Concert Review: Kane Strang – Whammy Backroom July 4, 2019

Dunedin’s Kane Strang dazzled Auckland fans with a set of tunes drawn mainly from his soon-to-be recorded next album.

It’s been a couple of years since Kane released the acclaimed Two Hearts And No Brain, and it was clear from the attentiveness of the sold-out crowd at Whammy Backroom, that fans are anxious for more.

So, after a late start, that included another fine opening set from Being, Kane Strang proceeded to prove that this was something worth waiting for.

Sitting on a stool, cradling an acoustic guitar, Strang began his 40-minute set with some rudimentary strumming, which eventually took the shape of a new song, possibly titled Time Was In The Air.

“I finished that song today!”, claimed Kane. Indeed, with its “ba ba ba ba” chorus and two and a half minute duration, it did feel like a work in progress, but one with potential.

He followed this with another new composition called Clear Is The Coast, which he called “mostly instrumental”.

Again, it was a quickie, but served to give us an indication of where his music is headed. These songs sounded more angular, with a bit of dissonance thrown in, but still harbouring Strang’s trademark melodies.

Kane also proved to be in good vocal form as he slipped into a delicate falsetto during another new number, Warping In The Sun.

“It’s pretty hard to play”, he warned us before attempting the tune. And yes, there was a slight hiccup as he negotiated the chord changes, but overall, it was a success.

Kane then called upon his producer Steven Marr to join him on stage. After a brief pause tom allow Steven to set up his gear…an electric guitar and a bit of electronica, the duo conjured up the opening chords to Two Hearts And No Brain, and the crowd joined in immediately for a singalong.

After playing Lagoons, also from the previous album, it was back into unchartered territory with more new songs…three to be precise…with titles may be, More-ish, Moat and Diving.

Again, there was an edge to these tunes that may, or may not signal what with emerge from the studio once they are completely fleshed out.

Another singalong broke out for My Smile Is Extinct before Steven left the stage, allowing Kane to wrap up the set with one last new song.

A Break From Nothing turned out to be the highlight of the lot. A lovely, melodic bittersweet ballad that will no doubt appear on the new album, which Kane announced he and Steven would be recording next month.

The crowd then insisted on one more song, and Kane returned to perform Hypochondria, taken from the 2017 compilation album, Our First 100 Days.

With the fans’ appetite sufficiently whetted for new material, we are now left to wait for Kane and Steven to create their magic in the studio and see what happens.

From what I heard last night, we won’t be disappointed.

Marty Duda

Kane Strang Set List:

  1. Time Was In The Air
  2. Clear Is The Coast
  3. Warping In The Sun
  4. Two Hearts And No Brain
  5. Lagoons
  6. More-ish
  7. Moat
  8. Diving
  9. My Smile Is Extinct
  10. A Break From Nothing
  11. Hypochondria
  • note: song titles for new tunes may not be accurate