Anna Coddington & LIPS

By Wal Reid

Artist: Anna Coddington & LIPS

Date / Venue: Saturday September 26th, 2015 - The Tuning Fork, Auckland

Coming off the end of their nationwide tour it was time to sample the sultry sounds of siren Anna Coddington & her two pals, NYC based Fen (American) & Steph (Kiwi) who also double up as the lively electronica duo LIPS. It seemed only fitting then that the trio should go out on a bang, one big blow out to celebrate the finale of their ten date jaunt around the country. First there was Wellington then on to the South Island, traversing the East Coast before landing at Auckland's Tuning Fork.

Rodney Fisher of Goodshirt fame massaged the crowd with his simplistic acoustic set that would hold up in any venue. His holistic approach and humour were appreciated as he ended his short set with a brilliant as f**k version Fiji Baby, an unsung genius.

As Anna made her way on stage sartorially cool in polka dots and a bow tie she asked the audience "Do you want to hear a new song or old one?". The soft lull of new song Lantern pierced the seated crowd in the hall, it was a mood setter for the rest of the night, as she hit her straps on the 2013 hit single Bird In Hand with LIPS lending a hand, quipping beforehand "It was my Silver Scroll song but Lorde had a song called Royals".

LIPS weren't to be outdone. I enjoyed their quirky indie pop songs, whilst the frugal use of electronic beats to retain its acoustic soul worked wonderfully. Songs like Traces of Teddy and Everything to Me have that first time appeal, easy to listen to and with Coddington on guitar and their three part harmonies, it was a very strong musical offering.

Crowd faves were a many, The Runner, Make You Mine, latest single Slate, plus her upcoming new Release Me, were well received. It could be said her latest work has a very strong soul influence, the Funk nuances adding to her current mature sound. Her penchant for telling stories was not wasted as she hinted at the crowd her Yealands's wine had gone missing another appeared as if by magic.

Fen's drumming was refreshing, punchy energetic giving the set a lift as and when needed, coupled with Steph Brown's snug vocals she also wasn't to be out done a pretty good raconteur herself, and of course Anna Coddington her music, like her wine gets better with age - Please do it again.