Anna Coddington – Tuning Fork December 9, 2021: Concert Review!

Anna Coddington got the summer season started with a whisper rather than a roar at The Tuning Fork last night. After four long months, Auckland music lovers were finally treated to live music.

It was with great anticipation and a bit of trepidation that your reporter approached The Tuning Fork last night. Usually the venue is buzzing with patrons sitting outside smoking and drinking and laughing, but all I could see was what looking like an empty building. Had the show been cancelled?

Thankfully, no.

Anna CoddingtonA helpful staff member emerged from the door, checked my vax passport and welcomed me and my companion inside. It was dark, there was no one at the bar and groups of fans were seated (socially distanced) at tables throughout the room. I’m guessing there were fewer than 100 in attendance, which may very well constitute a “sold out” show in these trying times.

Almost as soon as we found a table, Anna Coddington took to the stage… just a gal and a guitar.

“How are you feeling?” she asked and there was a smattering of nervous laughter, applause and cheers in response. Anna described the show as “exciting and nerve wracking in equal measure”. I’d say that went for both the performer and the audience.

But then she strummed her guitar and sang, and the tension was released. We remembered why live music had been such an important of our lives and how much we had missed it.

The opening tune was Garden, one that Anna had written for Fly My Pretties. With a well-rested voice, she was in fine form.

Anna CoddingtonAfter the ice breaking first song, Anna spoke again, telling the small group that we should feel as if “you’re all at my home”. And with that thought we settled in for a lovely version of The Saint (with Stains).

Ok, so far so good…but how do we order a drink?

The bartenders were in place behind the bar but we were not supposed to order from the bar. Meanwhile there was no table service which made things doubly complicated.

Fortunately, a helpful staff member assisted me in ordering with my phone. It was a struggle, but we got there thanks to her patience and despite my sudden attack to technical ineptitude.

Finally, with drinks on the table we were relaxed and in full music-loving mode. By this time Anna had taken up an electric guitar (provided by her friend Julia Deans who was sitting at a table near the front of the room) and we snapped our fingers along to Make You Mine.

Then Anna plugged in her Omnichord for a little electro-rhythm as she sang Both Ways. This turned out to be the most “raucous” moment of the hour-long set as things got quiet and acoustic during Nigh Class/Akonranga Pō and Mana-Wā-Hine, the title track of her recent EP.

Anna Coddington

By this time, the musical connection between artist and audience was solid and we were treated to Leaning Into Love, a new song getting its first public outing. Anna described the new tune as “kind of cheesy” but I do love my cheese and apparently so did the rest of the audience as we were all singing along by the end of the song.

From there things got a bit existential with Do I Exist? and Remember Me, a song about age and ageing.

“This has been so fun” exclaimed Anna, getting a few gentle heckles from her friends at the front table.

Anna CoddingtonNow holding a glass of wine, Anna sang Dive and then “last song” Beams. By this time we were all beaming as Anna gave the show her own review…”it’s gone quite well” giving it a 10 out of 10.

There was time for one more song before which Anna joked “such a rapturous encore!”. In truth we barely had time to take a breath as she serenaded us with Bird In Hand featuring her strongest and most strident vocal performance of the night.

So, mission accomplished! We ordered wine, enjoyed live music and almost interacted with like- minded music fans. Baby steps…but I hope to be out again tonight!

Marty Duda

Click any icon to view a full gallery of shots from the show.

Anna Coddington setlist:
  1. Garden
  2. The Saint (with Stains)
  3. Make You Mine
  4. Both Ways
  5. Night Class/Akoranga Pō
  6. Mana-Wā-Hine
  7. Leaning Into Love
  8. Do I Exist?
  9. Remember Me
  10. Dive
  11. Beams
  12. Bird In Hand