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2 a.m. Orchestra - Gig Review | Go Vino | Hamilton

20 Sep 2010 // A review by amandashootsbands

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.

Words by Amanda Ratcliffe

 

About 2 a.m. Orchestra

Based on an epidemic of insomnia-inflicting inspiration, 2 a.m. Orchestra was the name chosen by David Kelley while working on some recordings in early 2000. Just prior to the release of what would be the first album (2 a.m. Orchestra, 2001), Kelley formed and prepped a band to play in support of the release. From that time, the live line-up has varied widely, from a 2-piece snare drum and guitar duo, to an instrument-swapping 6-piece. Kelley did a number of U.S. tours with these various line-ups (and even a solo tour). Such personnel fluctuations continued on up through the 2nd full-length release, Impermanence (2005), which proved to be an apt, if not intentional title as the ever-changing live show became the band’s most noted characteristic.

After the release of Impermanence Kelley began travelling, living abroad and performing in various locations such as New York, Central America and even China. 2 a.m. Orchestra was put on the back-burner while Kelley toured with various projects: a country band that did shows for troops at international military bases, a theatre company performing a rock opera, and a percussion trio that gigged at state fairs. However, Kelley continued to write and record throughout this period. During two consecutive summers, the songwriter made a makeshift project studio from his grandmother’s country house located on the outskirts of his hometown (Fresno). These periods were spent compiling, writing, and recording a significant percentage of what now constitutes the entire 2 a.m. Orchestra catalogue (the vast majority of which remains unreleased).

Over the years, 2 a.m. Orchestra has primarily remained a solo endeavour – a one-man recording project with occasional outbursts of live performances. One such outburst occurred in 2008, a year after Kelley moved to Los Angeles. The L.A. band was a four-piece powerhouse with a turbo-charged rhythm section, gritty vocals, and surf-tone guitars. The band played sporadically, packing out indie venues like The Derby and Molly Malone’s.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for 2 a.m. Orchestra

Releases

2 a.m. Orchestra
Year: ????
Type: Album
Trading Graves
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Working To Divide
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Live At Lopdell House Theatre
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Fire Escape
Year: 2010
Type: EP
Impermanence
Year: 2005
Type: Album

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