1 Dec 2020
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Articles By Kev Rowland

Stealphish - Single Review: Procidens
28 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
I was chatting with the guys from Cafe Fistfight before their recent gig at Ding Dong, when guitarist Josh Barker asked if I would be interested in his brand-new solo release, and I was definitely intrigued. Apart from classical pianist Caitlyn Abbot, and some assistance from Dan Barker who assisted in programming the hi hat rolls at the start and some of the fills, everything on this instrumental release is by Josh.
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Gig Review: Cafe Fistfight @ The Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 27/11/2020
28 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Today was set to be the launch party for the second album by Channeled, I Heard Penelope Sing, but unfortunately singer and songwriter Ben Ruegg was rushed into hospital on Tuesday, only being allowed home on the Friday itself. The thoughts of everyone at Muzic.
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The Solomon Cole Band - Single Review: Lucifer's Rising
26 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
The Solomon Cole Band comprise Solomon (vocals, guitar), Fonnie Jo Davies (vocals), Lee Catlin (bass) and Loujean (LJ) Philander (drums), and one has to ask the question as to when did Waiheke Island become part of the Deep South and go back in time? Their latest release, Lucifer’s Rising, is taken from their second album, A Little South Of Heaven, and takes us almost 100 years into the past and geographically into the Southern states of America.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Album Review: Breaking The Silence
26 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Young Wellington-based pianist Samuel Philip Cooper is now releasing his debut album, which contains both of his earlier singles, Broken Heart Recovery and Hope In Your Heart. One of the problems I had with Samuel’s work is that it was too short, but hearing the 18 songs on this album (47 minutes long) it makes far more sense as here the different songs become part of one much larger work.
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Album Review: It's Already Tomorrow
25 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
This compilation is the brainchild of leading New Zealand composer, John Psathas, and past-student guitarist, electronic musician and composer, Jack Hooker. With everyone in bubbles around the world, the idea was to create a collaborative environment for New Zealand artists, where John and Jack created nuggets for others to amend and use as a base for their own musical adventures.
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Channeled - Album Review: I Heard Penelope Sing
25 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
I was at a gig the other night and bumped into Channeled's main man Ben Ruegg, and of course we soon started up a conversation. I introduced him to some other friends of mine and tried to think how long I had actually known him, and Ben promptly said, "Six weeks".
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City of Souls - Gig Review: City of Souls @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 21/11/2020
22 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Tonight it was off to one of my favourite venues, The Tuning Fork, to see recent Aotearoa Music Award winners for Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa (Best Rock Artist), City of Souls, at the launch party for their debut album, Synæsthesia. Outside the venue I bumped into Ben Reugg (Channeled) who had brought some of his music students from Waiuku College to see what a proper rock show is like while I spent the evening in the company of Jodie (Miss Peach and The Travellin Bones) and Te Matera Smith (AAA Records), also bumped into Chris Webb (White Nøise Mafia), Francis Wheeler (SIS Studios, a judge at the recent Ding Dong competition), and so many others from the local scene.
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On Tick - Gig Review: On Tick @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 20/11/2020
21 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
When everyone at Ding Dong greeted me by name, and soundman Dave asked why I wasn’t at the final of the bands battle the previous week, it made me realise that possibly I have been attending the venue quite a lot in recent times. But when they have bands playing who are as good as these, where else would I be on a Friday night?
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Kendall Elise - Album Review: Red Earth
19 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to see Looking For Alaska at their album launch, and the opening act that night was Kendall Elise accompanying herself on an acoustic guitar. I enjoyed her set a great deal and was intrigued enough to seek out her debut album, Red Earth, which was released in 2019.
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Russell Harrison - EP Review: Something Over Me
19 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
This four-track seventeen-minute-long EP, Something Over Me, is the debut EP from Russell Harrison, who has been performing on stage since the age of nine. Listening to this is like stepping back in time, to a period where singers had no use for auto tune, and it was all about the voice and the performance.
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Looking For Alaska - Album Review: Light and Shadow
16 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to see Looking For Alaska in concert promoting their new album, Light and Shadow. It was a very special event indeed, as while Aaron Gott and Amy Maynard were joined that night by a full band, there was no doubt indeed that the evening was all about the magic created by just the two of them.
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Alice Foulds - EP Review: The Quieter Ones
16 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
The Quieter Ones is the second EP from singer-songwriter Alice Foulds, following on from her 2018 debut Oxygen. This time around she has partnered with Emily Riordan who produced it as well as providing piano and backing vocals, while Noah Goddard is on guitars and bass.
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Sean Bodley - Album Review: Neon Daydreams
15 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Sean Bodley was first inspired to pick up the guitar at the age of thirteen, being heavily influenced and inspired by Joe Satriani. He followed the normal route of playing in different bands, including cover outfits, and released his self-titled debut album as long ago as 1999.
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Motel Midnight - Single Review: Closer
11 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Motel Midnight are Reuben Keeling (vocals, bass guitar), Bruce Ferguson (vocals, guitar), Ben Stanley (synths, beats, production) and they have just produced their debut single, Closer. When asked to describe their music they say they draw their influences from house, hip hop and indie rock, while combining shimmering synths with screaming guitars, fuzzed-out bass and stomping beats.
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In The Shallows - Album Review: In The Shallows
10 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
I was mightily impressed with the single Hold On, so of course jumped at the opportunity to hear the debut album by Wellington-based duo In The Shallows before the official release date. This finds Danni Parsons (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Lance Shepherd (vocals, guitar, percussion) on a musical journey; sometimes it is just the two of them while at others it can be a full band, or any combination with the likes of  bassist Andy Bain (Fur Patrol),  drummer Nick Brown (Eb & Sparrow, Vorn), cellist Bonnie Schwarz (Good Habits), Steve Rokosh (keyboards), Chris Winter (trumpet), Chris Peirce (sax), Pete Shaw (accordion), Davie Dubman (keyboards) and Matiu Te Huki (guitar).
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Gig Review: Spook The Horses @ The Thirsty Dog, Auckland - 7/11/2020
08 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
I had been waiting for this gig for months, but eventually it arrived so just before heading out I checked what time they were playing, which is when I got a shock, as Spook The Horses  were no longer playing at The Whammy Bar, but at The Thirsty. As I was on the guestlist I never received a notification that there had been a change, but a few minutes googling made it clear that there was indeed a venue change, which made me glad I had indeed checked what was going on.
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Looking For Alaska - Gig Review: Looking for Alaska @ Anthology, Auckland - 6/11/2020
07 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
This was my first trip to the famous Anthology in K Road, and I soon found a spot at the bar to be able to see and perch my notebook, which was immediately improved when the barman grabbed a stool and asked me if I wanted to sit inside the barrier. From there I could see Kendall Elise tuning her guitar and it was obvious she was incredibly nervous, due to this being her first live show in ages.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Semi Final 1 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 5/11/2020
07 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
For the second consecutive night it was back to Ding Dong, this time for the first semi-final of  the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland and Muzic.net.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 4 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 04/11/2020
07 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
So, it was back to Ding Dong for the final heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland and Muzic.net.
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In The Shallows - Single Review: Hold On
05 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Over the last few years, I have been fortunate enough to have come across some wonderful female singers and folk/acoustic acts, and now I have just stumbled onto the Wellington duo In The Shallows which is Danni Parsons (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Lance Shepherd (vocals, guitar, percussion). This song also features bassist Andy Bain (Fur Patrol) and drummer Nick Brown (Eb & Sparrow, Vorn) and guest cellist Bonnie Schwarz (Good Habits, Manchester – UK).
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Dave Dobbyn - Gig Review: Dave Dobbyn @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 01/11/2020
02 Nov 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
One thing I have never understood about attending a concert is why so many people turn up in time for the main act, but not for the support. True, sometimes they are dire, but there have also been times when for me they have shown up the main act so badly that I have the left the gig.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 3 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 29/10/2020
30 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
For the second consecutive night it was back to Ding Dong for the third heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland & Muzic.net.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 2 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 28/10/2020
30 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Midweek saw me back at the Ding Dong Lounge, this time for the second heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland & Muzic.net.
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The Wake Up - Single Review: Worthy
30 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Caleb, Chris and Laura are back with new recruit Nathan, and their latest single as The Wake Up: if there is any justice in the world here is a song which is going to be blasting out of radio stations all over Aotearoa for the next few months.Written by fellow Palmerston North musician Adam Lee, Worthy hits so many sweet spots it is actually quite hard to know where to begin.
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Gig Review: Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition Heat 1 @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 24/10/2020
25 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Saturday night saw me back at the Ding Dong Lounge, this time for the first heat of the Bands competition, which is being sponsored by Dave Rhodes Productions, SIS Studios, Real Groovy Auckland and Muzic.net.
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Hummucide - EP Review: Hummucide
15 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
The debut studio EP from Wellington-based jazz quartet Hummucide is the latest release in what has been quite a busy period for the band, as this is their fourth release in recent months. Both 8 Mullups (which has had more than 30,000 plays on Spotify) and Reacher have been released as singles, and this 23-minute-long EP finds them joined by I’m Just A Bag of Bones and The Mothership Left Without Me.
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Jan Preston - Album Review: Piano Boogie Woman
13 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Jan Preston was born in Greymouth, and after discovering the piano at an early age she went the normal route of classical music exams and ended up taking a 5-year classical piano degree at Auckland university. Having determined she did not want to become a concert pianist or teacher she tried out various different musical styles, moving first to Wellington and then to Sydney where she still resides.
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Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian w/ Channeled & Mudshark @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 10/10/2020
12 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
First time at the Ding Dong Lounge since we went back into lockdown, and tonight was set to be a special night with Coridian and Outside In back from their wonderful sets on 11th July at the same venue. Unfortunately, Mikey Brown from Outside In was struck down with a lurgy and was unable to perform (although he valiantly attended tonight at least for a while, boy did he look crook) but Channeled stepped in at the last minute, having played The Thirsty Dog the night before, and were up for being part of the Dead Witch Relaunch.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: Hope In Your Heart
08 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second single from Samuel Philip Cooper, the Wellington-based pianist who will be releasing his debut album Breaking The Silence next month. This was originally inspired when a friend of his told him he was suffering from cancer and was having to undergo chemotherapy.
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Jan Preston - Gig Review: Jan Preston @ Auckland Blues & Jazz Club, Auckland - 06/10/2020
07 Oct 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
I must confess that until this week I had never heard of the Auckland Jazz and Blues Club, but somehow, I do not think this will be the last time I attend. Situated at the rear of the Pt Chevalier RSA, I walked into a warm welcome, and was given a copy of the latest newsletter which detailed the acts they have coming in October.
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Darren Watson - Album Review: Getting Sober For The End of the World
30 Sep 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Darren Watson originally became known in the Eighties as principal songwriter and frontman for rhythm and blues outfit Chicago Smoke Shop, with whom he recorded two albums. Since going solo he has released six studio albums, with his last, 2018’s Too Many Millionaires being his most successful, reaching #3 on the official NZ Albums Chart.
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Velvet Arrow - EP Review: Songs of Solitude
22 Sep 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Velvet Arrow are creative musician/producer Dan Stenhouse and songwriter Hannah Jane, who both hail from Northland and came together as a duo in 2017. This four-track EP demonstrates that here is a band who approaches music with an unusual mix of Alt-Folk and Dark Country, capturing the listener from the beginning and rarely letting them go.
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Grant Haua - Single Review: This Is The Place
03 Sep 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Grant Haua is probably best known for being half of the two-man blues roots band Swamp Thing, but in January 2019 he made the decision to leave the band after 9 years, countless tours and numerous acclaimed albums. He locked himself away with producer and engineer Tim Julian from Colour Field Studios for several months, with the end result being the album Awa Blues.
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Samuel Philip Cooper - Single Review: Broken Heart Recovery
27 Aug 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Here we have Samuel Philip Cooper, a 25-year-old Wellington-based solo-pianist, who releases his first single, Broken Heart Recovery on Saturday 29th August. Cooper is planning to release this and one more tune as singles prior to the release of the album, Breaking The Silence, in November.
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Hadees Drudge - Album Review: On Your Knees
23 Aug 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Hadees Drudge came together in Wellington in 2018, after a covers band featuring guitarist/songwriter Jason Keeler and drummer Jordan Hotton (previously in Bloodshot) disbanded. Hotton liked the songs he heard from Keeler, so they reached out on social media to find some musicians to form a new band and convinced singer Duane Frew (who had previously released some albums as Nort) and bassist Chris Ewers to come along for the ride.
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Coridian - Gig Review: Coridian with Outside In and Hospital Sports @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 11/07/2020
12 Jul 2020 // review by Kev Rowland
Tonight’s gig was a series of firsts for me; it was my first visit to the Ding Dong Lounge, my first gig of the year, the first time I had seen any of these bands play live, and my first ever gig review for Muzic.net.
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NZ Top 10 Singles

  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • POSITIONS
    Ariana Grande
  • THEREFORE I AM
    Billie Eilish
  • HOLY
    Justin Bieber feat. Chance The Rapper
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • MONSTER
    Shawn Mendes And Justin Bieber
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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