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Album Review
Up Here For Dancing

Up Here For Dancing
by Tono and The Finance Company


Review Date
12th April 2012
Reviewed by
Jennifer Kirby

When Tono and the Finance Company performed ‘Skinny Jeans’ - a song all about the perils of wearing skinny jeans and being unable to get them off at an opportune moment - during their set in support of Beirut at The Powerstation in January, the crowd roared with appreciative laughter while continuing to sway happily along to the band’s catchy tunes. Their debut full-length album Up Here For Dancing perfectly captures the same vibe that gave the audience so much pleasure at the show and proves to be a highly listenable and absolutely delightful.

Peopled by an array of ordinary, often sad and yet endearing characters that should be familiar to New Zealanders - Marion the real estate agent who made Grey Lynn trendy in ‘Marion Bates Reaity’ and the old man let down by his kids and left with nothing but investments in ‘Up Here For Thinking, Down There For Dancing’ are particularly memorable - the album stands out from efforts by other bands with a similar pop-rock sound because of the wit of the lyrics and the lead singer Anthonie Tonnon’s unique and skilful use of characterisation.

There is a sense of highly relatable melancholia in many of the songs with the standout being ‘Eating Biscuits’ in which the song’s narrator muses on all the things that he could have been if he had not chosen the respectable, regular, socially accepted path. ‘Twenty-three’is also mournfully beautiful with Tono delivering a line that may ring almost too painfully true for many students and graduates complaining about the amount of money he owes the government at only twenty-three. Yet the album does not feel gloomy at all- the melodies are lovely and there is a sense of ironic humour running through the ten tracks.

The one negative thing about the album is its length- only ten tracks is not a big enough fill of music this good. If you’ve enjoyed the band’s EPs then this album will not be a disappointment. If you haven’t come across them before then Up Here For Dancing is a fantastic taster to introduce you to one of our most exciting acts.


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