The 18th September will definitely go down as one of the stormiest days in Hamilton, but I’ll always remember it as the day I finally got to see the lads of 2 a.m. Orchestra live. No matter how windy and freezing it was outside, this was one of the warmest, intimate performances I’ve experienced in a long time, and am already eager to see them again!
The ‘project’ as the guys call it started ten years ago over in the U.S.A where singer David Kelley resided. He has since moved over to our shores and is sprinkling his talent and love for fine music in a way that can only be described as magic. Teamed up with the equally gifted bassist, Tim Bern and lead-guitarist, Tim Gittins, these lads produce sweet and soothing tunes demanding the respect of any true music lover.
Go Vino was a busy wee place as the humble trio began their set which was part of their four date tour around the North Island for the release of their EP titled Fire Escape. Not only did they get into the tracks from the EP, but they also performed tunes from previous releases - Impermanenceand 2 a.m. Orchestra.
Gittens and Kelley effortlessly wooed the ladies throughout the set with the sweetest harmonies - undoubtedly making all the boys jealous, while Bern was clearly in the zone with his immaculate bass-playing skills. Although all of their tunes are winners in my books, Fire Escape and Man on the Moon were definite favorites of the evening – both of which feature on their new EP. We were also treated to a cover of Daydream Believer, which went down exceptionally well with the older bunch taking over one of the couches.
I honestly cannot say enough good things about these guys who have been liked to Ben Folds Five, Elvis Costello and Radiohead, and am stoked to have seen them before the masses figure out just how awesome they are. If this band were made of chocolate, they would be of the finest quality there is – believe you me, these guys are smoooooth.
David Kelley created 2 a.m. Orchestra in late 2000. While working on his self-titled debut, he put together a live band to support the release. Since the time of its inception, 2 a.m. Orchestra has consisted of a rotating cast of members, with Kelley as the only permanent fixture. He organised many shows in California and toured throughout the United States. He met Tim Bern in the States and was convinced to check out New Zealand. Since then the band has played numerous gigs here in NZ and recently released their second album, Impermanence, to critical acclaim.
With the intensity of Nirvana the vocal subtleties of Paul McCartney, and instrumentation on level with Muse, 2 a.m. Orchestra has delivered an album that is worthy of superlatives. Impermanence, the Auckland outfit's second release, deftly translates the chaos and elation of life, into uplifting and well-arranged rock songs - songs fused with eclecticism, vigour and exuberance. The diverse musical styles found on this album, give testimony to the band's formidable songwriting and musicianship. From sweet acoustic ballads, to epic rock anthems, frontman David Kelley demonstrates his impressive vocal range throughout. Consistent, fresh and superbly produced, Impermanence delivers on all levels.