Let’s hope Deni Hines’ signature tune Ain’t No Sunshine doesn’t ring true on Sunday, for the 11th annual Christmas Under the Stars.
Hines flew into Sydney on Tuesday, from her home in Thailand, to perform at the event. She is looking forward to her two 45 minute sets. “Last time I came back [to Australia] it was for a corporate thing and I only sang three songs and flew back after three days. This time it’s well and truly worth the [nine and a half hour] flight.”
In response to my question as to why she, husband Daniel and three cats, moved to Thailand, Hines says simply “it’s a great place to live”.
“Australia is great, but it’s getting very expensive.” She says she loves the heat and has a recording deal in Japan which is closer for her to get to from Thailand. “We have a five year visa, so we’ll see after that.”
Hines is no stranger to living abroad, having spent a five year stint in London. This trip home is for eight days, which she will spend with friends, her old dog, which she could not take to Thailand, and of course, mum Marcia.
The 47-year-old began her career with band the Rockmelons in the early ‘90s. After success with them, she repeated her mother’s theatre experience playing Mary Magdalene in a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. She later had a role in musicals Big River and Dusty, the Original Pop Diva.
She has toured with James Morrison, with whom she collaborated on an album, and with Christine Anu.
The ARIA winner has also appeared on the small screen in ABC’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and the big screen in Mao’s Last Dancer.
Her successful songwriting has seen the likes of Beyonce record one her songs, and she has written music for film scores.
Hines says she would love to make an album with some legends and get a role in another drama, but will steer clear of reality tv. “I only did it [Celebrity Apprentice] to raise money for my charity [Oasis Australia].”
At Christmas Under the Stars the kids will have lots to keep them amused with face painting, and a special appearance by Santa and Mrs Claus. Take a picnic rug and folding chairs and take advantage of the food stalls and entertainment.
Apart from Hines, Sing Australia, young entertainers Riley Paige and Angus Gill, the Telegraph Point Public School choir, and Port Macquarie Performing Arts will also perform. Prime7 news presenter Samantha Crowe is your host.
Entry is $2 per person, with the funds donated to the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper Appeal.
The evening comes to a close with brilliant fireworks above the Hastings River.