23 Apr 2024

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

One Man Bannister - Album Review: The Saddest Noise

05 Sep 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

One Man Bannister is the name used by Hamilton-based Matthew Banister when he is not performing in one of his bands such as Sneaky Feelings or The Changing Same, and this is his latest album. It is somewhat unusual in that for the 16 songs he took poems written by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) and then put them to music. This may be a somewhat unusual approach but there are various artists who work in a similar manner, most notably Elton John who when presented with lyrics or poetry can instantly come up with both accompaniment and vocal melody. This album is not completely solo, as although he provides most of the instrumentation and lead vocals, he is joined by his partner Alice Bulmer on bass, along with two members of the ukulele group he plays in – Tangi Habib and Melissa Hackell – who provide harmony vocals.

Although folk, particularly English-style folk, is often at the heart of this album it covers a multitude of other genres utilising many influences so there are bits of jazz here, blues there, Latin over yonder. There are moments when he reminds me of one of the most important English songwriters and performers from the folk movement, The Guv’nor, Ashley Hutchings. It is less about the arrangements but more about some of the vocal stylings and the way there is such a concentration on the words, particularly on some of the more traditional songs such as It Was Not Death, For I Stood Up and A Narrow Fellow In The Grass.

The poems are short, and instead of messing about with them Matthew has kept them as they are, which means that in an album lasting less than 40 minutes there is still room for 16, which also means he has plenty of room to shift his styles so he can give each one the attention it deserves. There are some wonderfully dated keyboards utilised on Success Is Counted Sweetest, While We Were Fearing It (is that a Mellotron I hear?) and the result is a number which could have been released during the Summer of Love some 55 years ago. An electric guitar is used here and there throughout the album, but sparingly, as the concentration is often on an acoustic while he channels his Beatles influences.

An interesting concept, and a result which will be enjoyable for many.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About One Man Bannister

One Man Bannister is the solo name of Matthew Bannister, when he's not playing in his other bands, Sneaky Feelings and the Changing Same. He has released 5 albums, Moth (2008), Evolver (2013) (reinterpretation of Beatles Revolver), Birds and Bees (2015), a collection of B-sides and rarities, Rubber Solo (2019) (another Beatles reinterpretation) and The Saddest Noise (2022), based on Emily Dickinson poems. Everything is recorded solo, but usually a band is involved for live performances.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for One Man Bannister


The Saddest Noise
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Rubber Solo
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Birds & Bees
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Year: 2007
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Gig Review: Crushfest @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 07/07/2023
07 Jul 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was down to Tuning Fork for the first night of the second Crushfest festival. Tonight was going to be Wellington and Auckland bands, and then some of the same will be playing at the second night in Wellington next month.
Rain - Single Review: Love and War
15 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
It has been quite a while since I last heard from Wellington-based singer songwriter Cathy Elizabeth, and back then Rain was seen solely as a studio project with Cathy being accompanied by Thomas Te Taite, who provided all the instrumentation including digital drums. Now they are a full band who have been performing live, and it is the first time they have recorded as such, with Thomas now, just providing acoustic guitar (plus engineering and producing etc.
Lost Vessels - Single Review: All This Time
01 Jun 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I must admit I was not that impressed when I first saw Lost Vessels play at Crushfest, something they later admitted to me was the worst gig of their career, but since then they have improved in leaps and bounds. This has been noticed by others on the Auckland circuit as they are getting more opportunities with better support slots, and I was not at all surprised when they won the Ding Dong Lounge Battle Of The Bands in November last year.
Unwanted Subject - Single Review: Sons of Savages
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
I have caught Unwanted Subject in concert a few times over the last couple of years, and while they have been getting better each time I have seen them, I must admit that nothing prepared me for this, which right from the off is a monster. I have never heard them quite this is aggressive, nor as polished, and this multi-sectioned single sounds almost like a different band as they have pushed their metal roots to the max in this metalcore beast which sees them mixing and blending different genres to create something quite special.
Gig Review: Stray Dogs @ AUX, Auckland - 26/05/2023
28 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
So it was back to Ding Dong Lounge on a Friday night for one of their infamous Emo nights, which tonight was a three-band bill with Stray Dogs having an extended set, supported by Altaea and then up first we had Blindr, a band new to me. Blindr are a quartet featuring Bill Caldwell (vocals, guitar), Blake Woodfield (lead guitar), Jack Power (bass), and Charlie McCracken (drums).
Gig Review: Turkey The Bird @ The Ministry of Folk, Auckland - 27/05/2023
27 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Back up to Auckland Guide Centre in Mount Eden tonight for my second consecutive gig (Sol suggested it was a turkey sandwich as I am at Vader tomorrow) to see Taranaki’s finest, Turkey The Bird at The Ministry of Folk. Before that we of course had Hoop, who are Al Baxter (vocals, guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin), Nick Edgar (vocals, guitar, ukulele, flute, harmonica), Emily Allen (violin, viola), Glenn Coldham (bass) while tonight Gary Hunt was filling in for drummer Rusty Knox.
This Silent Divide - Single Review: Beautiful Creature
25 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest single from Wellington-based melodic hard rock quartet This Silent Divide, entitled Beautiful Creature. I really enjoyed their Tall Stories EP, and they played a great gig at Dead Witch towards the end of last year, and this would have been recorded at about the same time.
Gig Review: Emily Rice @ Your Local Coffee Roasters, Pukekohe - 24/05/2023
24 May 2023 // by Kev Rowland
Earlier this week I had a message from Emily Rice asking me if I lived in South Auckland. When I responded I did, she asked if I would be interested in coming along to an event she was putting on in a coffee shop in Pukekohe to celebrate the release of her new single, Warenoa.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Benson Boone
    Teddy Swims
    Noah Kahan
    Future And Metro Boomin feat. Kendrick Lamar
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Ariana Grande
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem