Kerryn Fields and Matt Joe Gow – Mt. Eden Village Centre: June 14, 2024

What happens when two of your favourite artists teams up and tour? In the case of Kerryn Fields and Matt Joe Gow it’s like seeing a mini-super group.

We here at 13th Floor have been following Kerryn and Matt individually for years now so we were delighted when they showed up at our studio together last year to perform Your Heart Of Gold, a co-composition that became the lead single and lead-off track of their album, I Remember You, released this past May.

The two Kiwis, now both based in Australia, have been touring together on and off for two years with their most recent run coming to an end last night in Auckland.

The Mt Eden Village Centre wasn’t quite full for the show, but it felt just right, with just the right people both on stage and in the audience.

With both performers seated, the first set got underway just after 8pm after a brief word from promoter Wayne Gillies the duo lead off with Prairie Song, one of the highlights from the new album, featuring Karryn’s lead vocal and Matt’s beautiful harmonies. Homespun lyrics about blackberry vines and wild horse filled the old church warming all assembled on this winter night in Auckland.

Matt is the featured vocalist on Sweet Collapse, a tune from his solo album, 2023’s Between Tonight & Tomorrow, this time with Kerryn carrying the harmonies. The two voices sound like they were made for each other and I’m guessing the two years they have spent on the road didn’t hurt.

Those two years provided plenty of fodder for between-song banter with stories about flat tires and blown clutches making for some light moments around the dark subject matter of some of the songs.

Carry On was the most emotional performance of the first set…a song Matt wrote about loss and sang tonight with intense emotion.

The mood lightened with talk of sold-out CDs and T-shirts for sale before wrapping with a rousing Flowers In Your Hair from Matt’s 2016 album, Seven Years…love that harmonica.

A quick break for some meeting and greeting and it is on to the second set which, is very similar to the first, meaning it is very good.

A little longer with an encore written by “Uncle Dave Dobbyn” the duo cements their reputation as one of New Zealand’s classiest acts.

Again we get a few solo tunes from each, but eventually we hear nine of the 10 tracks from I Remember You with some good old fashioned acoustic guitar shredding from Matt on the award-winning Dead Flowers & Stale Wine and tears were shed by Kerryn in reaction to Matt’s Between Tonight & Tomorrow and song Gow usually dedicates to his mother, but on this special night he tips his hat to Kerryn.

Speaking of hats…these two know how to wear headgear almost as well as they can write and sing a song.

Kerryn’s Out On The Porch had the crowd rocking and the following Love Ya Like I Can had everyone clapping (mostly) in-time thanks to Kerryn’s direction.

It was a beautiful, emotional evening, and one got the feeling that when the final song of the set, Whirlwind, came around neither performer wanted it to end.

As noted, the encore was a cover of Dave Dobbyn’s It Dawned On Me and what a thing of beauty it was.

They mentioned that when this project started they were big fans of each other, let’s hope that friendship and that fandom continues with more collaborative albums and more shows like this.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Paul Carrucan:

Set 1:

  1. Prairie Song
  2. Sweet Collapse
  3. Until You
  4. Your Heart Of Gold
  5. No Trace
  6. Carry On
  7. Flowers In Your Hair

Set 2:

  1. Black Sand
  2. Atlantis
  3. Between Tonight & Tomorrow
  4. Dead Flowers & Stale Wine
  5. Out On The Porch
  6. Love Ya Like I Can
  7. Whirlwind
  8. It Dawned On Me