20 Jul 2019
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Kimbra - Gig Review: Kimbra @ Town Hall, Auckland - 31/08/2017

05 Sep 2017 // A review by Paul Goddard
I have been struggling to write this review. Much like I have been struggling to put my thoughts together around this gig by one of NZ's most successful and respected artists.

There is no denying Kimbra's talent and also her drive. Anyone who has seen the footage of her as an 11-year-old taking on the recording studio and talking about how she wants to be a pop star will see that Kimbra has worked hard at this game for a long time and she is still only 27 years old.

She has a mixed and eclectic taste in music and is just as happy moshing to Messugah as she is tripping out to Flying Lotus. She also has an amazing voice, a sense of fashion and performance so with all this talent and drive what is a Kimbra show like in 2017?

To be fair I can't judge tonight as a proper Kimbra show, well not from an audience perspective anyway as this is an iHeart radio event so all tickets were issued to competition winners, industry people and chancers like me which result in a mixed crowd with many people just along for the 'free' ride.

I really wanted to be blown away as even though the music Kimbra makes isn't what I would usually connect with, I do like what I have heard and I love her slightly left-field approach to the pop genre. There is a dark side and melancholy to some of her songs. Kimbra is no Katy Perry, thank god, and at times tonight, she did blow me away especially with tracks like Top Of The World and Sweet Relief.

Through parts of the set her voice appeared lost in the bombast of the songs and the trippy visuals on the three screens behind her, there is so much going on in the song structure that sometimes it is hard to connect. It's impressive, it's different but it doesn't make me feel anything. Most of the time the audience isn't dancing just swaying and it is a strange trippy low buzz kind of vibe.

I would love to hear and see some of these songs stripped back, almost acoustic. At times I try to block out some of the electronica and just listen to her voice, the words, the performance and in those moments I get a glimpse of how talented Kimbra is.

The set is fairly short and all over by 9pm, the light show impressive, Kimbra looks great in a funky jump suit and also clearly happy to be back in NZ for a while. Kimbra is one of the most talented musicians to come from NZ in recent years and she showed why tonight with a polished and professional performance. It was just a little hit and miss for me.

   

 


Review written by Paul Goddard
Photos courtesy of NZME
 

About Kimbra

Passionate about mixing an array of genres and sounds into one with a soulful voice and twist to the average singer/songwriter. With anthem-like songs advised and emphasised with quirky jazz chords, Kimbra's music steps outside the square of the four chord cliché but still mantains strong hooks and catchy melodies that are sometimes unpredictable but satisfying. With such ecclectic influences vocally and musically, Kimbras' music adopts a fresh unique taste to acoustic music.

Having already received two NZ On Air grants and Second place in the Smokefree Rockquest 2004 along with Best Vocals and Womens Musicianship, music got its A into G from there. After 3 consecutive years in Rockquest (two of which were at the National Finals and gaining over $7000 in total from the generous competition) Kimbra created a slick live performance which was priceless along with many lifelong friendships. Grateful to Rockquest, live performance has been Kimbra's aid and footstep into success with music. The competition trained her to perform with the state of mind like that of a band and attempt to provide rhythm, melody and the dynamics of a full band that separates her performance from other solo artists.

Kimbras' first single was recorded at the infamous York St Studios with Welsh producer Greg Haver (who has worked with artists/ bands all over the world, including Manic Street Preachers, Lost Prophets, Carly Binding, 48May, Falter and The Checks). Deep For You was then funded for a Video which gained play on nationwide radio and C4.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kimbra

Releases

Primal Heart
Year: 2018
Type: Album
The Golden Echo
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Vows
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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