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Lightning Bells - Lightning Bells EP Release Gig @ Juice Bar, Auckland - 21/03/14

02 Apr 2014 // A review by Ria Loveder

I think I can speak for all when I say that the Lightning Bells EP release gig at Juice Bar on the 21th March was nothing but a hoot and a half! Much enjoyment was had by all, artists and audience alike. The two opening bands were an absolute delight. Little Lapin brought some absolutely beautiful tunes to the stage, and I must congratulate her and the other two members of the group as it was a brilliant performance with it only being their first time together. Also, Troubled Frank bought much enthusiasm to the stage with members dancing around and getting the audience to participate. A high level set list if ever there was one!

After setting the stage up, it was Lightning Bells turn. Main singer Christy Whelan was full of life and used his energy to captivate the audience as he danced and encouraged the audience to do likewise. Occasionally in songs his sister Emily would accompany him singing and I must say the harmonises were wonderful. Christy and Emily’s vibrant voices came together very well making the lyrics and meaning carry. The trumpet, played by Luke Benson, created a vivacious and lively dynamic throughout. The set list overall was one where I observed people toe tapping and head bobbing. Their songs were ones that you found yourself starting to sing along to, not because of their repetitiveness, but because they made you feel happy. A great crowd pleaser was their cover of Buffalo Springfield’s song For What It’s Worth where by the end everyone was singing along and having a bit of a boogie!

The only criticism I have is that there were some members of the group that lacked enthusiasm, especially in comparison to Christy, but I think that is something each member can work and improve on. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the songs that were performed and I'm looking forward to also reviewing their EP Chimes in the next few days.

About Lightning Bells

Lightning Bells began in a dusty Auckland basement armed with the old family piano, a garage-sale guitar and a brother & sister with distinct voices. Growing up in the conflicted household of an opera-singing mother and Beatles-nut father - Christy and Emily Whelan were drawn to making music from an early age.

In 2011 they finally extended their musical family under the banner Lightning Bells and with the help of an eclectic group of friends they released some well-received demos, a rough ‘n’ ready limited release EP and put on a string of raucous live shows.

Their sound has since evolved and after countless hours working with friends and collaborators Lightning Bells released Chime in March 2014 - showcasing a crafted alt-pop sound and electric live band.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Lightning Bells


Year: 2014
Type: EP

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