9 Mar 2021

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  • Avantdale Bowling Club - Gig Review: Avantdale Bowling Club @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 23/10/2020

Avantdale Bowling Club - Gig Review: Avantdale Bowling Club @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 23/10/2020

25 Oct 2020 // A review by Lou Clement
Multi-genre bending Avantdale Bowling Club played to a sold out crowd, breaking in, what seemed like the first long weekend in a very long time, at them Hollywood Avondale. Their most recent release, earlier in 2020 was LIVE, it does what it says on the tin. It’s also perhaps a clear signal, that live, this band fizzes with energy and entertains - certainly true tonight, on this early summer evening, with a performance-based approach to music that marks them out as a band that could command festival headlines.

The set doesn’t let us down with the crowd-pleasing singalong hits. But, first to support act Phodiso who took to the stage and more than warmed up the willing crowd. The music was a mixture of politically hard-hitting lyrics which everyone showed their support for, including a rallying call for action against police violence and brutality in Nigeria. Phodiso’s single Goat Curry was released last month and it was a catchy, sharp performance, tonight.

Avantdale Bowling Club made an original sound. At times, they reminded me of The Streets, and at other times as the, trumpets soared, or the drum solo ricocheted, of something I never heard before. In the year of the pandemic, it was more than heartening to see the crowd sing back with lead singer Tom Scott. What seemed important was an authenticity to the delivery and personality of the band. Scott quipped that his friends were there in numbers, and casually mentioned the importance of emotional support. Relevant doesn’t quite cut it for these challenging times, but for a non-local Iike me it also made me feel like there was scene here. A long-time fan of Julien Dyne, I was over the moon to see him perform with the band, especially given the experimental musical arrangement, like in Water Medley, which gave Dyne a platform for an epic solo delivery. Who doesn’t love a drum solo, really? It’s the best part of a song, the bit which gives us the hook for dancing and the crowd took up the challenge.

The encore was Years Gone By, ending an hour long set with a fully engaged strong performance throughout. Avantdale Bowling Club make me love brass instruments, not something I thought I’d be saying. Tonight, they provided a smooth, hip, soundtrack with a confessional masculine sound. I get it, I like it. The jazz influences makes for a cool representation of the disassociated city experience, trumpets holler, keyboard flicks across the harmonies, I was happily lost in it. I’m a poet and the spoken word elements really resonated. I’d hope to catch the band at open air venues in the coming months, it was a fantastic performance to an excited crowd of fans, what more could you ask?


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.

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


Year: 2020
Type: EP
Avantdale Bowling Club
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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