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The Veils - Gig Review: The Veils @ Dive, Dunedin - 08/04/2021

10 Apr 2021 // A review by Darryl Baser

Purple Pilgrims take to the stage. There's a round of polite applause after their first song, and half way through their second, I start to hear a very 4AD sound; think Cocteau Twins, circa the Iceblink Luck period. The Purple Pilgrims sound is lush textured music overlaid with a chorus of voices which sounds as though it is coming from two singers.

I love seeing bands like this, playing downbeat tunes with full commitment. The crowd, clearly waiting for the main attraction idly chatters over some of the most gentle, passionate and beautiful music played live in this town for ages. Shame on y'all, your lives are less interesting than this music.

Beautifully programmed beats and strings dance around plodding baselines. Purple Pilgrims’ music is dark, brooding, ethereal, and beautiful. About four or five songs, the backing track tempo breaks the 100bpm mark and it's got my toes tapping. I'm not wearing ear plugs, but the mix, particularly the instrumentation is muddy and sounding almost devoid of high mid-range frequencies. I'm reliably informed the sound has more clarity nearer the PA, in front of the around 200 people standing, now waiting for The Veils to take the stage.

The Veils walk onto the stage at 9:25pm, accompanied by a swinging version of Nina Simone's Sinnerman.

When their first two tunes Not Yet and Calliope are played, the full-capacity crowd is a sea of bobbing heads in front of me.  Finn Andrews is in his customary black brimmed hat, synonymous with the band's image throughout its career.

Their third song Advice For Young Mothers to Be is well received by the crowd, who are from a varied demographic.

The following song Pan is dirtier and faster, with more heads bobbing. With the fifth song, A Birthday Present, Finn admits "we're not really playing them in order." A Birthday Present is a more downbeat song, sounding like they were influenced by U2, around the Angel of Harlem period.

Finn Andrews then announces song 7, Under The Folder Branches. This is a gentle lullaby which holds 95% of the crowd's attention.

Nux Vomica is the next track played. For the uninitiated it’s an up-tempo number, loud and brutal, reminiscent for me of early Nick Cave, in the Birthday Party years.

Finn introduces the tenth song by saying "I've been looking forward to playing this", and the band launches into Jesus For The Jugular. It's got a fabulous amount of space, and it's a clear crowd favourite.

It was to be the last song of the set, "Thank you Dunedin, we we're going to go off and come back on, but we might just carry on," Finn Andrews said.

There's great lyrics in the first encore song, Swimming With Crocodiles; "Hold me like a child, you swollen crocodiles. Hold me under until I drown".

Their second encore song is "a song about birds", and unsurprisingly, it’s called Birds.

Finn Andrews says The Veils’ third encore is, "a new song from a soon to be released album, which could be a while, we're in no hurry". It’s called No Limit of Stars.

The beautiful tune Axolotl signals the end of their performance. Finn's voice suits this song so much. For me, this is the highlight from the whole night.


About The Veils

Fantastic local wunderkind Finn Andrews & his band The Veils have been lauded internationally for their outstanding debut album 'The Runaway Found'. Heralded as one of the best debut albums ever, 'The Runaway Found' has captured the hearts & minds of many, thanks to Finn's clever & contagious songwriting & his undeniable star factor.

After the success of first single 'The Tide That Left & Never Came Back' [peaking at #2 on the NZ rock radio chart, remaining on the radio charts for almost three months & playlisted on ZM, The Rock & The Edge, as well as the b-Nets, Kiwi FM & other smaller regional stations] The Veils now drop their second NZ single, the storming album opener 'The Wild Son'.

The personnel who constituted The Veils for the debut album – 'The Runaway Found', released February 2004 - split up 2 months after the record's release. He returned from London (where he was born, in 1983) to New Zealand (where he'd moved during his teens) and recruited new musicians with the vow, "We must make things as terrifying and exciting as can".

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Veils


Time Stays, We Go
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Troubles of The Brain
Year: 2011
Type: EP
Sun Gangs
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Nux Vomica
Year: 2006
Type: Album
The Runaway Found
Year: 2004
Type: Album

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