live review

Stereolab, Kings Arms

Stereolab, Kings Arms

January 28 2009
Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland

Reviewed by UTR
29th March 2010

Its not all that often that bands of this calibre come through NZ, with 15 years + experience and an underlining respect from musicians/fans aboad, AND playing at my local Kings Arms.

Tonight’s Wednesday show could traditionally be hit and miss with the attendance numbers being a school night and all but not tonight. A very enthusiastic crowd had gathered to see Stereolab, probably a fair chuck of new converts from their first show here a few years back at St James, but some new blood and some old.

First up was Bachelorette who always impresses me with her tuneful lightly shy presence. Tonight she had some laptop malfunctions so had to do a late minute decision to play everything live and I for one thought it made it a whole lot better. Clearer and more to the point, her songs and skill came through.

Stereolab took to the stage in their practised placement. They seemed a little 'closed book' for the first few numbers while they got the feel of the sometimes-unkind height and lighting of the KA.

Although often mentioned as Kraut styled most of the first part of their set was almost Samba even as far as Sergio Mendez and lead singer Lætitia Sadier swayed the crowd into their trance-styled pop music.

It wasn’t until about 40 minutes into their set when they began to break loose. Out came the hypnotic kraut-rock that they’ve championed and the mood changed a knot. Now most of the crowd was dancing/swaying/mesmerised as their songs built and dropped amidst soft colour changes. It was all overly perfect.

The well deserved encore really let Stereolab shine where they delved straight back into the hypnotherapy with a 10 minute monster.

Easily the best gig of 09 so far.

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