Finn Andrews & NZTrio at The Wintergarden, July 3, 2021 Concert Review

Finn Andrews and the NZTrio… a match made in heaven, or at least it sounded like it last night at the Wintergarden as they performed the first of two shows as part of this year’s Auckland Live Cabaret Season.

Andrews has just come off a tour with his band, The Veils, and tonight the focus is on his solo album, One Piece At  A Time, released in 2019. The three members of the NZTrio… violinist Amalia Hall, pianist Somi Kim and cellist Ashley Brown have taken their places on the darkened stage in front of a sold out crown seated at “Cabaret style” tables.

When Finn appears a hush falls over the room and the music begins.

Finn Andews - NZTrioAfter performing Love, What Can I Do and Stairs to The Roof, the first two tracks from the album, Andrews speaks, acknowledging the unique collaboration with himself, the NZTrio and Victoria Kelly, who did the hard yards behind the scenes creating these beautiful arrangements.

This was to be an intimate affair, with Finn sharing stories from his childhood while noting that the “divide between classical and pop…or alternative country or whatever I am” is rarely crossed.

After three tunes from One Piece at A Time it became clear that we were in for more than just a run through of the album as we heard a trio of new songs being written for the next Veils album.

Finn Andews - NZTrioThe first of these was Made From Love With Far To Go featuring plucked violin strings and dark lyrics… ”I was spitting blood, I was missing teeth…” in a way that would make Nick Cave proud.

Then came Pearl (Part 2)…”we already have a song called Pearl”, he reminded us.

“Oh, black magic, what is this spell”, sang Finn as we fell under it.

The third new song was a little ditty titled; The Day I Meet My Murderer and the crowd reacted with shock to the title. Again, Nick C was conjured…Abattoir –era with a spoken/sung performance as the cello growled and the violin swirled.

“My journey is complete.” Andrews sang… but there was plenty more to come.

Finn Andews - NZTrioAfter Rise And Fall, Finn’s mum got a shout out (she was in the audience somewhere) and we got more new tunes including the Cohen-esque Rings Of Saturn that we heard last year at the Veils’ Hollywood Cinema gig.

One By the Venom was a crowd pleaser as Andrews took up his shaker to kick it off. Then for the final two songs of the set, Finn found his inner Tom Waits as his voice was run through some efx adding mucho distortion.

Axolotl closed things off, the NZTrio left but Finn came back for a three-song solo set at the piano beginning with One Piece at A Time, then Under the Folding Branches.

It seems that spending his time in NZ has kept the creative juices flowing as Andrews treated us to one more new song, something called Time.

It was a beautiful performance and, although Finn mentioned that he was “not sure what Cabaret is,” he seemed to nail the spirit of the event perfectly.

Marty Duda

click any icon to view a gallery of photos from Veronica McLaughlin Photography

Finn Andrews & The NZTrio Set list:
  1. Love, What Can I Do?
  2. Stairs To The Roof
  3. The Spirit In The Flame
  4. Made From Love With Far To Go
  5. The Pearl (Pt.II)
  6. The Day I Meet My Murderer
  7. Rise And Fall
  8. ICU (I See You)
  9. Rings Of Saturn
  10. One By The Venom
  11. Temptation
  12. Axolotl
  13. One Piece At A Time
  14. Under The Folding Branches
  15. Time