17 Oct 2019
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James Reid - Gig Review: James Reid @ 4th Wall Theatre, New Plymouth - 18/09/2019

29 Sep 2019 // A review by Emily Riordan

On a quiet Wednesday night, singer-songwriter James Reid (best known as the frontman of Kiwi icons The Feelers) brings his Songbook Tour to the 4th Wall Theatre in New Plymouth.

The theatre is packed and the stage is set sparsely with a chair, an amp, two guitars, and a songbook on a stand.

Reid enters to applause and unassumingly takes his seat. He opens with a classic Feelers number, Larger Than Life, and the crowd is completely silent - his voice still has that soft grit that made it so memorable back in the Supersystem days.

Between songs there is no small talk, but the acoustic arrangements of his material let the songwriting speak for itself. The subdued energy but powerful delivery makes it feel like we are sitting in on something very personal. Ten songs - including crowd favourites Fishing For Lisa and Venus - fly by with the room's attention fully on the performance.

After a brief interval, a more relaxed but still reserved Reid takes the stage, and gradually warms up, enjoying himself more with some newer tracks. There is a noticeable difference in his voice between the very old and the very new, as if Feelers-era James Reid has been perfectly preserved somewhere in him.

The Traveler is a bit of a turning point in the set: Reid clearly enjoys this one and the crowd love it. An emotive acapella break in the song sits among the many high points of the show.

Finally, Reid eases into some covers and comes right out of his shell, regaling the crowd with a short story about his guitar - including a thoroughly enjoyable impression of a Nashville accent. Covers differ between cities on this tour, and New Plymouth is treated to such gems as Strawberry Fields Forever - less polished and more personal than the rest of the set - and an encore of Pearl Jam's Black, which really shows off what a remarkable vocalist James Reid is.

James Reid's songs and voice stand strong on their own and were perfectly showcased in this cosy venue.

 

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

Releases

Saint
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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