With brilliant variety in the acts and really strong performers, The New Zealand Music Showcase is a fantastic gig.
Martin Phillips, performing on solo electric guitar, tells the audience that he’s not really going to be singing the hits from his famous Chills repertoire but rather the darker stuff. Songs include Lost in Future Ruins, Residential Green Cell, Background of Fear, the very morbid If She Dies and Wet Blanket. Phillips has a kind of dark and moodier Bowie style. He’s a good performer but the set is melancholy as hell and once he’s done you feel like you need a drink.
When Lawrence Arabia come on they are considerably more upbeat with their 60’s throwback West Coast Americana sound. They’re like you’d imagine The Monkees would be if they were young now but mixed with the quirky edginess of Pulp. The band have fantastic vocals with some cracking harmonies and beautiful high tones and melodious woos. They’re a real joy to listen to and frontman James Milne is funny and charismatic and so are the vocals. Songs from the repertoire include the poppy Apple Pie Bed, The Listening Sounds, the beautifully harmonious I’ve Smoked Too Much and the delightfully naughty Dream Teacher.
It’s all accompanied with some beautiful lighting too and a great stage in the Assembly Checkpoint. With brilliant variety in the acts and really strong performers, The New Zealand Music Showcase is a fantastic gig that should be sure to draw in the crowds for years to come.