19 Feb 2020
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Abby Wolfe - Gig Review: Abby Wolfe @ 50 Gorillas, Dunedin - 23/02/2019

24 Feb 2019 // A review by Darryl Baser

Abby Wolfe, along with her drummer and keyboardist took to the stage about 10.30pm. Beginning with a heart-felt thanks to her hometown audience, she tells the 100 or so people there that she’s glad to be home and is thankful for being welcomed back.

Her second song Lonely In Company is a true standout piece. It’s a huge call to play a song which has clocked up 300,000 streams in a month, and it certainly gets the crowd dancing. I have to say, I prefer this live version, as the recorded version has so much auto tune on it. Auto tune is good if someone can’t sing in tune, but that’s not an affliction Abby suffers from. Playing this tune is a hell of a homecoming.

Abby is on the verge of crossing into the mainstream, having achieved commercial radio airplay, and that was evident by the definite split in the age of punters. There were people who remember Abby from her days as an impressive young talent in Dunedin, to the much younger set all of who all knew the words to the songs which have been on mainstream radio.

There are technical difficulties from the outset, particularly with the drummer’s backing tracks.

Breakdown is the third song, and it’s a brilliant version, especially when played live.

Upside Down is another new song which her commercial radio fans love, and I'm sure they'll sing along as soon as they learn the chorus.

When she left Dunedin her voice, both as an instrument and as a songwriter, was already developing and two years of living and creating in Auckland with producers has sharpened and developed her skills. Damn Abby; you've changed, and it's good.

She announces the fourth song is her next single Change My Mind and says 'it's about being indecisive'.

She has the ability to write a catchy as hell song. Hey Abby, APRA silver scroll, Change My Mind is a contender for the 2019 song of the year.

Abby's next song in is Lose Myself, which she says is the song she’s ‘most proud of ever’... “It’s an experience that happened, [when we were writing it] I sung through the first verse and burst into tears.”

It is a nice ballad, and the version is OK despite the tech gremlins striking again.

Win You Over is another new song the youthful knew and sang to her and each other. As an old bugger it is wonderful to see youngsters really loving live music.

And with that, that’s it. Abby tells the crowd they hadn’t rehearsed an encore. Which is frightfully amateur for one with the opportunity to really break through and make it.

After the audience cheers descend into a stunned silence and muttering, a punter calls out for a song, she obliges with “the first song I ever wrote”.

Someone in showbiz once said: it’s always good to leave the crowd wanting more. Mission accomplished Abby.

 

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