Live Photos + Review: James Hunter - Meow, Wellington

Live Photos + Review: James Hunter - Meow, Wellington

Review: Hilaire Carmody / Photography: Bruce Mackay / Friday 8th October, 2021 1:02PM

It's a bit of a rare treat to see a live show at the moment, so best to make sure it's well documented when it does happen! Thanks to the generous time and talent of reviewer Hilaire Carmody and photographer Bruce Mackay, you can relive last night's first stop on James Hunter's 'The Almost Summer Tour'...

Residents of Whanaganui-a-Tara are renowned for being hardy souls that will brave all sorts of hardships to get their culture fix. Even amid a global pandemic, with Delta hovering on the horizon, there is still a hunger to mask-up and head out to a gig. Packing out socially distanced Meow for a Thursday night show, punters were treated to a trio of up-and-coming songwriters.

Seasoned opener Danica Bryant, set the stage for the evening. Having opened for acts such as Jason Kerrison, Paul Ubana Jones and Sir Elton John, mustering a school-night crowd was a walk in the park. She bounded on stage all blonde waves, bubble gum pink and neon blue. At first glance I thought I’d be getting a run of sweet kitsch pop songs. But I was proven wrong. Instead, we were treated to a set of glowering angst. Acerbic lyrics were bouncing off guitar melodies driven by vexation. Much like the ‘confectionary spite’ she sings about in ‘Birthday Girl', Danica is equal parts deliciously sweet and shockingly bitter. See her at Valhalla on October 17th to support the release of her new single 'Heart Eyes'.

Crowd favourites Dee And The Sweet Somethings followed on after. Dee was joined by Ryder Smith on drums and Maxime Paquay on bass (and for one delightful song the guitar). Dee let us in on the secret that this was their first performance together, as she had been ‘waiting for the right souls’ to perform with. This wait was worth it as the alchemy of the trio produced yearningly fervent alt-folk pop songs. The mix of light reverb, snappy drums and playful basslines served as a bed for Dee to showcase her golden voice. With exquisite control over choosing moments to pare back to vocals only, letting the words shine, or ramp up to full sound and wrap the audience in dynamic harmonies over catchy cadences.

Rounding out the evening was James Hunter. His first full tour and outing with a supporting band. He was joined by bassist Taylar Mallo and drummer Ryder Smith. James’s long-standing relationship with Taylar was evident, with the hilarious between song banter adding smiles to the crowd's faces. James’s music is refreshingly heartfelt and vulnerable. With a creamy voice that traverses the lows of unfeigned melancholy to the highs of besotted wonder. Catch him on tour as we head into summer and enjoy his intimate warmth.


James Hunter - The Almost Summer Tour
Friday October 15th - Inch Bar, Dunedin
Friday October 22nd - Wunderbar, Christchurch*

Tickets available HERE via UTR*


James Hunter - The Almost Summer Tour
James Hunter - The Almost Summer Tour
James Hunter - The Almost Summer Tour
James Hunter - The Almost Summer Tour
James Hunter - The Almost Summer Tour
James Hunter - The Almost Summer Tour

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Links
jameshunter.co.nz/
twitter.com/hilairec
facebook.com/DarkerArtsLive/

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James Hunter  - The Almost Summer Tour
Fri 15th Oct
Inch Bar, Dunedin
James Hunter  - Almost Summer Tour
Buy
Fri 22nd Oct
Wunderbar, Lyttelton