Flip Grater

By Poppy Tohill

Artist:  Flip Grater

Date / Venue:  Thursday April 24th, The Wine Cellar, Auckland

It's been four years since the Paris based New Zealand musician Flip Grater last released an album, but Auckland welcomed her well anticipated fourth studio album ‘Pigalle' with open arms and a completely sold out gig at the Wine Cellar on Thursday night.

The venue was packed with people lining the walls and snuggling up in every corner. I don't think it would have been possible to fit many more people in there if we tried. If anything, this should tell you that Flip Grater is a star.

It felt like a very intimate affair upon arrival. Flip sat at the front door welcoming everyone inside with a warm smile and the relaxed nature of everybody within the surroundings perfectly set the tone for what was yet to come.

Dream folk-pop duo French For Rabbits warmed up the crowd with an exceptional performance, sustaining the relaxed ambience amongst the audience.

Soon enough Flip took to the stage immediately chatting away with the audience, as she opened her set with the incredibly beautiful melodic ballad, ‘Marry Me.'  Her stunning soothing vocals continued to fill the room as she went on to perform her popular song ‘I Am Gone' from her 2010 album, ‘While I'm Awake I'm At War,'whereby she added a touch of French lyrics to ending.

Opening act, French For Rabbits then joined Flip on stage, with Brooke Singer adding a touch of piano and vocals and other half John Fitzgerald adding some exquisite guitar melodies to the remainder of Flip's set which included eight more songs from ‘Pigalle.'

Frequently telling stories and chatting between each song, Flip had the complete attention of the audience in her hands from start to finish, with cheers, applause and laughter following her every song and comment.  Her soothing, melodious vocals pleasantly echoed throughout the room beautifully, with each lyric sinking into your heart and warming your insides, leaving you wanting more and more every time. 

It's extremely difficult to pick one stand out song from Flip's entire set, because they were all as good as the next, however, the tango-centric ‘Hide And Seek' proved a popular crowd favourite, among others such as‘Justin Was A Junkie,' ‘The Smell Of Strangers,' and ‘Diggin' For The Devil.'

Concluding her set a similar way she opened it, the slow-paced melodic ballad, ‘The Quit,' left you swaying along from side to side in time with the rhythm. Flip then went on to admit that, "We actually can't physically get out of here, so if you wanted us to do another song we probably could," she laughed.

Receiving a great deal of laughter and cheers from the audience with that statement, Flip went on to perform one last song, inviting Dianne Swann of The Bads to the stage to sing the popular, upbeat tune‘Careful' from her ‘While I'm Awake I'm At War,' album, which definitely proved a top highlight for many.

With Swann, Grater & Singer all harmonising together beautifully alongside guitar tinkering from both Fitzgerald and Grater, it was the absolute perfect way to end the perfect performance.