iO are a live band playing popular rock music from classic to new. We will get your party started and keep it revving into the night
iO are a five-piece ensemble featuring leading diva Cathy Elizabeth (vocals, percussion), Jim Walmsley (lead/rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals), Charlie Robinson (lead/rhythm guitar, vocals), James Shanks (drums, occasional screams) and Aaron "Chief" Nonoa (bass guitar).
We perform well-known rock and pop hits from Queen to Billy Idol, Pat Benatar to Bennee, Led Zeppelin to The Killers and many more, in a kick-ass performance that suits all ages and tastes. Perfect for any kind of party - we can play quietly, but that doesn't tend to last for very long.
We can play up to five hours' of material from our current repertoire, and come with our own sound system and technician, for parties of up to 500 people. We are an affordable entertainment option for your next special event. And to create the perfect ambience, we can also bring a full professional lighting rig and technician to create a lighting spectacular. Enquire now to get a quote for your event.
Returning to Wellington from the Wairarapa in 2018, Cathy Elizabeth was keen to progress her music career, after thoroughly enjoying singing with local covers band Short Circuit in Martinborough. She quickly found herself involved with several music projects in Wellington; namely acoustic covers duo Deux Voix, which is still going strong, and her original music project Rain.NZ, with which she recently released her debut EP.
Cathy loves to strut her stuff on stage, and enjoys the thrill of powering it out the vocals with a full band behind her. Her voice has a special dynamic quality that can be both powerful at times, and subtle at others … but always emotive, as she loves to connect with every song she sings and deliver it right from the soul.
She will grab you by the heart and take you along on the journey with her, so get ready to have the time of your life!
Musical influences: Grew up on the music of Led Zepplin, Queen, The Doors, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix & Janice Joplin, as well as the likes of Dire Straits, Cold Chisel, The Police, Midnight Oil & Men at Work (She lived in Australia in the 80s!!), then later in life Nirvana, Jeff Buckley, Foo Fighters, and lots of other eclectic and unusual artists. Sounds like Pat Benetar, Blondie, Bic Runga, Chrissy Hynde.
Aaron "Chief" Nonoa recently joined as bassist and has a long musical history that includes fronting the Bliss Kiwi Music Band with Jim.
Aaron's roots are funk/soul/R&B playing with his brothers in Grazz, Bronze Spirit and Nonoa in Hamilton in the 80s and 90s.
With influences ranging from Earth Wind and Fire, Commodores, through to Doobie Brothers, ACDC and every genre in between he also spent time in rock cover bands Ice 9 and In Wellington played with blues/folk and soul outfits Strange Brew, The Straight Shooters and Fabulous Murray Brothers.
He has spent time as musical director and band leader for Tropical Hi in the Whitsunday in Queensland and played in Japan for a year.
More recently Aaron has played on albums for FMB and Shooters and played numerous festivals including the Fiji Jazz and Blues Festival twice, Queenstown Winterfest twice and Lights Festival in New Plymouth twice, and in many clubs and pubs around New Zealand.
He is really enjoying the vibe and musicality of IO. Let's Rock.
Lead and rhythm guitarist “Charlie Guitarlie” plays a mean rock guitar and hits those ‘sweet spots’ every time. His riffs often induce a tear or two in James’ eye (although he doesn’t always admit this). Charlie has played in various bands with James (our powerhouse drummer) for about 15 years including a stint with Jim in Wellington Blues band “Silverline”.
Apart from playing in numerous bands he has done some recording work. He is prone to singing the odd song with that milky voice, and throwing in backing vocals for Fiona when his guitar fingers are not too busy.
Because Charlie, Jim and James love making music together and are all great friends from way back, they decided to form the band that was to ultimately become iO.
Charlie’s biggest musical influences are David Gilmour, Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Mark Knopfler, Vinnie Moore, Michael Schenker , Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy and many more. He loves pop and rock, and loves it grunty or sweet and melodic.
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.
Before his current tenure as drummer for iO and possessor of the coolest name in the band, 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.
In 1982 he took his drums overseas, playing with various bands six nights per week in pubs and clubs around Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. On his return to NZ in 1985, James was involved in regular session work, recording advertising jingles. He was a regular in the busy club and bar gig scene with many bands including Roadhouse Rebels, Meltdown and Nexus, playing a mix of rock, pop and blues.
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.