusty Russian-made Baikal 12-gauge side-by-side shotgun.

“It’s the first gun I ever bought, it’s always shot straight and I’ve never had any reason to change it … It will go on the wall eventually but until then it still does the job.”

Simon’s deer rifle – a Tikka 300 Winchester short magnum – which arrived by post in a big brown box while he was at Minters, has been hankering for some use since hunting in the Waikaremoana area has been limited.

When he’s not shooting he enjoys diving and spear fishing from family property at Matapouri, on the Tutukaka coast north of Auckland – “when I get a craving for a feed of crayfish…”

Before attending university and during holidays, he worked as a logger – inevitably attracting a few Monty Python lumberjack digs – and still occasionally helps mates fell backyard trees in return for beers.

Having played hockey all through school he jumped at the chance to play at Auckland University and for his current club Grammar Windsor, where he is also on the committee and coaches a ladies team.

“It’s a neat little club and I play more for the social side, I’m a sports dabbler … I often fill in on stuff like indoor cricket when the team is short and find I’m still there three years later…”

But his big outside work gig is as blues enthusiast “Sober Simon,” one of several voluntary DJs pumping out music on kfm.106.9, an independent community radio station whose limited broadcast range spans Ponsonby Road, Dominion Rd, Balmoral and Parnell – with repeater stations in south Auckland and Titirangi.

He was ironically called “Sober Simon” in his student days at Auckland University’s Shadows pub and it stuck.

“You wouldn’t be the first person never to have heard kfm.”

Started about 12 years ago “in a closet in St Kevin’s Arcade on Karangahape Road,” kfm is ancillary to the Te Karanga Charitable Trust.

The trust supports and develops community based projects, education and vocational achievement, mainly aimed at mentoring and working with youth who have “fallen through the cracks.”

“We have much nicer premises now across the road and still run on the smell of an oily rag.

“kfm plays the type of music the kids like – reggae, dub, downbeat, soul, funk and the blues, which is my personal show on Thursday night from ten to midnight.”

Simon plays a lot of Maori and Pacifica-based blues, along with his personal favourites such as BB King, and enjoys a good relationship with the popular Auckland Blues Club.

“I drift into some country, a bit of Ry Cooder, and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a safe bet when we play country the listener numbers plunge…

“For about ten years we were the only regular blues show on air … Now there a few others popping up which I see as a win, not competition…

“The station has a text line and a phone line so we get calls coming in for requests, but mostly we get listeners on the kfm website chat function…

“There’s a chap who works from home in Dorset (England) as a designer, listening to the show on his computer, who sends in requests during his morning smoko break…”

kfm relies on private donations “from people who like what we do” and charitable grants to pay the bills and does not run commercial advertising.

Simon played bass and double bass – “playing is a very loose term” - in a band with a couple of other lawyers for a few years “but various people get married and have kids and drift apart.”

His reading alternates between “the good and well written” works of John Irving (The World According To Garp and The Cider House Rules) and Markus Zusak (The Messenger) to “terrible dollar fantasy novels from Amazon.”

He prefers the “masochistic cringe humour” of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Extras and the Danish Klown series.

“The central theme is they are all such terrible people you feel moderately better about yourself, or if you identify with some of the awful things they are doing you feel so bad you need to go outside and do something motivating…”

“I’ve been known to watch Boston Legal but don’t go for legal dramas. The Good Wife is too earnest and there’s only so much drama and tension you can take…

“I have a good niche with work/life balance, although you can never plan too far ahead because if someone needs all hands on deck you have to be there.

“I had tickets for the Black Caps South Africa cricket semi final but had to attend an urgent mediation instead for a client. I consoled myself by telling myself South Africa were outstanding and would thump us anyway, so I wouldn’t be missing much…

“Fortunately we managed to get the problem solved in time for me to get out to see the last couple of overs…

“My wife Susie, who is a nurse educator, and I volunteer at the SPCA once a month, and dabble in various other things.

“The balance is about right at the moment…"

Jock Anderson has been writing and commenting on New Zealand lawyers and New Zealand's courts for several decades. He also writes the weekly Caseload column for the New Zealand Herald. Contact Jock at

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