23 Oct 2019
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  • Avantdale Bowling Club - Gig Review: Avantdale Bowling Club @ Powerstation, Auckland - 24/08/2019

Avantdale Bowling Club - Gig Review: Avantdale Bowling Club @ Powerstation, Auckland - 24/08/2019

05 Sep 2019 // A review by Rupa Kelly
Avantdale Bowling Club, the project of Homebrew frontman Tom Scott released one of the best records of 2018. A personal, soul rending piece that spoke of West Auckland based Scott’s experiences with getting older, losing friends and the love of his newborn son. As a record, it comes in at just under 50 minutes, 8 tracks of jazz rap riddled with fantastic bars and excellent solos from his collaborating musicians. Needless to say, I was extremely interested to see what the group would do with a full hour and a half set on their hands. I knew the set would encompass the entire release front to back but apart from that, it was entirely up in the air what they would do.

The set started out with the track Years Gone By which details Scott’s experiences growing up, and functions as a catch up for the audience to how he got to the place the album speaks about. Scott was on point with his vocals, his inflection producing emotion and getting the crowd riled up. Next came Pocket Lint. Scott’s tale of poverty and social commentary rolled off his lips in lightning fast fashion, hitting every double paced bar perfectly; truly on absolute form. F(r)iends was next, the only real banger on the album got everyone grooving and singing along as Scott oozed every ounce of passion he had into the performance.

The next song was my personal favourite from the album; Water Medley. I was particularly interested to see what they’d do with this song as it is a three part song that speaks on Scott’s feelings towards looking after his child, the process of writing the album and his growth as a human being. I was entirely blown away with how they performed this track. The first section was a slow, noir style jazz piece, featuring a fantastic sax solo and a more stretched out, slow paced rhythm. For the second section, Julian Dyne on the drums built up the pace with a truly captivating solo before it exploded into an Afrobeat take on the second movement then moving to the final verse which slowed back down to soulful jazz and built to a fantastic climax.

I could easily breakdown every song in the fashion I have above but the essence of this show is really what needs to be spoken about. Tom Scott is someone that’s reached his dreams then watched them all fall apart. The personal nature of the music and the honesty that he presents its subject matter is something to behold. There on the stage he is in his element, spitting bars and bantering with the audience; you can see he both loves and excels at the art of performance. It was a jazz gig, a hip hop gig and a bit of spoken word all rolled into one. It was political, raw and like watching a musical miracle happen before you.

For anyone that’s a fan of Homebrew or even hip hop in general: Buy this record. Go to his shows. I can promise, you will not be disappointed one bit with what you hear and experience. It was far and away one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to and I’m sure you’d feel exactly the same if you were there too.
 

About Avantdale Bowling Club

Ten years on since Home Brew's debut E.P. MC Tom Scott delivers a typically honest new project, Avantdale Bowling Club, full of freewheeling rhymes about his struggles growing up, becoming a dad, and segueing into adulthood.

National hip hop icon Tom Scott has been consistently prolific since making waves with seminal Auckland group Home Brew around a decade ago. Known for his highly infectious and eclectic brand of rap, the West Auckland native is arguably the godfather of modern New Zealand hip hop. This latest outing has his trademark flavour but with a pure jazz aesthetic that would be as much at home at a sweaty gig on K Road as it would on someone's lawn for Sunday afternoon drinks. While it's hard to say if this is a jazz record with hip hop, or a hip hop record with jazz, one thing is certain; Scott has peaked musically on ABC and even if he's not performing all the instrumentation involved, he's clearly a phenomenal writer and visionary.

Following on from a No.1 New Zealand album, Tom Scott is taking his Avantdale Bowling Club project live in October and November. “This record has so much potential for interpretation. It was made to be played live. I can't wait to move this from the rehearsal room to the stage” says Scott.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Avantdale Bowling Club

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