Trinity Roots

By Jake Ebdale

Artist:  Trinity Roots

Date / Venue:  Thursday May 28th, The Tuning Fork, Auckland

In the confines of the Tuning Fork, the mighty Trinity Roots played on and on, their deep, throbbing, dubby sound simply too large for the intimate venue. It was my third time seeing this pioneering roots act, and while it didn't have the power or scope of their comeback gig way back in 2010, it still proved how powerful they can be (when they hit).

Their latest album, Citizen, got a decent airing - there were some marked improvements on the studio versions too, especially the title track; once bogged down by ineffective backing vocalists, now stripped down to its rugged essence, it never felt its length.

And this is the thing about Trinity gigs - it all feels like one continuous stretch of walloping dub. Warren Maxwell is an affable, passionate frontman, with his haircut nicked from the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter. He was in amazing form in both vocals and guitar playing.

The new drummer, Ben Wood, is a driving force. Rio Hemopo is the backbone. And when they truly hit - like on the closer, Sense & Cents, and their heartfelt ballads Home, Land and Sea and Beautiful People, their power really shone through.

It was just right, really. I hope they start playing bigger venues, and maybe change up the setlist (The Dreamand Little Things were sorely missed).

A national treasure. Citizen is out now.