Concert Review: Marina Bloom – The Tuning Fork February 5, 2021

From Russia with love, Marina Bloom treated her fans to a stunning recital of songs old and new at Auckland’s Tuning Fork.

Bloom is a Russian-born New Zealander who has been releasing music independently for several years now. Last year’s release, Back Where We Started featured prominently as did tunes from an even newer released titled Bloom.

When Bloom last performed in Auckland, she sold out the Anthology Lounge, and it looks like those fans followed her to The Tuning Fork.

This was a tables and chairs, sitting down and sipping on a glass of wine affair and a majority of the audience were women. I also heard accents fairly uncommon in Auckland…always a good thing.

I arrived just in time to catch a young fan (about 10) be called to the stage to help sing Flying. I believe Petra is her name and the duet was absolutely charming.

Then on to the remainder of set one with Marina playing piano on an unreleased song, I’m Falling For You.

The band returned (Dean Pendergrast, Michael Gianan guitars, Sergey Gulyaev violin and Karl Benton, keyboards) and they attempted to begin Once Upon A Time but were briefly thwarted by a misbehaving laptop providing backing tracks. Eventually, they had to take a break to get the technology sorted and returned to perform Three Sisters.

My advice is to dump the backing tracks and focus on the live instruments…they sounded superb.

Set two began with a jazzy cocktail vibe including In Love With Life. Marina’s voice is full and rich and nuanced.

From there we get a rollicking Any God Will Do. There is another sung in Russian that sounded lovely, but my Russian is lacking.

Another guest was invited up…producer/guitarist Konstantin Sigachev and their duet, with Sigachev and providing a dramatic recitation was Dean Pendergrast.

The hour-long second set wound up with Heroes (Not Bowie’s), then Lions Fighting In Church and finally, Derevo (The Tree).

The crowd was attentive, appreciative and even got up to dance from time to time and the singer and band were lovely…now ditch that laptop.

Marty Duda

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Marty Duda
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