24 Sep 2020

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James Reid - Gig Review: James Reid @ Totara St, Mt Maunganui - 21/09/2019

23 Sep 2019 // A review by Brendan McCarthy
A good size crowd of approximately 150 people resisted the temptation to sit at home and wait for the All Blacks to take over the nation, preferring to populate the magnificent Totara St venue for an intimate show by James Reid on the Tauranga section his solo Songbook Tour.

With no need for support acts in this laid back style of event, James was onstage early at a very respectable 9pm and he immediately set the tone of the evening by tweaking with his guitar setup and making random jokes with the audience thus making everyone feel relaxed and welcome.

James is then down to business choosing to open with three tracks from his extensive back catalogue of Feelers recordings, Larger Than Life , One and Arm with his voice well on point showing all the power, grit and raw emotion that he is known for.

He moves on through his set with All Connected from the 2003 album Playground Battle and immediately displays why he is considered one of New Zealand’s best songwriters, receiving huge applause for this lesser known track.

It is clear that James is relaxed in his work and keen to have some fun, plus it’s Saturday night after all right?

He continues with cover versions of Strawberry Fields and Champagne Supernova before launching into crowd favourites Fishing for Lisa and Astronaut, all the while offering the audience the chance for some banter between songs.

He completes this first set with the slightly more serious track Dear Anxiety making reference to mental health and the need for us all to recognize that it exists.

Following a short intermission so that everyone may attend the bar, James returns to the stage.

After a couple of technical issues, he is back on form opening with a powerful version of his latest release Planet Nowhere. This latest track is the classic Reid and I strongly recommend you check it out.

The set continues with The Beatles Come Together and his own More Than I Was from his last solo album Saint.

James then stumbles across the opening chords to The Rolling Stones Angie and dutifully plays a verse and chorus to great applause.

He then begins playing the opening chords to Crowded House Better be Home Soon and stops himself short to announce that "tonight we are in the presence of one of the best unknown artists in NZ and I am sure he will do a better job of this song - please welcome Brendan McCarthy to the stage"

It is at this point that I have to change hats from reviewer to artist as I walk to the stage frantically trying to remember the chords to the song. James then takes great pleasure in standing back sipping on a glass of wine knowing full well he has thrown me in the deep end, while I do the best I can and tickle his audience for a bit. This was very unexpected but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to again sing on stage with James. Cheers Mr. Reid. Appreciate.

Upon my exit stage left, James returns to the business end of the evening and effortlessly fires off another three of his best-known Feelers songs The Fear, Blue Skies and an extended version of Stand Up which includes sections of Stairway To Heaven and All Along The Watchtower, during which he gives the audience opportunity to sing along all be it a few dodgy second verses here and there. Oh well we have all had a couple of drinks by now.

James rounds out the evening with Elton John's Candle In The Wind and his own Communicate.

James Reid is able to effortlessly deliver his material in this simple acoustic format because they are great songs. A lesson to us, that all the technology in the world will never replace the human to human experience of singing great melodies together.


About James Reid

As the vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for The Feelers, James Reid has already established himself as one of New Zealand’s most successful musicians.

Hailing from Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand, James started his musical career at the age of four. His first party appearance was on his father’s knee with a breath-taking rendition of Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy. The country feel has still remained in the music, although since the age of four the influences were many and varied. From the Beatles, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Sting, Cat Stevens, The Kinks, The Jam through many a folk singer to Grunge and more recently the song writing of Ryan Tedder (One Republic)

He continued playing drums when abandoned at boarding school at the age of eight. During his four-year incarceration he also learned the piano and clarinet, thriving in all things competitive, team sports and always loving being part of a team. James picked up the guitar at high school and focused on song writing, spending evenings doing homework and practicing.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for James Reid


Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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