13 Nov 2019
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Late Model European - Late Model European @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 26/07/2019

28 Jul 2019 // A review by Brendan McCarthy

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of interviewing Late Model European and I was instantly attracted to their professionalism, their genuine love for music and the journey it takes us all on. Following along with the progress of the recording and production of their debut album It’s Time, I jumped at the opportunity to see them perform live.

I headed along to Auckland’s Anthology Lounge for their album release show and was instantly taken by its welcoming atmosphere. A well laid out rectangular room with a good size stage at one end, complimented by a well-placed bar and comfortable seated tables.

To the left of the stage sits a magnificent white baby grand piano, a sight that is rare these days in a venue of this type. It becomes clear that my friends and I are in for a treat. Without delay the piano stool is graced by Jacob O’Callaghan who launches into his first song and lights up the room. There is nothing that compares to the natural sound of a piano and by the end of his first song, it is clear that Jacob is a seasoned professional. Complimenting his talent on the keys with great song writing and well delivered vocals, Jacob effortlessly progressed through his set of original material and finished with a great rendition of Elton John’s Tiny Dancer.

Next on stage is Show Me Where It Hurts who instantly push the Rock n Roll bar up a notch with their duo, consisting of Rhodes Electric Piano and Drums. Again, a musical treat that is rare these days. I did have my doubts that this musical combination may lack the bottom end required to compliment a live drum kit, but any doubt was eliminated by the end of the first song. I have to congratulate the soundman at this point for one of the best small venue live drum sounds I have heard in a while. The thick bottom end of both the snare as well as the kick, completed the soundscape perfectly, enabling Ronny Haynes to deliver some serious groove underneath the monster key playing of Josh Hetherington. Drawing influence from the vast musical landscape of the 60's, Show Me Where It Hurts played tracks from their self-titled EP complimented by some well-placed covers. The lads effortlessly had the small crowd dancing and did an excellent job of warming the room for the main act.

Following these two quality support acts, Late Model European took to the stage and set about the task of delivering their debut album It's Time with strong opening track Ready to Begin. Guitar pop at its best the band has a full sound with the addition of keyboards and the return of Jacob O’Callaghan on piano. With producer Ben King on bass belting out some superb backing vocals, Late Model European have the crowd in the palm of their hands. Singer John Nelson has a strong clear voice that reminds me of Jim Kerr (Simple Minds) or Iva Davies (Icehouse). He has an impressive range and leads the band well.

On lead guitar is fellow songwriter Tones Thorburn who wins me over immediately not only because he straps on a Gretsch but because he can handle it as well. With a mixture of grungy rhythm styles and reverb laden tasteful lead playing, Tones looks relaxed and rock n roll.

The band continue through the crowd pleasing upbeat tracks Summer Rain and Why Don’t You then show their collective experience with impressive three part harmonies on Seven. The dynamic continues via their ballad Moments (released earlier this year) serving to pause the crowd and setup the room for the finale. Guitars are back on the menu for the last original of the night Eyes Wide Open which is borderline Black Sabbath with the whole band joining in for some great gang vocals. Late Model European round off a successful Album release show with a great singalong version of Hey Jude.

Thanks for a great night guys. Look forward to many more.


Photos were provided by Late Model European and are courtesy to Sara and Chris Zwaagdyk/Zed Pics.

 

About Late Model European

Late Model European is a songwriting and music collaboration between John and Tones; two life-long best friends who grew up together in a sleepy little village in Scotland.

Starting their musical journey together as wide-eyed teenagers with big dreams, big hair and big amps, back in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, they had plans to conquer the music world. That didn’t quite happen but they did rip it up around the Scottish and Northern England music scene. Not knowing whether they were Punks, Mods or Rockers didn’t really matter to them; they just shared a passion and a love for making and performing music together!

Then life came along and took them down different paths. Their jeans weren’t as wide as before but their eyes were still wide open; they knew there was a whole world out there waiting to be explored. Little did they know they were destined to come together again some 40 years later, across the other side of the world in New Zealand!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Late Model European

Releases

It's Time
Year: 2019
Type: Album

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