Not many Aucklander's know of the Wintergarden; the humble but just as elegant venue downstairs of the main stage at the Civic Theatre. It was a perfect location for an intimate performance from two complimentary singer songwriters; Lydia Cole from our home shores and Kina Grannis from the USA.
Lydia Cole charmed the audience with her quirky demeanour and personable stage presence. Her organic nature is heard through her natural tone and the way she speaks to you as she sings. Accompanied purely by her guitar she never competes for volume but sways to and from the microphone creating a steady stream of sound. She has a Bodhran drum like humming beneath her soft voice. Lydia's singing and song writing represents New Zealand music beautifully.
Kina Grannis made her way back to New Zealand with her husband and accompanist Jesse Epstein to play us some songs from her newly released album Elements. Kina Grannis spent some time in Dunedin studying 8 years ago, which she explained to the crowd was a completely different time of life for her. She enjoyed her student days busking in Dunedin's crevices singing for her lunch money down tight alleyways and in front of supermarkets. Kina said if it wasn't for the internet she would have never been able to build the audience beyond her small gigs and busking days and is thankful for the worldwide connection it has enabled for her music. Her New Zealand fan base were ecstatic to see her; between every song were conversations swayed between Kina and the audience; words of admiration screamed toward Kina and a lot of generous conversation back.
She opened with Oh Father off her new album, portraying the country, folk and rock influences you hear through her music. Kina's passion stirs through her vocals; her sweet, country toned voice washed over the audience faultlessly throughout the set. Her set was very organic, simply executed by her and her acoustic guitar, Jesse doing very soft backing harmonies and playing electric guitar. She predominantly led the majority of the songs, apart from a duet cover of Team (Lorde). They did it stunning justice and after hearing I think he should have a bit more microphone time during their live performances as they created a beautiful depth together.
Though depth Kina is definitely not lacking; Forever Blue written of her Grandfathers passing was powerful. I found it the standout performance of the night in terms of raw emotion. She went from whispers to belt within the song, dynamically carrying the listener through an intimate story.
She would often explain the story behind her songs; Winter was one she wrote while looking at Death Flowers at a writing retreat, the song came to her while she was watching them and made her cry. This story shows a glimpse of how in touch she is with her creativity and music; this is heard by the truthful way her songs flow from her on stage.
Her songs are directed by her emotion, the way she floats into softly placed falsetto always comes at the right time, and then the depth comes where needed. She seems to travel back into the place her songs are from and because of this her audience gets an honest performance; isn't that what makes a great musician? I think so.
She is an inspiring artist who has worked hard to be able to do what she loves to a worldwide audience; her humble gratitude for her fans is great to see. It was a show that left you feeling uplifted and genuinely happy for the singer songwriter that has created a great life for herself.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.