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The Nukes - Album Review: Homespun

27 Oct 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

I have always had a soft spot for folk music, and five years ago travelled to the other side of the world just for a folk festival (honest), but one instrument I did not come across a great deal in the UK was the ukulele, probably due in no small manner to everyone there relating that instrument to the entertainer George Formby. Here in Aotearoa, and in the Pacific in general, there is a far different approach to the instrument although this is the first time I have come across a ukulele trio (although they do also play additional instruments and also have numerous guest musicians and singers). The more I played this the more I was reminded of one of my favourite NZ trios, the mighty Turkey The Bird, as while they are also wonderful instrumentalists and songwriters there is a tongue in cheek sense of humour which pervades this album.

It was recorded from Aug 2021 to Feb 2022, with much of it taking place during lockdown. Initial tracking was mostly performed at Dave’s home in Titirangi, while performances such as brass parts and percussion were created at home and sent through to be dropped into the recordings. David Parker and Ben Collier share the writing duties, and along with Josh Parker have created an album which is full of whimsy and delight, with Rainfall being a wonderful trip to the islands, even it was inspired by North Island winters. The musicianship is a delight, and they have taken the studio environment as a canvas and brought in many colours and elements to make the arrangements complex and full of life, although at the heart the songs can still be played by the three of them on one of their many tours.

Some of the songs feel quite old and traditional, quite dated in fact, and one can imagine Not Unusual being performed in the Twenties (a special mention must be made of the brass arrangement and delicate guitar solo, both of which add so much to this song). There is no restriction to their music, just that they must make sense musically, contain loads of harmonies, and have lyrics which are interesting and tell a story, which allows them to spread in multiple directions, all of which are interesting. This does mean that one is never sure what is going to come next, and where the influences may lead them (why not drop a sitar in if that is what the song needs?) which makes this a real voyage of discovery. This is a delightful album from beginning to end, and I look forward to seeing them in concert in the near future.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About The Nukes

The Nukes from West Auckland are far more than a ukulele band. They are high entertainment. Part vaudeville, part rat-pack, part musical car crash. This talented trio deliver an engaging mix of humour and originality that audiences love.
The innocent little uke is the instrument of choice and audiences will be staggered by what they are able achieve with it. Great song writing, musicianship and 3-part harmony combine to create a truly memorable experience.

Rollicking and rolling out of the woolliest corners of Auckland’s wild west, it’s……. The Nukes, New Zealand’s most feared and revered original ukulele trio.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Nukes


The Nukes III
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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