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About iO

iO is all about energy and fun. We are experienced musicians who love giving an audience a great time.

You will know and love most of our repertoire, and you will hear some songs that other bands don't play.  We like to be refreshingly different.


Samantha Ashton

Sam has been singing since she was young and has been with The iO since late 2021. She has
grown up performing in multiple singing competitions and musical shows in Dunedin.
After moving to Wellington in 2011 Sam took a break from performing to focus on a career in
photography and brand marketing. Now getting back into the music scene, she is keen to
replace her classical training with rock and focus on hits from the 80s and 90s.
Sam’s music tastes could be described as varied but she will always have a soft spot for the
likes of Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac with a generous splash of No Doubt from her childhood.
Sam joined the band Hermine in 2018 as a vocalist and songwriter, but is enjoying the fun of
jamming some of her favourite tunes with The iO without having the pressure of writing them!

Jim Walmsley

Jim plays guitar and keyboards and does backing vocals in iO, often succeeding to do all three at once.  His earliest musical beginnings were learning piano and singing in a choir.


He joined his first professional band at the age of 17 in Christchurch and learned the trade of playing lots of gigs with a repertoire of standards. Later, while at University, he was a member of the world-famous-in-Christchurch R&B, Latino, and Ska band Louie and the Hotsticks. He then came to Wellington to get a proper job.


In Wellington he has played in several bands, including Silverline (blues) and Bliss (Kiwi rock). He has also recorded on several CDs, and has written and produced soundtracks.


Jim's earlier rock influences were guitarists such as Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour, Rory Gallagher, Eric Clapton, and Bonnie Raitt, but he enjoys playing any music with guts and energy, which is why he’s perfect for iO.


Scott Simpson

Scott is the guitarist that everyone wants. Power chords, sweet blues licks and blistering
speed, he’s got it all!
Scott hails from Toronto, Canada and has been playing guitar for over 40 years. Having
returned to New Zealand in 1982 he has been in various covers bands and original bands,
most notably “The Spirals” who released two albums in the 90s. They toured NZ and
Australia with wide TV and radio airplay. More recently he has been part of Hitchcock
Railway, a Joe Cocker Tribute band playing festivals and corporate gigs. Scott has also done
extensive studio work over the years, mainly on the engineering/production side of things as
well as playing live and now really enjoys being a part of this line-up.

Mike Patrick

Multi-instrumentalist and singer Mike is the newest member of iO. He first began playing bass with Tauranga band The Rogues at the age of 16. Since then he has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music Studies and played solo and group shows across Wellington. Proficient at both guitar and bass, and with musical tastes range from world music and classical right through to grunge and the odd bit of doom metal, Mike is slowly learning a variety of instruments including the mandolin and the musical saw.

Currently also playing for a Creedence Clearwater Revivial tribute band, and slowly working on his own original works, Mike is loving the opportunity to jam some classics with iO!


James Shanks

James had humble beginnings as Wellington Snare Drum Champion in 1979, spending his formative drumming years playing in the Mana College Jazz Band & Concert Band.  Under the direction of Rodger Fox, he performed regularly at the Tauranga Jazz Festival.  James also played in covers bands while still at school, and was a regular member of the “2ZB Buzz O Bumble” band with Lyndsey Yeo, as well as the Porirua Municipal Brass Band.


James has toured with the overseas artists Herb McQuay, Carter Edwards and Gerry Joe Weise, as well as touring with NZ artists Johnny Devlin, Tom Sharplin, Maria Dallas, Shane, Robbie Ratana, Eddie Low, Bunny Walters, Tanya Rowles, Brendan Duggan, John Grennel, Ray Woolf, the late Ray Columbusand Billy T James.


Today James enjoys plying his trade in a more rock-oriented genre, and is very happy sitting in that groove.

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