25 May 2022
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Tablefox - Gig Review: Tablefox @ Anthology Lounge, Auckland - 06/05/2022

08 May 2022 // A review by Roger Bowie

It’s New Zealand Music Month and here we all are at Anthology Lounge for the much awaited and much postponed Tablefox new album launch for Battles. It’s been a right old battle getting the new album out and played live, and this gig was originally scheduled for last August. A bunch of singles comes out but the body of work doesn’t get a decent launch. Maybe it’s just a case of good things take time.

There’s a bunch of kids on a lounge up front. Isn’t Anthology R18? Who are you guys? Oh, we think we’re Ama(s)ze, but we’re not sure because we might change our name. But we were Amasze when we won the Play It Strange Peace Song competition last year. And so they are. Five young chaps from years 9 to 11 up Albany way, and they open the battling with their winning song Soar On By. Too young to be nervous, each of them takes a turn at the mic to introduce themselves and the song. There’s Aryan Thakkar on guitar, as well as Aaron Ko. Sam Redgrove on vocals, Zac Saunders on bass and vocals, and Elliot Borland anchoring on drums. Democracy. And the future beckons. Some indie pop, some jazzy stuff, some rock, and even some Caribbean. What genre do you guys play? Oh, we hop. Maybe you’re genre fluid, I proffer. They like my Dad joke. I like their music, their freshness, their fearlessness, their futureness. Thank you Play it Strange. Tomorrow’s music today. Ama(s)zing.

Tablefox are more like year 45. Some of their hair is grey. That’s not just because of Covid stress. But all the greyness disappears when they launch into Hold Fire from the debut album Objects. These guys are black and white sneaky good. And tight. Living the dream on the weekend. Right from the get-go, the hooks and melodies that take us back to 80's and 90's and unashamedly derive from the halcyon days of post punk and alternative rock. Loud and direct. And live. Oh, the heaven of it.

They are far from unknown, of course. 2018 at the Powerstation opening for James and making a statement. “nothing ever changes ….in our neighbourhood” A song from the 2017 EP Glass Houses. Guitar and harmonies support the build, classic rock. Henrik is the tour drummer, spiky and Danish and he sets up the next track, Reckless, not sure where this comes from, sounds like Th' Dudes, but isn’t.

And with the audience warmed up and the band on fire, Chris Dickinson introduces the new album, and we are off on a Midnight Oil anthem ride. Burning Bridges is a long way from the Mike Curb Congregation, but closer to the Oil’s Beds Are Burning and a big bold statement from a band who are hot. And the rest of the night is just hook after hook and all sorts of rock, from a little post-punk rock and pogo (Desire or Love) to Aussie garage to the James like anthems Light in the Darkness and Coming Home to Dave Dobbyn-like Ghostline and to the last song written and recorded, Keep Them Guessing and it all adds up to classic Kiwi rock. A laid back version of Heroes and a thumping rock n roller builder to end the night as we started, with Something Better. Is there something better than this? Not likely, not brought forward, bring it forward, play it strange, play it loud, play it everywhere.

Henrik is on drums, Chris on guitar and backing vocals, Matt Carson on lead, and Clinton Bell on bass and lead vocals. The slick grey Tablefox jumps over us lazy dogs and brings us the best music always.

And great sound courtesy of Andrew

Ama(s)ze Setlist:

1. Soar on By

2. Hello Again

3. Lose it All

4. Flowers and Thorn

Tablefox Setlist

1. Hold Fire

2. Nothing Ever Changes

3. Reckless

4. Burning Bridges

5. Time

6. Battles

7. Light in the Darkness

8. Desire or Love

9. Always Always

10. Tired Soul

11. Coming Home

12. Ghostlines

13. Keep Them Guessing

14. Heroes

15. Something Better


Photo Credit: Chris Zwaagdyk for Zed Pics

 

About Tablefox

After a massive last few years playing shows with the likes of James, The Charlatans, City Calm Down and The Feelers, Kiwi rock 4-piece Tablefox return with the lead single from their third album Battles.

Recorded by Scott Seabright Productions and mastered by Ryan Smith (AC/DC, Greta Van Fleet) at Sterling Sound. Burning Bridges was released on July 27, 2021, with the album Battles landing on July 30th. A stonking track that opens the new album and signifies everything about the last few years for the band.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Tablefox

Releases

Battles
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Glass Houses
Year: 2017
Type: EP
You And I Will Find A Way
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Objects
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Passenger
Year: 2013
Type: EP

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