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Tom Rodwell & Manimanima

Sun Apr 21st, 2024
Books on High,

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Songs at rare books specialist Books on High? Enter unassuming king of the esoteric, guitarist Tom Rodwell, with support from mysterious exponent of occult banjo known only as Manimanima. In an era when small music venues around the world are under threat, the smart choice is smaller and yet smaller, away from the talons of the liquor salesmen.

Yorkshireman Rodwell is revered for sets that blend high and low culture, a patchwork of austere guitar rhythms littered with lyrical in-jokes, dad-jokes and bad jokes. Expect pre-war spirituals, Caribbean unmentionables, oddball blues tunes and a micro-tribute to pre-eminent US composer Brian Wilson.

Rodwell’s work has seen him tour extensively in England, Switzerland, Holland and the US, whilst here in Aotearoa his well-seasoned band Storehouse have served as the gruelling entree for the likes of Derek Trucks, Leon Russell and Trinity Roots. Their local fans include the likes of C.K. Stead and John Hawkesby.

“By turns wild, angry, hypnotic and sensual, it’s as uncompromising as it is funky, and some of the best live music I’ve seen,” said Blues in London.

When the iconic Manimanima first arrived in New Zealand (as a container ship stowaway sometime last February) he could only mutter “Banjo safes the world,” from behind horn-rimmed spectacles and patchy facial hair. This doggerel has become a mantra for Manimanima’s legions of fans, just as his banjo stylings have become truly ubiquitous across Auckland’s nightspots.

Will a drizzly Sunday afternoon concert by this pair of countercultural plunkers reveal hidden musical depths, or grimly erase all meaning through repetition? The answer of course is to be found within the ear of the beholder. Tickets for this meeting of mindlessness are online at Under the Radar, and are strictly limited to a bare 25.

acoustic/solo, alternative, art/noise, blues, country/folk, world, Tom Rodwell, Manimanima

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