Phoebe Rings – Wine Cellar: February 8, 2024 (Concert Review)

It’s a Thursday night in Auckland, so where else would you rather be than The Wine Cellar to catch Phoebe Rings as they celebrate the release of their new single, Aseurai.

We’ve been following the Phoebes for a number of years here at The 13th Floor and they just get better and better.

Babe Martin

Babe MartinUp first tonight is Babe Martin, aka Zoe Larsen-Cumming. Sadly, due to prior 13th Floor commitments, your intrepid reviewer missed her opening set, but photographer Michael Jeong was on the scene to catch all the action. Check out his photo gallery below.

Phoebe Rings

Despite the name, Phoebe Rings is a band, not a person and they are: Alex Freer (drums), Ben Lock (bass & vocals), Simeon Kavanagh-Vincent (guitar) and Crystal Choi on lead vocals and keys.

Phoebe RingsIt looked like a full house at the Wine Cellar and a young audience as well. Good to see “the kids” out on a school night.

The quartet opened with Lazy Universe, a tune taken from their 2020 E.P. And Lazy Universe seems to perfectly describe the musical world these folks inhabit. Though they are often called “dream pop”, they could also be defined as light jazz, gentle disco or easy listening.

“Please tell us about the next song”, Crystal says to drummer Alex Freer.

“Well, I’m not going to, because we’re ready to go”, responds Alex.

So much for on-stage banter.

The song in question is Mandarin Tree featuring lovely harmonies, some cool guitar licks and a cruisy vibe.

Phoebe RingsAnd it seems a running gag may be in the works as after it, Alex asks, “Hey Crystal, tell us about this song”.

And so, that is how we are introduced to Aseurai, the new single, a song Crystal wrote about missing her grandma.  The video was released a while ago and it seems many of the crew are in attendance, adding to the family vibe.

The set features a few more new tunes…Get Up and Fading Star…both going over very well, especially when the band kicks into dance mode. The crowd cheers and has a bit of a boogie.

The set closes with Cheshire and a mention that there is an album in the works and we get “one more!” in the form of Spissky.

I couldn’t help but be impressed with how quiet and respectful the audience was, there were moments between songs you could hear a pin drop. Oh, and we could also hear The Ramones bleeding through the venue’s walls.

Nevermind, Phoebe Rings seems like they are determined to make 2024 their year.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Michael Jeong:

Phoebe Rings:

Babe Martin:

Phoebe Rings Setlist:

  1. Lazy Universe
  2. Drifting
  3. Crystalsong
  4. Mandarin Tree
  5. Aseurai
  6. January Blues
  7. Get Up
  8. Fading Star
  9. Cheshire
  10. Spissky

Babe Martin Setlist:

  1. Versoix
  2. April
  3. Calendar
  4. Sundog
  5. Far From You
  6. Knocked For Six in BHX
  7. When They Look At Me