There is something truly captivating and striking about Lyttleton folk star Aldous Harding. From the moment she picks up her guitar, and takes a seat centre stage, her natural sense of elegance and calming smile, front her shy and generous spirit, as her dry and somewhat awkward sense of humour, warm and settle the crowd exquisitely. As she begins her short 30 minute set with a stunning performance of ‘Stop Your Tears,' from her self-titled debut album, Harding had the entire audience in utter mesmerisation of her enchantingly unique and awe-inspiring voice that accompanies her sweetly melodic tunes.
Soon after Aldous departed the stage, Lyttleton's Eb & Sparrow who are in fact the only national headline act to perform as a pat of the Tuning Fork's Americana Folk Festival, took to the stage, much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd and Ebony Lamb, the ‘Eb' part of the group's, grandma it seemed, as Ebony took to the stage jokingly admitting that her grandma was very proud of her for making it onto the festival line up, and rightly so I think.
Performing nineteen songs in total, the audience were lucky enough to be treated to practically two concerts back to back, rather than one, as the group performed two fantastic sets, with a short 20 minute ‘drinks break' separating them.
Celebrating the release of their self titled debut album which came out earlier last month, the crowd got to enjoy and witness the entire album in all of it's full glory, including a few oldies, some special one off treats, and the odd cover or two.
Kick starting their entire performance with ‘Deadbeats,' the first track off the album, you could sense the entire band were already prepared and in the mood for a great night, as their delightful rapport among one another and passion for music radiated off the stage into the audience, who proved just as excited and thrilled to be there, not to mention also prepared for the fun and entertaining night which lay ahead.
Ebony certainly has a quirky way of talking between songs, cracking jokes and sharing humorous stories of her life with the audience, who enjoyed hearing these tales, just as much as she did telling them it seemed, as laughter and humorous responses from the floor to the stage were plentiful. As the music began once more, the slightly faster paced ‘Big Train' soon followed, where by Chris Winter's trumpet playing appeared to take the lead, adding a level of warmth and engagement that just lit up the entire stage, as Ebony with her exceptionally raw and powerful voice, continued to project her voice towards the crowd while profusely strumming her guitar and walking around the stage, expressing the shear love and adoration she clearly has for her band of incredibly talented musicians.
The eerie and mysterious ‘Shadowlands,' proved a big hit with the audience, as many were left mesmerised and in awe of the calming and decadent melodic riff originating from the lap steel guitar, which Bryn Hevldtdid an outstanding job playing, showcasing a more delicate and sweet side to both the band in terms of their sound and songwriting skills, as well as revealing a more tender and enchanting side to Ebony's stunning vocals.
As the faster paced tunes continued throughout the night, Winter and bassist Jason Johnson, sure had a great time, laughing and dancing up a storm, throughout ‘Loaded Gun,' and ‘Hungry Little Town,' occasionally also taking the reign on backing vocals, adding yet another warmth to their already very soothing sounds.
If the more upbeat and energetic songs weren't enough or to your liking however, they still had much more to offer with their softer and calming ‘Quietly We Tred' and ‘Calling Calling,' which saw Winters put aside his trumpet for a minute and pick up the electric guitar and tambourine. Soon concluding their first set, and departing the stage, it wasn't long before they took to the spotlight once more, as Ebony confessed, "I love meeting and chatting to you guys, you're so awesome," as she thanked everyone for coming, once more.
Kicking off their second set with a beautiful tune titled ‘Beware' from their 2013 EP, The Moorings, the only thing that began to slightly worry me at this stage was whether or not they were going to be able to deliver a sense of difference and originality to each tune, as the night continued, each track began to sound more similar than the last. But looking around with this in mind, the crowd didn't seem phased as they swayed along, enjoying everything the band were throwing at them, encouraging me to soon forget and get over this thought and just enjoy the music as I had been all night, anyway.
Another sweet track, which Ebony introduced as ‘The Liberator,' soon followed as she announced that this song isn't on the album, but just a special treat she wanted to share with us all. This song again had a good majority of the audience absorbed in Bryn's lap- steel playing as his concentration and focus on the instrument was immensely impressive. Proving another sweet and delicate number, the quality of the song suited Ebony's vocals perfectly as the passion of the trumpet fed in to her low and sultry tones.
Asking the audience if anyone had had a shit day today, Ebony soon pricked up again, announcing "well I just met someone who had a house fire today, so I'm deviating this song to her," she said, before launching into‘This One Time,' which proved a popular, crowd favourite for many, as Ebony's deep tones continued echoing throughout the room as the song faded to conclusion.
‘I Was High,' ‘Two Walls,' and ‘The Coward Sun,' which Ebony announced is also known and referred to within the band as, ‘Never Before,' were all great ‘oldies but goodies' excluding the humorously titled ‘I Was High' which is from their debut album.
Their 2012 single, 'In The Harbour' was also the case of being an oldie but a goodie. Proving a highlight for many, I've got to admit this song still remains my favourite from the entire night. As the track, both stunning and magical fills your heart with nothing but pure warmth and love, as Ebony's clear, soothing vocals remained echoing throughout everyone's ears as the song, and their set sadly drew to an end.
An encore was of course something that seemed pretty obvious, as the band departed the stage leaving Ebony alone to her own devices as she went on to sing a remarkable song, which I apologise not knowing the name of- but it's not on any of the band's EPs, or album, so shall have to remain nameless, before eventually truly drawing the night of great music to an end with an outstanding version of Ray Orbison's ‘Sweet Dreams,'which the band joined her on stage for, one final time, leaving the audience with no better energetic and magnificent ending, to what truly was an a phenomenal musical experience.
There always seems a lot going on up on stage when you see Eb & Sparrow perform live, but some how they have managed to draw the fine line and never clash, musically. An attribute which adds a fascinating sense to this band's live performance. Their sound is beautiful, they're all very talented and last of all and possibly the most important- their undeniable love and passion for creating and performing music all helps makes for what is one very enjoyable musical experience, and I pray they never lose this
One of our writers sat down with Amy Mansfield, writer of I Didn’t Invite You Hear To Lecture Me, ahead of the Basement shows. Most students throw out their study notes, but not Amy. She has kept hold of them for the past 20 years--vertibiam quotes from her lectures that are too good to ever get rid of. The play was shown throughout the Auckland Fringe Week 2018, and even in some personal living rooms, the vibe is very independent and witty.
It was a cold bleary eyed Saturday night as the clock struck midnight, and counted towards 1am… the time set forth to conjure Richard Shaw, guitarist for legendary UK black metal act Cradle of Filth. We talked ahead of their sold out, first ever performance here in New Zealand.
NZ is about to get OBESSED, with the newest in kiwi music. Local Tauranga sweetheart, Amelia McNabb comes to us fiercely, independently, and with more fire in her lungs than I've heard from any kiwi artist in while. THIS is what we’ve been waiting for.
Elgusto, one part of the innovative electronic/dance music duo, Hermitude, sat down with one of our interviewers this past week; chatting about their loaded schedule, the bands ethos, how they communicate an instrumental show, and their creative collaborations.
Catching up with friends who are musicians at their gigs is always an odd, awkward, rushed affair between sets, pack-down, or a series of inaudible shouts as another band plays. So with the release of the new Seas of Conflict single Monachopsis, I thought it was time I simply scheduled time for a chat, not only once but twice--due to technical issues--with guitarist Declan Storrie.
I recently ventured back to my old festival haunting grounds - or at least the successor thereof. It was a hot Sunday afternoon and after juggling band members between their Festival One main stage duties and their prior commitments off-site, I managed to sit down with the guys and gal from Amanaki - one of the few hardcore-metal acts to perform at the mostly radio-friendly festival.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
Andrew Fagan returns with a satirical take on today’s social media preoccupied society. Being an amateur social anthropologist, it is a topic close to his heart. Listen to new track On Channel Me below, off Fagan’s forthcoming solo album Act Normal, due for release in October on Southbound.
Brisbane’s own indie rock royalty, The Grates, have been invited along for the ride, and will treat their hometown crowd to classics from their extensive and impressive catalogue of tunes including 19-20-20 and Turn Me On.
Pixies, one of the most influential alternative rock bands of all time, have announced a second show for Brisbane fans due to overwhelming demand. Following on from Melbourne’s second show announced on Friday (on sale 12pm today!), Brisbane fans have been just as eager to see catch the influential music pioneers, selling out the Fortitude Music Hall date on March 13. A second show has been added at the same venue on Thursday March 12 as part of their mammoth world tour, Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa.
The Ugly Kings, featuring Devil Electric guitarist, Christos Athanasias, are four powerhouse blues rockers drawing influence from an eclectic and dynamic musical background. They offer a powerful injection of energy and emotion to the modern rock scene, formulating what can only be described as power blues. They have released a new music video for Black Widow, featuring an award winning burlesque dancer Ferri Maya. Plus announced a live show this weekend!
Fame and fortune on the Kiwi music scene are a step closer for the top 10 acts just announced in Smokefreerockquest, New Zealand’s biggest live, nationwide all original music event for high school students.
Pluto’s nascent trajectory has covered the spectrum of the New Zealand musical stratosphere, bursting brightly onto the scene in 2001 just to have their star seemingly burn out just as abruptly in 2009. It would have been a suitably intriguing end to befall one of the finest, most exciting and alluring bands New Zealand has ever produced.
Exhilarating and high energy New Zealand rock band, Written By Wolves, have just released their killer new track, Tell Me What You’re Running From? This is the first single from the band’s upcoming new album, set for release later this year.
Australia’s foremost authority on progressive rock, Caligula’s Horse, are just weeks away from kicking off their Let It Grow tour which will celebrate their cult classic The Tide, The Thief & River's End and breakout progressive masterpiece Bloom by playing them back to back!
Within the four walls of The Fortitude Music Hall, lies The Outpost. Brisbane’s newest 300 capacity multipurpose venue that will feature a diverse program of artists, an impressive drinks menu featuring a cocktail list curated by the talented team at Proof & Company.
After spending the past year pulverizing the world with their stupefying live performances, Tropical Fuck Storm return home to tour their new album Braindrops and put the Antipodean public to the sword! Braindrops, the follow up to 2018's epic odyssey, A Laughing Death In Meatspace, will be released on Flightless Records in August
It’s been 20 years since The Flaming Lips released the one-of-a-kind aural hallucination that is The Soft Bulletin. To celebrate the anniversary of its release, The Flaming Lips will play a special show at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall.
Backstreet’s back, alright! Get your group together, because the biggest selling Boy Band of all time (100 million albums), the BACKSTREET BOYS are heading back to New Zealand in 2020 for a show at Auckland’s Spark Arena on Saturday, May 16.
Platinum-certified independent singer, songwriter, producer, and pop visionary Lauv has released new single 'fuck, I'm lonely' with Anne-Marie today. The track will be featured on Lauv’s forthcoming debut album titled ~how i'm feeling
Frontier Touring and Roundhouse Entertainment are excited to announce that Norwegian pop icons a-ha are returning to Australia for the first time in 34 years, before heading to New Zealand for the very first time! They’ll be joined by very special guest Rick Astley at all February & March 2020 shows, taking in Sydney, Melbourne, and Christchurch, as well as a day on the green events in Australia and New Zealand.
Hitting a massive nine centres on his regional tour this September, Stan will take the stage to perform songs from his impressive catalogue plus his brand new pop smash single Give (co-written by Matiu Walters of SIX60) for his beloved fans. The Springboard tour will also boast three of NZ’s most up-and-coming new artists – Lepani, Niko Walters and Jordan Gavet.
TEG DAINTY and THE MISSION ESTATE WINERY CONCERT announced today that global superstar Michael Bublé will return in February 2020! Accompanied by a 36-piece orchestra and ready to to thrill his New Zealand fans for one night only; this will be Michael Bublé’s only show in New Zealand.
Elton John will perform a third and final show at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium, to satisfy New Zealand’s insatiable demand. It has also been announced that, due to a scheduling conflict, three of Elton’s sold out New Zealand concerts have been delayed by one week. Rescheduled dates affect the second show at Mission Estate Winery, and the first two Mt Smart Stadium shows in Auckland.
Vocal prodigy RUEL is returning to New Zealand for one show in Auckland at the Bruce Mason Centre in May. Counting Elton John and Khalid among his fans, RUEL is taking the globe by storm, smashing show records, and he’s only 16 years old.
Exactly six years to the day since the release of Vance Joy’s debut EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing, Liberation Records are pleased to reveal an extremely limited run of the EP have been pressed on vinyl for the first time ever for release on Friday 26 April. Vance Joy has also announced he will bring his Ukuleles For Kids program to Australia in a new partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia. Launched in the USA last year the program delivers ukuleles and how-to video tutorials lead by Vance Joy to children’s hospitals.
LA two-piece Moby Rich have announced two headline shows on their debut Australian tour this May. With their latest single Blink bringing further attention to the duo, this Australian tour is the perfect opportunity to catch two indie stars on the rise. Support on the tour comes from yergurl in Melbourne, whose lo-fi beats and unique pop style made her a Triple J Unearthed favourite. Sydney support will be from Hoodlem, a streaming sensation with her mix of experimental soul and future R&B.
Darren Middleton (POWDERFINGER), Mark Wilson (JET), Davey Lane (YOU AM I) and Kram (SPIDERBAIT) have joined forces to become ARC, one of the most collectively celebrated and successful supergroups in Australia’s rock history will be performing Abbey Road live, commemorating 50 years of existence.
Abbey Road, The Beatles' swansong and their crowning achievement as a recording group - is a stately, majestic, playful yet fiercely rocking masterpiece of pop music, regarded as one of the greatest records of all time.
On the heels of releasing several collaborative hit tracks this year, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson returns with a brand new single of his own ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ featuring Miley Cyrus.
TEG Dainty and Nice Events are excited to announce that Emmy-nominated television personality, podcaster and hairstylist to the stars, Jonathan Van Ness, will bring his Road to Beijing world tour to New Zealand
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.