16 Oct 2019

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking
  • Articles »
  • Reviews »
  • The Miltones - Gig Review: The Miltones w/ Reb Fountain @ Pt Chevalier Memorial RSA, Auckland 22/06/2018

The Miltones - Gig Review: The Miltones w/ Reb Fountain @ Pt Chevalier Memorial RSA, Auckland 22/06/2018

28 Jun 2018 // A review by butch181

The Pt Chevalier Memorial RSA isn’t a venue that I have been in before, and after entering the venue, the merch stand had me convinced I was at the right place, but the lack of a stage or any instruments had me reasonably confused. Luckily, noticing some music playing behind a large curtain I discovered the larger half of the venue. It didn’t take long before the site started to flood with excited fans. While a reasonable size venue, the stage is wide and low, and thus better suited to a seated audience; as soon as musicians started to take up positions on stage the crowd moved right up and started to block the view of the remaining 90% of the crowd.

Without a word, Reb Fountain starts playing a gentle piece on the keyboard. The bass guitar smoothly introduces itself before the remainder of the band join in and they're off. While they almost appear uneasy up on stage, the vocal performance from Reb Fountain showed extreme levels of poise and confidence. 

Instrumentally, the tracks are rather restrained, directing focus towards the vocals; despite this reduced volume you can see the enthusiasm in the drummer's face as he performs his variable fills anyway. The banter is largely gratuitous, and the crowd were incredibly supportive. When Reb mentioned her nervousness at performing to a crowd of Miltones fans, a member of the audience called out “We’re your fans!” and the crowd cheered in agreement. 

Smooth undulating tunes, with varying vocal styles, there are many different sounds that will appeal to a variety of people, and it is visible in the mixed demographic present; with both younger and older generations vying for a position at the front of stage. Switching between keyboard-centric and guitar-centric tracks, the vibes change between a more classical output, and a newer more modern sound. Not afraid to use all aspects of her voice Reb Fountain has an almost raspy-edge that comes across in a similar tone to that of Gin Wigmore if she were to take it in that direction. She did struggle slightly to hit and hold the high notes consistently, but otherwise it was stunning vocal performance, where the limits to vocal range were pushed to the limits.

Headlining act for the night came from The Miltones, an act that I have never had the pleasure of seeing before. Having interviewed their frontwoman Milly Tabak previously for an Emerging Manager Award nomination earlier in the year, I was aware of the band, but not of their style of music. Safe to say, I was caught off-guard; Milly’s voice was higher than I expected, but high energy nonetheless. 

As someone that had never been exposed to their music before, it did take a couple of minutes to acclimate. The opening track was Bye Bye Baby was let down by a glitching speaker to the left of stage that kept cutting out throughout the track until the sound tech managed to adjust the settings accordingly. Moving on to The Wanderer the funky little number is reminiscent of the style of Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract, before performing some new tracks. 

Milly has a brilliant stage presence; moving and dancing at every opportunity, hair flowing in all directions as the various colours of light shine across the stage, it creates dazzling rainbow visuals. The remainder of the band were technically sound, performing their respective instruments well, but were rather static in their performance. That is of course with the exception of their keyboard musician, Guy Harrison, who was doing his darndest not to be shown up by frontwoman Tabak; throwing his own hair back, and playing his instrument with ferocity and passion, at times switching from keys to trumpet.

I began to wonder whether the crowd had been telling the truth earlier when they called out that they were Reb Fountain fans. I found myself having to move around the room on several occasions, as my listening experience was spoiled time and time again by large groups of the audience deciding to have loud conversations throughout The Miltones set. The entire left half of the crowd and most of the front of stage, continued to talk loudly, until some of the louder songs finally managed to drown them out, though it was a double-edged sword that pushed some of the crowd into the other half of the venue. A really odd display from the crowd who had been so compassionate towards the opening band. 

Going back to the band though, The Miltones have a very soothing, optimistic vibe to their music, not dissimilar to vibe you get at a reggae or dub and roots festival. With a 15-song set, they included a couple of covers songs in the form of Talking Head’s This Must Be The Place, and Neil Young’s Down By The River. Tabak herself has a wide range in her vocal styles, with a clean quality that is comparable to Alanis Morissette’s Ironic, but also pulling off lower gravelly tones in the like of Gypsy Queen. The band do enjoy their breakdowns and it is when they truly look at their best on stage. Such a situation was when they returned for an encore performance of Bleeding Blues in which everyone got their groove on. It’s always great when you can see the performers are visibly enjoying themselves.

With a strong vocal performance, funky keyboard solos, and a large number of other instruments, The Miltones provided a relaxed environment, full of soul and funk, with just a little twang of country. An eclectic mix that is held together by Tabak’s mesmerising stage presence and positivity.

Review written by Alex Moulton
Photos by Chris Morgan Photography


About The Miltones

An Auckland-based band gaining attention locally for the mesmerizing voice of Milly Tabak, who serves as the group’s frontwoman, with the supportive chops and solos of lead guitarist, Liam Pratt.

Together the pair have been playing music together since their teenage years, and now form the songwriting core within the band, which has now grown to five.

The band’s music has evolved over the years into a duel disposition of foot-stomping country blues to soft rock ballads that reminds you of Americana folk rock of the 1970’s. Milly’s unrestrained, free-spirited voice alikens her to a young Stevie Nicks prodigy, with an untouchable energy to her strikingly raw vocal performance. With their nostalgia-inducing sound, they’ve gathered audiences in both millennials to baby boomers and everyone in between. “We’re incredibly lucky. We have a healthy mix of people who get into our music… We can play venues and have all the young bucks losing their minds dancing and from nowhere, the oldies fit right in and have a shimmy… It’s badass.”

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Miltones


There are no releases to display for The Miltones.

Other Reviews By butch181

Gig Review: Sevendust w/ City of Souls @ Powerstation, Auckland - 23/04/2019
24 Apr 2019 // by butch181
A decidedly reserved Tuesday night in Auckland and people were quietly piling into the Powerstation and grabbing some drinks at the bar. The upper balcony area was closed, so the fans were amassing downstairs around the inner perimeter of the venue.
Sonic Altar - Album Review: Under A Dying Sun
27 Mar 2019 // by butch181
In this digital age, it’s not often that you get a full length record anymore. Everything is short and sweet just to get content out there before fans forget your band even exists.
Levi Lights On Project - Single Review: Mirror Man
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
Levi is a musical amalgamation that would in most cases be categorised as folk, thanks to the groups' uncommon mix of instruments consisting of a saxophone, cello, and cajón, and a lack of a drum kit or electric instruments. That being said, Mirror Man has something unique.
The Gemini Effect - Single Review: Little Mouse
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
Little Mouse is the first single from Bad Alien, the upcoming sophomore album of three-piece alt-rock act The Gemini Effect. With some nice consistent snare work, the track jumps right off the bat with a great organic sense of rhythm that has you bobbing your head and tapping your foot along with the beat, accentuated by some gritty power chords.
Mermaidens - Single Review: You Maintain The Stain
17 Mar 2019 // by butch181
The latest release from Wellington trio Mermaidens is a straight up middle finger to the powers that control the world and throws away the mainstream formula of verse/chorus patterns, instead, forming a self-righteous maelstrom of sonic environments.  With no warning given, You Maintain The Stain gets straight into cold, apathetic vocals alongside a pluggy bassline, until the guitar jumps in with an uncomfortable level of discord that sows the seeds of uneasiness in the pit of your stomach as if every instrument is performing a different song.
Paper Cranes - Album Review: Voices
19 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Due for release January 18, 2019, Voices is the second full-length album from Indie Folk duo Paper Cranes. While comprised of ten tracks, the album has a short overall runtime of just over 35 minutes.
This Pale Fire - Single Review: Float Out
17 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Float Out is about the process of letting things go, moving forward, learning from your past experiences, growing as a result. As such, the track has an intrinsically emotional weight to it.
EP Review: Miller Yule Live
17 Dec 2018 // by butch181
Miller Yule Live is a good length EP, consisting of seven tracks with a total runtime of over 30 minutes. Performing a setlist that is mostly sourced from his 2016 EP Shoot Me In The Heart (reviewed here), Miller Yule has also added in his single Diamonds (released in November 2017 and reviewed here), a stripped down adaptation of Six60's Don't Give It Up, and a new track to spice it up further.
View All Articles By butch181

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Tones And I
    Travis Scott
    Post Malone
    DRAX Project feat. Six60
  • 10,000 HOURS
    Dan + Shay feat. Justin Bieber
    Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello
    Maroon 5
    Ed Sheeran feat. Khalid
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
    Lewis Capaldi
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem