13 May 2021
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One Love Concert 06/02/10

25 Mar 2010 // A review by River Tucker

Review for muzic.net.nz - One Love Concert - 06/02/10 - Hataitai Velodrome, Wellington

There couldn't have been a nicer day to attend the 13th annual One Love concert held at Wellington's Hataitai Velodrome. The Eastern kicked things off with some banjo-picking, knee- slapping rockabilly goodness. Think Waratahs but with husky vocals and female harmonies. Listeners to the simulcast on Radio Active 89FM may have been prompted to come to the concert by hearing The Easterns' excellent set.

Richard Nunns and the Etymologists took the stage after some top ranking MC work. Conjuring up images of tropical rainforests and strange animal calls, Richard exhibited his skill with atmospheric flutes and all manner of percussive instruments. With trance-like and slightly disconcerting sound-scapes, the highly experienced musicians pleased the crowd with experimental rhythms from clarinet, jews harp and even a piece of polystyrene. The cross-pollination of 80's arcade samples worked well with traditional Maori instruments.

The Midnights got people onto their feet and dancing with some tasty reggae. Soaring guitar licks in well-executed reggae songs were very suited to the event. At times The Midnights would break into some skank, to the joy of the crowd. The smell of the festival wafted through the air while people relaxed in the shade on terraces where the gentle breeze swirled the sound around slightly.

Don McGlashan opened with a mihi and talked about the significance of the day, being both Waitangi Day and Bob Marley's birthday.  The upbeat Dominion Road led into the mellower Everything's Broken; Life's so Sweet. McGlashan's warm, emphatic vocals captivated everyone's attention and his band provided him with excellent support performing some of the three decades worth of brilliant songs he can draw upon. The hit song Bathe in the River saw Don singing in falsetto with beautiful gospel style backing vocals from keyboardist, Dominic Blazer, and bass player/accordionist, Maree Thom. The sweet power of the music was spiritual and uplifting.  Nature Enter Me is so well known the crowd merrily sang along. The slow ballad Anchor Me closed out the set.  McGlashans expertly constructed songs, along with their professional and heartfelt rendition at One Love, confirms his position as an elder statesman and well-loved song-smith of New Zealand music.

The sound system kicked into gear and up a notch with Sola Rosa. Large thumping bass drum dominated the airwaves and Jamaican style rap from Spikey Tee crisply melded together with the rock steady beat.   Triggered samples rounded out the sound but at times the band overly relied on these and it would be nice to see some tracks performed with a full ensemble. The wah wah guitar worked a treat and Rachel Fraser captured the resonance of the event with her soulful vocals. Weaving together influences from many genres', including touches of calypso rhythm, it was a professional and solid performance enjoyed by the musicians just as much as the audience.

Dub step with hints of downbeat ragamuffin from Mungo's HiFi had an electronica edge. Generally positive messages, with a little gangster rap thrown in, from four experienced Scottish based performers kept people amping as the sun started to go down.

Overall the concert was professionally run and between bands the breaks filled with heart thumping reggae kept the crowd dancing. This festival works despite stiff competition from events such as the International Rugby Sevens and the Wellington Fringe Festival. One Love was well worth the ticket price; a relaxing and uplifting musical event enjoyed by young and old alike.

Reviewer - River

 

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