22 Sep 2020
UsernamePassword

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

The Narcs - Gig Review: The Narcs @ The Jam Factory, Tauranga - 28/06/19

01 Jul 2019 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

It was a chilly evening in Tauranga, but that didn't stop fans of Kiwi music icons, The Narcs from venturing out to what was a sold out performance at The Jam Factory boutique event space in Tauranga.


The Narcs
have been delivering outstanding pop/rock music since 1980, and still appear to have a dedicated fan base today. The unplugged stripped back version of the lad’s songs has perhaps a more mature sound then the “high energy” enthusiastic and catchy melodies of years past. Firm crowd pleasers such as Diamonds On China and Heart And Soul took on a new life and proved to us just how beautiful the arrangement of these tunes are. In my opinion The Narcs unplugged are just as good as The Narcs plugged in.

The three piece version of the band consists of Andy Dickson – guitar and vocals, Liam Ryan – keyboards and Tony Waine – bass. They still managed to deliver a full sound without the addition of a drummer (who currently is Josh Sorensen). These guys have been playing music together for a long time, which was expressed in the ease they performed together and the obvious enjoyment in what they were doing. I love watching bands that have been playing together for a lifetime of memories. It is reflected in their faces.

The crowd appeared completely absorbed by the performance; there were many calls for repeat encores at the end of the set. The popular hit Heart And Soul which peaked the NZ charts in 1984, had everyone singing along. It was a stunning rendition of this song; I even sang at the top of my lungs in between taking photos. It was a tad emotional and rather surreal, as I had these guys on high rotation embedded in my mix tape back in the day.

A few diehard fans had bought in album covers to sign and the merch desk was doing brisk business at the end of the evening. I confess to doing the fan girl thing, chasing the band around at the end of the night to get autographs on my CD.

As a slight diversion from the review of the evening, what I have discovered lately is that there appears to be resurgence in NZ bands that worked and played together in the 1980's. In a different form yes, but providing much loved musical nostalgia trips for those of a certain age, taking us for a big long walk down memory lane. So, I will take this opportunity I have been given to say thank you for the musical backgrounds of our youth.

Back to the task at hand...

It is a brave move to strip back well known classics to their bare bones, but The Narcs pulled this off effortlessly. They played “hidden gems” as well as the hits also including some tracks from lesser known side projects. Summerhill Stone, Lazy Susan, Abandoned By Love and Not Over were included in the set list as well as the aforementioned well known songs of popular appeal.

The Narcs have thrown themselves back into the tour circuit this year, prior to the unplugged gigs and coming hot on the heels of the The Not Over Summer Tour, this performance proved that these guys still have what it takes to pull in the crowds. Calls for encore rang out for a long time after the band had departed the stage for the final time.

This is a group with a rich and interesting backstory which is embedded in our Trans -Tasman musical culture. It was a pleasure to see them perform live again after all these years.

The only glitch in the night’s performance came from the lighting cutting in and out during Heart And Soul, which caused a disjointed strobe effect. It was difficult to photograph in that situation causing me to put down the camera and join in with the audience to sing along to one of my all-time favourite songs. That was probably the highlight of what was a memorable evening.

We were transported back in time a few decades on the cold Tauranga Friday evening in June. It was magical.


Photos courtesy of Corinne Rutherford/Pixel Faerie. 

 

About The Narcs

If you were to look at the New Zealand music charts anytime in the mid-80's Kiwi based band The Narcs were consistently riding high. In the golden age of touring bands, The Narcs filled pubs and concert halls, played numerous festivals and opened for iconic international acts like Queen and Elton John. They toured relentlessly up and down New Zealand and across the ditch with bands like DD Smash, Split Enz, Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel. They were also in the vanguard of bands who made music video hip.

The band started as a trio in Christchurch in 1980, scoring residencies at pubs and nightclubs. It wasn’t long before their hard-edged Australasian influenced rock sound had the band playing regularly to 800 people on Friday & Saturday nights. The trio started regular touring around the South Island where they quickly built a cult following. Their early recordings spawned power pop songs like First Chance To Dance, Over My Head, No Turning Back and Stay Away which helped define the Kiwi pub rock sound that grew with the rise of Hello Sailor, DD Smash, The Exponents and Pop Mechanics.

In 1983 the mainstay trio of Andy Dickson (guitar, lead vocal), Tony Waine (bass) and Steve Clarkson (drums) moved to Auckland and were soon joined by respected keyboardist Liam Ryan. Over the following years the band wrote a slew of radio and video hits including (You Took Me) Heart and Soul, Lazy Susan, Diamonds on China, Abandoned By Love and Missing In Action.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Narcs

Releases

There are no releases to display for The Narcs.

Other Reviews By Corinne Rutherford

Researchintospeed - Single Review: Anode
15 Sep 2020 // by Corinne Rutherford
Papaioea’s own proponent of live electronic dance music Researchintospeed has just dropped a new track and accompanying video, Anode. As part of the stand-alone electronic work of Craig Black, Anode was added to his expanding electro catalog over lock down.
Read More...
Hazza Making Noise - Single Review: Boomers In Disguise
10 Sep 2020 // by Corinne Rutherford
Auckland based Cantabrian, disillusioned architect and sausage roll enthusiast Harry Platt who goes under the pseudonym Hazza Making Noise, has just released a new single called Boomers In Disguise. Cross a football chant with a rock opera and inject it with punk-rave then you will have a fair idea about the unique concept which Harry describes as having "an early Arctic Monkeys – Brianstormesque nature to it".
Read More...
Mirrors - Single Review: Got This Feeling
09 Sep 2020 // by Corinne Rutherford
Originally starting out as a covers band in 2017, Christchurch based acoustic pop duo Mirrors expanded their repertoire this year during lockdown, taking the opportunity to write and record seven original songs in their home studio. Got This Feeling is their catchy brand-new second single release.
Read More...
Julie Lamb - Album Review: How Humans Think
04 Sep 2020 // by Corinne Rutherford
The first thing I noticed when I was blessed with a physical copy of Julie Lamb Outfit’s brand new eight track album How Humans Think, was the outstanding amount of work and love which has gone into the packaging of the CD. It is a creative thing of beauty to which I will elaborate further on.
Read More...
Darryl Baser - Album Review: #Second Selfie
31 Aug 2020 // by Corinne Rutherford
In true Darryl Baser fashion, his latest album has taken a few years to develop. Following on from his 2016 LP Raw Selfie, the album #Second Selfie has taken flight, once again from his Dunedin based living room.
Read More...
EJ Barrett - Single Review: Paint Me A Picture
06 Aug 2020 // by Corinne Rutherford
It didn’t take me long to warm to EJ Barrett and her sultry, husky vocals. The New Zealand musical artist based in New Plymouth has taken flight with the debut single Paint Me A Picture.
Read More...
Something Zesty - Single/Video Review: Pipz
05 Aug 2020 // by Corinne Rutherford
Something Zesty is a Whanganui based musical artist who captured my attention first by the bold claim that the latest offering is "an unmistakable dance-floor hit" and secondly by the vibrant and appropriately spaced out animated video which turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to his latest release; Pipz. The music video is the second animated adventure for two curious looking characters, Chambzy and Zestro, following on from Something Zesty’s first single Mad About It.
Read More...
Danica Bryant - EP Review: Cider
30 Jul 2020 // by Corinne Rutherford
Napier’s young singer-songwriter Danica Bryant showcases powerful vocals on her debut 4 track EP, Cider. Currently based in Wellington, this is one lady who is not afraid to express herself through strong powerful lyrics and fierce emotion, and boy…does she have the lungs to pull it off.
Read More...
View All Articles By Corinne Rutherford

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • WAP
    Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion
  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • LAUGH NOW CRY LATER
    Drake feat. Lil Durk
  • GO CRAZY
    Chris Brown And Young Thug
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • MOOD SWINGS
    Pop Smoke feat. Lil Tjay
  • ROCKSTAR
    DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch
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