3 Jul 2022
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Gig Review: NZ Music Month Wrap Party @ Tuning Fork - 31/05/2022

05 Jun 2022 // A review by Lou Clement

Live music is back with swagger as event numbers grow and crowds swarm for a crucial mark of ‘return to normal’ in Auckland. At the Tuning Fork, sandwiched between the Port and the central city streets, a diverse crowd gathered at this all-ages event, to mark the end of NZ Music month, 2022.

In its twenty-second year, NZ Music month is a national celebration and multi-faceted festival. Not the kind you camp at, but one that encourages music lovers across the country to listen to more music, try something new and get out for the inimitable live music experience. All sorts of events, all genres and promotion of music is part and parcel of May, the month of NZ music. From impromptu DJ sets in unlikely settings, to large scale events at iconic music venues, it’s a fantastic endeavour. So, coming along to hear the epic line up at the lovely Tuning Fork was great. The acts were, as might be expected from an all-embracing festival, diverse. From R&B to acoustic ballads, what they all seemed to have in common was jubilance.

The event was hosted by Keith Turner, who throughout the night brought a friendly and fun vibe to proceedings. Acts ranged from Pharaoh Swamy, who got and enthusiastic audience to sing along, to Benjamin Mack who came on with a four-piece band and made me think of Brit-pop era acts like Pulp. There were non-traditional boy band act Borderline, who brought guitar solos, with sing-along catchy lyrics. At one point a child passed me by, dancing through the crowd in a princess outfit, which somehow reflected the energy of the evening. I’m sure we were all wearing our best outfits for this chance to hear a celebration of NZ Music. Nic Manders sang of the times we have all been living through, encompassing memories of lockdown, longing and all wrapped in sweet piano ballads. As you’d expect the night passed with a mixture of genres, from the showmanship of YAHYAH’s pop and RnB performance to members of Goodshirt, Gareth and Rod, who came out to be part of the event but also, for this particular event, other musicians.

The proceeds of this event all go to MusicHelps/Awhina Puoro, everything that needs said about this wide-ranging support service for both the NZ music community and embracing the support of other initiatives in the community can be found on their website, musichelps.org.nz.


Photo Credit: Nikita Weir / Antonia Pearl Photography
View the full gallery here

 

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