29 May 2022

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  • Jackie Bristow - Gig Review: Jackie Bristow @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 28/04/2022

Jackie Bristow - Gig Review: Jackie Bristow @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 28/04/2022

30 Apr 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie

Jackie Bristow brought her new album Outsider to Anthology Lounge in Auckland on Thursday night, inside it’s warm and intimate and the seats are out. We’re still getting used to an almost post-Covid world but enough brave souls have come out to make this a proper gig and to experience the little things which make live music so special.

Mal McCullum steps up and forgets to introduce himself. Barry sidles up to me, who is this guy? Mal McCallum, I reply. Malcolm? I believe so. Man, I saw him in a band at the Gluepot in the 70's. The very same, I reply. Just before the late great Red McKelvie (who sadly passed away this week) kicked his butt and told him to jump the ditch, where he almost made it. Opened for Joni Mitchell. Ralph McTell. Toured with Jon English. Little River Band. And yes, you might think Mal McCallum had been packed away in mothballs in a box on someone’s mantelpiece by now, yet here he is, fingers flying across the frets with a James Taylor cover, and singing his own songs in a voice still younger than yesterday. This is a moment. A special little moment. A little thing you might never see before or again unless you came. Little things make a big difference.

And now it’s time for Jackie. And here she is. Tall, statuesque, beautiful, big smile, maybe nervous, but when her mouth opens, the butterflies fly out, and so does her voice, cheerful, jingle-jangly, singy songy (that’s what we’re here for) and the whistle does blow. Never get tired of this song (Whistle Blowin’), from her previous album Shot of Gold, and Jackie is flying, doing it for love, because this is what she loves doing.

And we fly too. To California, to Tennessee, to the Joshua Tree, to the goldmines of Waikaia, to the Fallen Youth of far-off battlefields, to the blues of Blue Moon Rising, to the Gypsy Road. New songs, old songs, but mostly songs from the new release, Outsider.

Outsider is a magnificent album (I’ve said that once before) with a sensational band and quintessentially Nashville sound. So play it loud when you unwrap your CD or stream from a decent platform.

But tonight of course she has no band. Wouldn’t it be great if her band were here?

Ahhh, but then you might miss the little things that make a solo show spectacular. You might miss the way Jackie masters a song, and the way she plays her guitar. The way she intonates, the way she picks, the way she does the highs and the louds and the subtleties and the shifts and the softs and the slows and the flourishes. Little things.

And you might miss the intimacy of the stories which preface each song, the context setting, the little things in life which inspire big songs, and the confidence and ease with which she conveys and communicates the essence of her humanity. Little things like that.

And the people did come. Best friend from school not seen since, Katrina, came. Caitlin came. Dan Sperber came. Luke Hurley rocked in hiding underneath a cap and with a laugh even bigger than Jackie’s (must be a Gore thing). And of course, the legendary Rikki Morris came and sensationalised the sound. A BristowFest !

Two sets and a chance to chat in between makes for a cosy atmosphere and brings out the Lounge in Anthology. And the informality prompts a late call up to the stage for Rikki and Caitlin to harmonise on the final song, Aotearoa.

Little things like that make a great night special.

Mal McCallum Setlist:

1. Right Beside You

2. Can’t Hide a Good Thing (For Too Long)

3. The Desperadoes

4. Love Wins-Love is Everything

5. You’ve Got a Friend

Jackie Bristow Setlist:

1. Whistle Blowin’

2. California

3. Rolling Stone

4. Fallen Youth

5. Tennessee

6. Rockin’ Chair

7. Outsider

8. Walk Into the Goldmine

9. Blue Moon Rising

10. Shakin’ My Bones

11. Livin’ for Love

12. Take it to the Train

13. Wild Gypsy Roar

14. Freedom

15. Holy Mess

16. Aotearoa


About Jackie Bristow

After signing a production deal with Sydney based label Craving Records, Jackie Bristow set about to record her album Crazy Love with mixer/engineer Helik Hadar (Rufus Wainwright, Madelein Peyroux, Joni Mitchell) and producer/engineer Mark Howard (Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Marianne Faithfull, Sheryl Crow). With an incredible lineup of musicians including Australia's finest guitarist Mark Punch (Renee Geyer) along with international luminaries Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell), Larry Goldings (James Taylor), Tim Pierce (Rod Stewart, Tom Petty), Jay Bellarose (Aimee Mann), Zak Rae (Alanis Morissette) and more, the result has been a tour de force of stunning new material and a fresh new sound.

Jackie Bristow recently secured the support for legendary producer/guitarist/ composer Daniel Lanois on his recent Australian tour of April 2006. The run of shows took place in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

Relocating from New Zealand to Sydney, Australia in 1995, Jackie worked tirelessly for five years, writing songs, recording demos and performing across the city, all the while developing her own voice. A break came when her demo reached Michael Gudinski Management, resulting in a publishing deal with Mushroom Music and a recording contract with Gudinskis Liberation Records.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jackie Bristow


Year: 2022
Type: Album
Shot Of Gold
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Crazy Love
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Year: 2002
Type: Album

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