Concert Review: Finn Andrews, Tuning Fork, 13 June 2020

Finn Andrews and Dictaphone Blues took the stage for the 3rd weekend of Together Again at the Tuning Fork last night. Rev Orange Peel reviews a night of “intense Folk.”

At The Tuning Fork and the third weekend of Together Again. Unlocking body and mind. Quiet as any provincial New Zealand town on Quay St tonight.

Everyone’s inside seated. But it’s a quiet hum of noise. You would think this was Ryman Healthcare resident’s night out, but its predominantly under 40. Not the usual raucousness when the Fork is near full. Plenty of alcohol being passed around

It’s giving us support if you get pissed tonight says Finn Andrew. Cheers and a lot of warmth from the audience tonight.

Opening the evening is Dictaphone Blues, and Ed Castelow. Performing in New Zealand and Australian stages for 15 years now, with various collaborators and bands. A multi-instrumentalist but tonight it’s a quiet solo acoustic guitar set.

When Your Simulation Crossed Mine. On the original single, it is keyboards and drums, indie-pop that would appeal to Morrissey. Tonight the song is slower in tempo and sounds more like Ray Davies. Reveals the craft in the writing.

Baby it’s For You is folk crossed with seventies Soul.

Running all the Time is a highlight. Folk pop sounding like mid-sixties Simon and Garfunkel.

Song titles are approximate. Different sound to his recorded material. Music with the clothes off, becoming more intimate and subdued.

The sound is superb tonight, crystal-clear, audience being quiet and attentive. As is the case for Finn Andrews.

1977. Punk first broke in New Zealand. Sex Pistols were leading the charge, but sounded like noiseniks. Some of us hitched our wagon early to XTC who were just as clever but more melodic.

Give the drummer’s son, Barry Andrews, some. Arrived in New Zealand as a teen. Formed The Veils here, and they spread themselves far and wide through the UK and America. Memorably appeared on one of the Twin Peaks third series episodes.

Has been performing solo and with various collaborators of late and I remember him performing memorably at the 2019 Kumeu Folk Festival where he was one of the featured acts.

The Voice is showcased front and centre. Melodic, like friend Marlon Williams, and can be raw like Nick Cave. Alternating with piano and acoustic guitar.

Swimming with the Crocodiles, a great melody which lifts and surges on his voice and seems to sound better than the Veils version, in this room tonight.

White Winged Bird is one of several new songs. He explains how he plagiarised the content. That’s fine, it’s a beautiful, wistful tune. All Art is theft.

Same tone for One Piece at a Time. Slow and sombre and a great piano. This old world will forgive you. This world is unravelling.

A song covered by Marlon Williams recently on a livestream, Cold Out in the Rain. He thought it was better and felt conflicted by that. The version here tonight is just fine.

Lord I’ve Tried to Find You has the same sound and atmosphere of Springsteen’s State Trooper.

World of Invisible Things is a brand new one. Reminds me of Leonard Cohen, a slower tempo with quiet piano and voice prominent.

There’s a broken wrist song. Loud percussive piano, the Voice lets loose and becomes harsh. Does sound like John Cale as he explained earlier. Don’t know if you can break a scaphoid bone playing piano but he tells us it became necrotic, so it couldn’t have been fixed properly.

This was a great set of what I would call intense Folk and it seemed like he had the audience in the palm of his hand.

I know we are all starved of live music. LiveStreams have been fine many times, but cannot quite create that magic of transmission from everyone being in the same space.

Finn has performed with various collaborators around the country, between the Folk Festival and Lockdown. He tells us that there are October gigs coming up, with a band.

We will look forward to more from both artists later in the year.

~Rev Orange Peel  

Photos by Rachel Webb

Dictaphone Blues