30 Jul 2021
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking
  • Articles »
  • Reviews »
  • Ciaran McMeeken - Gig Review: Ciaran McMeeken & Dan Sharp @ 50 Gorillas, Dunedin - 16/02/2019

Ciaran McMeeken - Gig Review: Ciaran McMeeken & Dan Sharp @ 50 Gorillas, Dunedin - 16/02/2019

17 Feb 2019 // A review by Darryl Baser

As a disclaimer, I knew absolutely nothing about neither Ciaran McMeeken nor Dan Sharp prior to the gig, so I arranged my +1 to be Dunedin songwriter Bronwyn Halley. She’s in the same generational band as Ciaran, and as it turned out, was a very knowledgeable accomplice.

Dan Sharp opens up with Springsteen's I'm On Fire, then introduced himself; "I'm Dan Sharp, and pleased to be opening up for Ciaran on the last night of his tour before he moves Austin Texas."

Sharp is armed with an acoustic guitar, a road worn husk in his voice, and a percussive stomp box, which he kicks into life frequently.

Second song in the set is his first single from last year Lifeline.

He follows with Daylight, which he explains was recorded it in the UK last year with fellow Kiwi Thomas Oliver.

He writes, in a modern country blues style, sort of typical songwriter, and as much as I loathe comparisons and believe they’re mostly for lazy journalists, He reminds me of a Kiwi Ed Sheeran.

Kindling Coal is a slower number, which has written about a lover written all over it and is a beautiful ballad.

In announcing it he says he got an email from Spotify saying it was doing well in their statistics, and it’s easy to hear why, as it has an anthemic quality about it, especially in the repeat chorus lots at the end part.

My accomplice Bronwyn Halley told me Dan's version of The Chainsmokers song Closer, with a homage to Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody thrown in, was better than the original.

Sharp’s set was on point, at the risk of being blunt.

He closes with what he says could be his next single Bones, and a great version of the Dermott Kennedy song, After Rain.

It was the perfect supporting plot. Well played Dan.

After the briefest of pauses, Ciaran McMeeken comes on, and Bronwyn notes that both performers were on time, no making people wait. Nice professionalism.

Ciaran McMeeken must have done vocal warm-ups back stage, as his first tune Light It Up stretched his considerable vocal range.

Which he follows with the first of the songs written with Dan Sharp, called Stay, which McMeeken says was “written with Dan Sharp with you the audience in mind, we've all had different weeks and now we're here, so it's a song to welcome you to this space."

Pure Intentions, another song written with Dan Sharp ... Gosh darn they write great feel good pop songs.. America is going to love him. And he is just a bit gorgeous.

Ciaran loops a chord phrase and beat box part, drops it in and out adding parts as he goes, he’s a really expert looper which comes to the fore on Don't Lie To Me.

The next song was written in Amsterdam called Wi-Fi. He described it as cringy, but now says it is one of his favourite songs to play. It's a ridiculously catchy song and could be an international hit. It is as catchy and current of any Ed Sheeran acoustic guitar driven pop song.

He then launches into Adele's Someone Like You. There's singing along, especially after he mentions that Christchurch was louder. A good Adele sing along and not a single node or vocal injury in sight.

He sits at the Piano to begin the song Boy and he dedicates it to “anyone who is going through something tricky in their lives.” It's a well composed ballad and it showcases his skills on the keyboards too. The audience is hushed.

It would be east to discount a song called sexy, particularly when sung by an attractive, confident young man, as fluff, and sexist. However, McMeeken partially explained the lyrics beforehand and the line: "this ain't misogynistic or alpha male bullshit" outlines the song’s intent quite well.

He is ready for the states, he totally knows how to work a crowd and shows the crowd how and when to sing along in a chorus.

Dan Sharp returns for a duet, which McMeeken describes as a song about being present. This time tomorrow the pair wrote it in Queenstown just before winter. It’s a bloody good song about being in the moment with people you're with. The two gents harmonise very well, and clearly are good buds.

Dan leaves and Ciaran says he’s “gonna ramp things up” and "he's not playing until people come up and dance." His great stage technique, charm, and ways of gentle persuasion work, people come up the front to dance and sing along. Which Way Shall We Go? is another great song, as is who I am follows, and it’s another crowd favourite.

Talented, confident, but not arrogant, a good songwriter, entertaining, and did I mention gorgeous. By the time he launches into City he has the crowd eating out of his hands and clapping along...Spanish steps, begins slowly, and it is yet another beautiful song.

Tidal Wave is among the final song or three, and by this stage I’m finding him annoyingly talented.

He sings a song which he describes as being written just down the road in Princess Street. He sings it to his parents who are in the room, they sing too, and there are a few moist eyes. Seeing the deep aroha and pride in his father’s eyes as Ciaran sang was beautiful. It is a beautiful moment.

Evidence of McMeeken’s Dunedin roots is available at this YouTube video from 2015 when he recorded a version of Boy in Dunedin’s Pot Pourri cafe.

 

About Ciaran McMeeken

Ciaran McMeeken is an Auckland, NZ based musician and song writer.

Ciaran was raised in Arrowtown, New Zealand, and has been playing music since he was 11 years old. After moving to Dunedin for secondary school, Ciaran started playing drums and then switched to guitar and singing a few years later. His introduction to music and his rapid development as a songwriter came at a surprise to those around him given that he does not come from a musical family.

Ciaran recently moved to Auckland to focus on his music, spending the last two years writing, recording and performing. His debut EP The Valley caught the attention of acclaimed producer Greg Haver, who worked with Ciaran to produce the highly anticipated Screaming Man.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ciaran McMeeken

Releases

The Stories We Live
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Ciaran McMeeken
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Screaming Man
Year: 2015
Type: EP
The Valley
Year: 2014
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Darryl Baser

Miss Leading - Album Review: Minor Thing
23 Jul 2021 // by Darryl Baser
When reviewing albums by artists you’ve never heard of can be a lottery, sometimes you don’t quite ‘get’ the album, and sometimes you’re like ‘wow’. Minor Thing by Miss Leading is totally in the ‘wow’ category.
Read More...
Gig Review: Drax Project @ Dunedin Town Hall, Dunedin - 02/06/2021
04 Jul 2021 // by Darryl Baser
Auckland based singer AACACIA was onstage and singing with her band as many people walked in at 7:25pm ahead of the advertised start time. In 2019 AACACIA posted a clip asking to play support to Drax Project, and last night she did.
Read More...
Reuben Hudson - Single Review: Baby Bedside
23 May 2021 // by Darryl Baser
There are many things which can derail a musician’s career, although Reuben Hudson’s reasoning may be a little less common than most. He had kidney transplant surgery in 2020.
Read More...
Vann Dizon - Single/Video Review: Let You Go
08 May 2021 // by Darryl Baser
Wow. Beautifully written, lyrics with heart, the composition is top form, and the production sets this song as a potential chart topper.
Read More...
Jiahu Symbols - Single Review: Northern Exposure
17 Apr 2021 // by Darryl Baser
An interesting song, Jiahu Symbols' Northern Exposure opens with a guitar swathed in chorus, maybe a little tremolo, with a couple of bars before the song crashes into life. The verse structure is played a couple of times, before Andrew Murray-Brown begins singing.
Read More...
Gig Review: The Veils @ Dive, Dunedin - 08/04/2021
10 Apr 2021 // by Darryl Baser
Purple Pilgrims take to the stage. There's a round of polite applause after their first song, and half way through their second, I start to hear a very 4AD sound; think Cocteau Twins, circa the Iceblink Luck period.
Read More...
Gig Review: Elemeno P @ Mornington Tap House, Dunedin - 25/03/2021
27 Mar 2021 // by Darryl Baser
The opening act Marlin's Dreaming slide into a well-chosen opening number. Opening with gently strummed chords, and a drum machine, which the drummer synced with well when he came in.
Read More...
The Infinity Chamber - Single Review: No Honey (Anymore)
22 Mar 2021 // by Darryl Baser
For those of you who aren’t amongst the 1340 subscribers to his YouTube, or the nearly 47,000 who follow his Facebook page, The Infinity Chamber is Dylan Paul Ware. PC, or Pre-Covid, he travelled in the true style of a troubadour, spending time in many countries across Europe, which is kind of documented in one of the lyrics in the song; "…it’s just my old guitar and me..
Read More...
View All Articles By Darryl Baser

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • STAY
    The Kid LAROI And Justin Bieber
  • BAD HABITS
    Ed Sheeran
  • BEGGIN'
    Måneskin
  • GOOD 4 U
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • KISS ME MORE
    Doja Cat feat. SZA
  • HEAT WAVES
    Glass Animals
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • TRAITOR
    Olivia Rodrigo
  • AIN'T S**T
    Doja Cat
  • PEACHES
    Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar And Giveon
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