20 May 2019
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  • Caroline Easther and the Cinnamon Girls - Gig Review: Caroline Easther and The Cinnamon Girls @ Fairfield House, Nelson - 3/05/2019

Caroline Easther and the Cinnamon Girls - Gig Review: Caroline Easther and The Cinnamon Girls @ Fairfield House, Nelson - 3/05/2019

04 May 2019 // A review by Jacquie Walters

Caroline Easther seems like a completely lovely person which must have made last night’s experience at Fairfield House all the more difficult for her. Despite her best efforts to push through, with the support of her band The Cinnamon Girls (Alan Galloway, Hamish Graham and Murray Costello), her voice was just not playing the game.


Frustratingly for Easther this meant she had to adapt her set list on the fly and even stop the concert at one point to try and remedy the situation and repair her voice to get through the evening. Unfortunately, Easther’s concerns about her vocals made her whole approach to the set tentative and it was difficult for a newcomer to her original material to hear the songs clearly. This makes it a little difficult to review.


With that being said, there were definitely moments and particular numbers where the audience got a glimpse of what Easther would be like when on form and feeling confident.

Meg’s Story was written about Easther’s daughter, and it was lovely. Easter’s voice blends beautifully with Hamish Graham (also on drums). Footsteps was also in the groove. My favourite of the night was Find Me which is coincidentally Easther’s own favourite song from her new debut album Lucky. It’s a beautiful ballad with gorgeous backing vocals from Graham and bass player Murray Costello, and also features a lovely guitar intro from Alan Galloway.

No Ordinary Day and Wishful Thinking were both well written, melodic, pop tracks which demonstrated Easther’s ability as a songwriter to pen tracks with a hook and an engaging vibe.

The two support spots from her band members were enjoyable. Alan Galloway was joined by Tatania Sogrina on keyboard for a short set which included a lovely cover of Leonard Cohen's First We Take Manhattan. Galloway is the perfect person to deliver a Cohen cover with his laconic vocal delivery. Hamish Graham also sang three numbers, including Elvis Costello's Peace, Love and Understanding. Graham has a terrific soaring voice and it was lovely to hear him in full flight without using the microphone in the intimate Fairfield House setting.

No audience likes to see a performer uncomfortable and suffering through a gig and it was difficult to watch Easther struggling. There was a lot of compassion in the room directed her way, both from the audience and her fellow band members. Hopefully she can rest up and find her form for the rest of the gigs in her tour.

 

About Caroline Easther and the Cinnamon Girls

Caroline Easther has always been best known for her drumming skills, and has played with The Chills, The Verlaines, The Warratahs’ Barry Saunders and Let's Planet among many, many others.

Now, she's venturing to the front of stage to front her band The Cinnamon Girls to showcase the songs from her new, debut solo album, Lucky.

Caroline is a huge fan of the indie-pop, alternative rock genre and lists bands such as The Go-Betweens, Sneaky Feelings, The Triffids and PJ Harvey as among her main influences. Her album, Lucky, would not have been made had David Long not been available to produce the sound Caroline wanted so much at his Owhiro Bay studio in Wellington. The album is essentially guitar driven but is varied in pace and in its sounds and lots of musicians popped in to add their flavour - Alan Norman, Dave Berry, Alan Galloway, Hamish Grahan, David Long and Murray Costello all contributed. The resultis a melodic, spacious, multi-layered collection of songs about the small and the not-so-small things Caroline has observed or loved or experienced...

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Caroline Easther and the Cinnamon Girls

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