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  • Troy Kingi - Gig Review: Troy Kingi and The Promises @ Powerstation, Auckland - 14/10/2022

Troy Kingi - Gig Review: Troy Kingi and The Promises @ Powerstation, Auckland - 14/10/2022

17 Oct 2022 // A review by Lou Clement

Available on both vinyl and cassette, Troy Kingi’s (Te Arawa, Ngapuhi, Te Whanau-a-Apanui) new album, Year of The Ratbags and Their Musty Theme Songs, was debuted at the Powerstation, Auckland. It was a fun and fantastic return to live performance for 2022, following the years of COVID cancellations and absences. I was really happy to be there to see this stalwart of new sounds bringing us new found classics as well as a chance to dress up 1980’s. Who isn’t fond of neon, side ponytails and shell suits? We were all in metaphorical top gear for Troy Kingi and the Promises.

The Powerstation was significantly warmed up after support act Matt Nanai took to the stage, dressed in a fur coat and dark glasses reminiscent of Del Boy. A favourite was his new single I Need Somebody, which he performed with promising charisma.

We then cracked open the second half of Kingi’s series of ten albums in ten years with this album launch for the sixth, and an eloquent performance of musical pastiche. In the mainstream, this is the decade of yuppies, yacht rock and heavily-synthed tracks, lots of the inspiration picked up by the artist. Kingi also delivered on the soul influences of the 80’s a genre which his powerful voice sat happily in.

Opening with Elephant in the Room M.Z., we were lulled into the light-hearted, dark edged take on 1980’s optimism. I have seen Kingi play a few times and I always thought he gave sincere and thoughtful performances but also quite serious, which was good because it made me pay attention. But I liked the distracted interlude in this show: Kingi paid homage to one of the classic toys of the time, the Rubik’s Cube, solving it under the spotlight, after having it handed to him by a member of the audience. It’s the sort of trick that’s not wasted on those who were around in the 1980’s, taking many of us back to her our childhood and added to the magic of night.

Kingi played self-professed album track favourite A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing I.G. and was joined by special guest MACEY, whom he duets on this track with. As well as hearing the new tracks live a few well known favourites were played including the superb Grandma’s Rocket Poem. Kingi remarked ‘I know you all love this’, and we did. There was nothing like getting lost singing your favourite track live with the singer and band. An awesome and entertaining night of performance from all involved.

Photo Credit: Tadashi Jokagi / Joe Photography
Matt Nanai Photo Gallery
Troy Kingi Photo Gallery


About Troy Kingi

Bay of Islands-based musician/actor Troy Kingi has embarked on an eventful few years with major acting roles in Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Pa Boys, Mt Zion and The Kick, while also enjoying a successful music career. Troy Kingi was nominated for an APRA Silver Scroll last year and earned Vodafone Music Awards for Best NZ Soul Artist and Best Maori Artist in 2018. His side project, collaborative soul band L(())VE & HOPE also received rave reviews but Troy's most recent offering is his politically charged roots/reggae record, Holy Colony Burning Acres.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Troy Kingi


Black Sea Golden Ladder
Year: 2021
Type: Album
The Ghost of Freddie Cesar
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Holy Colony Burning Acres
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Guitar Party at Uncle's Bach
Year: 2016
Type: Album

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