21 Jun 2019
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Gig Review: Lily Allen with Bene @ Spark Arena, Auckland - 2/02/2019

03 Feb 2019 // A review by Paul Goddard

Hailing from Grey Lynn and still a teenager I am guessing the nerves were pumping before Bene took the stage at Spark Arena tonight.

Making the shift from small venues like Neck of the Woods to this huge hanger is a daunting task but tonight you wouldn't have thought so. Supported by her band and dressed head to toe in an orange outfit not dissimilar to those worn in U.S. prisons she immediately commands the stage and just a couple of songs in she has connected with the audience.

A natural performer she comes across like a young Bjork. The music is catchy in a twisted pop kind of way with enough hooks and variance to keep the crowd moving. She has a great voice and a talented young band behind her. This is perfect indie pop and it is exciting. There is a growing talent pool of young New Zealanders like Bene coming through at the moment and I think she could be top of the pile.

Orange is the new All Black.

What can I say as an introduction to Lily Allen that hasn’t already been written? Her refusal to pamper to the music industry, to push boundaries and push people's buttons is well documented.

She has fought and worked hard to get here today and suffered more than her fair share of hardships not all of her own creation. The best artists in the world all suffer in some way. It’s what makes them who they are and way more interesting.

It has been a long journey from first being noticed singing Oasis song Wonderwall at school to playing arenas like tonight and Lily hasn't taken a straight forward route. I have to admit I know more about the tabloid stories than the 4 albums she has released but I am looking forward to this.

Tonight Spark has been compressed to resemble a venue about the size of Brixton Academy so Lily should feel at home. The sparse stage set up just four tower lights, no screens and no visual backdrop all adds to that club vibe.

She enters the stage dressed in what could be described as council estate bling as the PA chants Lily, Lily Lily fucking Allen. We could actually be in Brixton.

It's a mellow start with opener Come On Then which is followed by the dub reggae tinged Waste, both from her latest album No Shame. The crowd lights up as she plays early hit LDN.

We are then back onto the new album for the next three songs. No Shame overall has a mellower feel than her previous releases and whilst the crowd are loving it the first time the place really lights up is with Smile.

Lily's onstage presence is also very natural. Her moments speaking to the audience are honest, open and clearly not planned as she tells us how she went snorkeling at Goat Island and bought some throat healing drink in Matakana which she then proceeds to drink from a mug. The dry throat from the flight appears to be on her mind as she pops vocalzones (throat tablets) and sprays medicine between songs.

She needn't have worried though as her vocals tonight were excellent.

At times I felt the set didn't flow as well as it could. Just as the energy was building it dropped a little with the following songs, but everyone here tonight seemed to love it. I like that Lilly Allen wears her heart on her sleeve. The story about how 9 years ago when she was last in NZ she had a husband, 2 kids, house in the countryside and then she went and "fucked it all up" shows she is just as broken as the rest of us. She laughs and carries on. This honesty is part of her charm.

She did a great job of covering Lykke Li's Deep End and The Fear was also a stand out. The obligatory encore to end had the crowd in the seats finally up dancing. Phones were out everywhere, people filming themselves dancing, taking selfies. I think Instagram will be busy today and even though Lily Allen has a self-professed love/hate relationship with social media what gets posted online tomorrow will be all positive.


Photos courtesy of Chris Morgan Photography

 

Other Reviews By Paul Goddard

Dead Favours - Album Review: Misbehaviour
21 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Back in 2016 Jared Wrennall stepped out from behind the tub thumping pop/rock masterpiece that was Steriogram, picked up the guitar and got to work on putting together New Zealand’s next chart bothering Rock n Roll machine. Now after 3 years and 3 singles we finally have the full-blown debut album Misbehaviour.
Read More...
Gig Review: Alien Weaponry @ Underworld, London -16/06/2019
18 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
You have got to admire Alien Weaponry’s dedication and commitment. Back in 2016 they said “there is no plan B and that is good as it means we have to deliver on plan A” And deliver is just what they have done.
Read More...
Gig Review: Miss June @ The Old Blue Last, London - 11/06/2019
12 Jun 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Tonight just blew my mind.Here I am in London town and just checked into one of the funkiest/quirkiest (usually code word for SHITE on booking.
Read More...
The Backchat - Single Review: Read My Mind
11 May 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Relationships are a complex beast. The title of this debut single from Auckland based The Backchat is going to be familiar with anyone who has ever had a relationship that lasted more than 5 mins.
Read More...
The Echo Ohs - Single Review: Fool
03 May 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Check out some of the ways that have been used to describe the sound Auckland three piece The Echo Ohs create. It is pretty entertaining, psych cowboy, Psych Spaghetti surf?
Read More...
Sean Bodley - Album Review: I Am Human
26 Apr 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Instrumental music is a concept that I have often struggled with. The first time I really connected with it was when I first heard the brick in your face abrasiveness of Mogwai.
Read More...
Sit Down In Front - Single Review: Rain
26 Apr 2019 // by Paul Goddard
It is pissing down. London Town, it’s Spring 2019 and a storm named Hannah has decided to make herself known in all her howling wind and icy rain glory.
Read More...
Blue River Baby - Single Review: Walk of Shame
15 Apr 2019 // by Paul Goddard
Blue River Baby have a goal to get people moving by creating songs that make people move and playing them well to as many people as possible. It is a simple goal but one that they achieve well as they recently showed when they played to 20,000 people on NYE in Nelson.
Read More...
View All Articles By Paul Goddard

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • OLD TOWN ROAD (REMIX)
    Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
  • I DON'T CARE
    Ed Sheeran And Justin Bieber
  • BAD GUY
    Billie Eilish
  • SOMEONE YOU LOVED
    Lewis Capaldi
  • TRUTH HURTS
    Lizzo
  • CROSS ME
    Ed Sheeran feat. Chance The Rapper And PnB Rock
  • IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU
    Shawn Mendes
  • THE LONDON
    Young Thug feat. J. Cole And Travis Scott
  • TALK
    Khalid And Disclosure
  • 3 NIGHTS
    Dominic Fike
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