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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ Crystal Palace, Auckland - 31/10/15

16 Nov 2015 // A review by Andrew Smit

A hearty and enthusiastic crowd packed into the grand old Crystal Palace to experience the beautiful Mel Parsons and band, and the audience was won over by the music coming from the stage, a vibrant folk music played to a rhythmic country beat full of warmth and stirring emotive tunes.

Many in the crowd eagerly yelled their approval which on most occasions was humorously responded to by Mel, and with each song the positive vibe was lifted as Mel and her band entertained us with beautiful songs with wonderful down to earth themes that were full of delightful melodies and harmonies. It was a night of pure music, performed with a skilled band of 5 musicians that relish their craft and most importantly enjoy performing Mel’s sweet tunes. Other than the sublime electric guitar of Gerry Paul and the occasional electric bass from long time bassist Aaron Stewart, the music was acoustic, with drums, double bass and Mel’s acoustic guitar. There was wonderful harmonies supplied by backing vocalist Julia Deans and also Mel’s cousin Jed Parsons, whose full time job was to play the drums which he did faultlessly, very talented this Parsons lot. All this superb musicianship was a smooth foundation for Mel's serene singing, her silky and souring vocals were delivered in every tune and really are a stirring live experience.

Between songs Mel was great at explaining the meaning or inspiration of the songs, some of them deep and meaningful others light and funny, like how she came up with the name Drylands for the album, it was chosen only after googling her preferred titles that she found that Nickelback, Katy Perry and even Bear Grylls had all recently used each potential title for their latest releases, eventually Drylands came up with an all clear

There was no flashing lights or smoke and mirror effects required, as the night belonged to the music and it was stirringly good throughout, in an atmosphere where you felt like you were being entertained by a family friend. An encore saw 5 vocalists take to the microphones and perform a phenomenal rendition of The Eagles Seven Bridges Road with the most amazing vocal harmonies that everyone was impressed with, and thus I am sure like me they will be keen to experience Mel Parsons live again when she is next in town. 

 

About Mel Parsons

Well recognised as one of New Zealand’s established songwriting stars, indie-folk singer songwriter Mel Parsons’ star is on the rise. Following the success of both her debut album Over My Shoulder in 2009, and sophomore offering Red Grey Blue in 2011, Parsons released her third full length record Drylands in 2015.

The Kiwi singer/songwriter and two time NZ Music Award (VNZMA) finalist for Folk Album of the Year, has released the first single from Drylands – the gutsy & rhythmic audience favourite originally performed with Fly My Pretties, Far Away. With a dynamite live show, solo or with her band, Parsons is an engaging performer with a natural emotive voice that allows the listener to become part of the story.

With home as a hotel room and a suitcase, Parsons has built up her fan base the old fashioned way – winning over audiences on the live circuit. The only New Zealand artist invited to showcase at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, USA in 2014 & 2015, Parsons has also had recent tours in Australia, UK, Ireland, and Germany. She is also a cast member of Kiwi musical collective Fly My Pretties, with tours and festival performances including the prestigious Byron Bay Bluesfest at Easter 2015.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mel Parsons

Releases

Drylands
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Red Grey Blue
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Over My Shoulder
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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