Covered – The Kings Arms (Concert Review)

Covered is a musical evening organized by APRA to celebrate New Zealand songs. So on this cold and rainy Thursday night a handful of Kiwi indie musicians took to the stage to play a few well known (and not so well known) songs written by New Zealanders, along with a few of their own.

The line-up for the evening consisted of Tami Neilson, Jol Mulholland, She’s So Rad, Clap Clap Riot and SJD. Each act was allowed to perform three songs, two Kiwi covers and one of their own.

Tami Neilson got things rolling just after 8pm. Accompanied by Dave Khan and Mike Hall, Tami began with her own Whoo Hoo, turning the Kings Arms into an old fashioned hootenanny for just a few minutes.

Tami has just recorded her second album and she was anxious to play at least one new song, so her first “cover” was a tune producer Delaney Davidson wrote for the record, a slinky blues called So Far Away, that featured Tami on harmonica.

Tami then invited Hoptoun Brown’s Nick Atkinson on stage to join in on sax for a soulful version of Dave Dobbyn’s Guilty.

Next up was Jol Mulholland, who was also helped out by Mike Hall on bass. Mike gets the MVP award for the evening as he reappeared later with SJD. Jol and his band began with a song from She’s So Rad’s new album, Tango, which is released today. Jol was aided by some handwritten lyrics that Jeremy Toy had scribbled out for him just prior to the show.

Jol followed with one of his own tunes from his days with The Mots and then Waiting For Your Love, originally by The Reduction Agents.

Then a day before their album release show at the very same venue, She’s So Rad, featuring Jeremy Toy and Anji Sami, took over and opened with a cover of The Shocking Pinks’ Double Vision Version, which Jeremy introduced as New Zealand’s “biggest banger ever written”.

Then came a preview of tonight’s album release show and then, what turned out to be the musical highlight of the evening, a cover of ex-pat Kiwi Tamaryn’s While You’re Sleeping, I’m Dreaming. Jeremy’s guitar playing was thrilling, adding a neo-psych feel to the tune.

Clap Clap Riot began their set with Nervous, a jittery little tune by Pikachunes, then their own All About The Weather and then a surprise version of Dave Dobbyn’s Slice Of Heaven, which got everyone jumping.

Finally, SJD closed out the evening. He had no drummer but the trusty Mike Hall was on bass along with Victoria Kelly on keyboards and Sandy Mill on vocals. Sean started with I Wanna Be Foolish from his latest album, Saint John Divine. He then urged everyone to get closer to the stage, promising a big singalong. The song turned out to be The Crocodiles’ classic Tears, which Sandy delivered with gusto. Apparently songwriter Arthur Baysting was in the audience. But it seems that Dave Dobbyn was the songwriter of choice for the evening with SJD closing the night with Dave’s Devil You Know.

So there you have it…more proof, if needed, that there are some mighty fine songs emanating from this little land of ours…with plenty of new tunes standing toe to toe with the classics.

Marty Duda

Tami Neilson set:

  1. Whoo Hoo
  2. So Far Away (Delaney Davidson)
  3. Guilty (Dave Dobbyn)

Jol Mulholland set:

  1. It’s Time To Get Down (She’s So Rad)
  2. Let’s Go Fishing (The Mots)
  3. Waiting For Your Love (The Reduction Agents)

She’s So Rad set:

  1. Double Vision Version (The Shocking Pinks)
  2. Better Off On Your Own
  3. While You’re Sleeping, I’m Dreaming (Tamaryn)

Clap Clap Riot set:

  1. Nervous (Pikachunes)
  2. All About The Weather
  3. Slice Of Heaven (Dave Dobbyn)

SJD set:

  1. I Wanna Be Foolish
  2. Tears (The Crocodiles)
  3. Devil You Know (Dave Dobbyn)