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The Veils - Gig Review: The Veils @ The Powerstation, Auckland - 1/04/2023

02 Apr 2023 // A review by roger.bowie

The much-anticipated album release tour by The Veils finished in Auckland last night at the Powerstation. And Out of the Void Came Love is an epic offering of songs which see Finn Andrews oscillate between his solo self and his bandleader self as he completes the transition in his life from incessant touring and writing and fronting his English and London based band to a quieter life back home in New Zealand with new found family bliss and the chance to breathe and live, despite the frustrations of the last few Covid years. It’s a hero’s journey and Finn is the hero.

At last, the album is out, the vinyl glistens on the merch desk, and the hybrid Kiwi/English band is now truly a national treasure. Welcome home.

The Powerstation is not so powerful tonight, with upstairs closed off, and the downstairs atmosphere is curiously informal and casual. A good crowd, not a full house, but room to move and manoeuvre and meet and greet and although the hum of voices can at times be frustrating if not rude, tonight it just seems complementary. A good time feel.

And if you are just a solo artist with a guitar it’s sometimes hard to get over the white noise of hubbub and toil and trouble but Grace Cummings has no such fear, no such barrier, because Grace Cummings has a voice which could shatter a window at a hundred paces, so even if you are distracted by other or even your own conversations you have to stop and listen and acknowledge the power and the Grace. Whether strumming forcefully and fast like a Richie Havens at Woodstock or playing power chords on the keyboard, Grace Cummings has something to say, to say loud and clear right into our ear, with songs from her sophomore album Storm Queen (which is outstanding), and perhaps her debut, and perhaps from her next, and a solitary cover. Grace also sings with a subtlety and frailty as well as a purity which could be straight from the Joan Baez playbook. And she almost apologises for being Australian as she sings Sweet Matilda, but she doesn’t need to. We’re big boys and girls now and we can recognise talent and forgive its provenance. Grace Cummings is a serious force and eight songs is just not enough. Amazing, but I knew she would be. She closes with Heaven and its built-in tribute to Mr Young, Pocahontas and me and we go there with her to reassemble our minds.

Grace Cummings Set List:

1. The Look You Gave
2. 
There Flies a Seagull
3. 
Here is the Rose
4. 
I’m Lonely
5. (
Sweet) Matilda
6. 
Freak
7. 
Dreams
8. Heaven

There’s a kind of hush as the band shuffle on and then erupt into the first of three songs from the new album, the rollicking Bullfighter, the subtle beauty of Undertow, and the secret World of Invisible Things. It’s comfortingly familiar and I’m initially unsure whether they are new songs or old, but I did thrash the album when the .wav files came down and then we are Swimming with Crocodiles and Here Comes the Dead in total Nick Cave depravity and we know this is not just a new album being unveiled, not just a hybrid between Finn the solo and Finn the band, this is a classic Veils gig, and the band are hot.

Big Joe McCallum is awesome tonight from Tool-ish to subtle and the rhythm section with Cass Basil on bass is world class. Dave Khan prowls centre backstage with fiddle arms flaring and Dan Raishbrook and Liam Gerrard provide contrast and foil to Finn’s own guitar work along with at times frantic gesticulation. The extrovert is reborn on stage as a rock star and Ziggy is not far away, maintaining a watchful eye.

The back catalogue is given due respect with Birds from Time Stays We Go, and trio of greats from Nux Vomica along with a fireside chat from Sun Gangs and another trio from the new album (but not in that order) and finally Finn goes for the jugular and Jesus gets in the way.

There was a time during my study of And Out of The Void Came Love when I wondered where does Finn Andrews the solo artist stop and when does he becomes The Veils. Tonight, I have no further doubt. Finn Andrews is the Veils, it’s as simple as that, and he has one helluva band. Aren’t we just so lucky?

The Veils Set List

1. Bullfighter
2. 
Undertow
3. 
The World of Invisible Things
4. 
Swimming With Crocodiles
5. 
Here Comes the Dead
6. 
Birds
7. 
Not Yet
8. 
A Birthday Present
9. 
Sit Down by the Fire
10. 
No Limit of Stars
11. 
Nux Vomica
12. 
Someday My Love Will Come
13. 
Rings of Saturn
14. 
Jesus for the Jugular


Photo Credit: Chris Zwaagdyk / Zed Pics
The Veils Gallery

Grace Cummings Gallery

 

About The Veils

Fantastic local wunderkind Finn Andrews & his band The Veils have been lauded internationally for their outstanding debut album 'The Runaway Found'. Heralded as one of the best debut albums ever, 'The Runaway Found' has captured the hearts & minds of many, thanks to Finn's clever & contagious songwriting & his undeniable star factor.

After the success of first single 'The Tide That Left & Never Came Back' [peaking at #2 on the NZ rock radio chart, remaining on the radio charts for almost three months & playlisted on ZM, The Rock & The Edge, as well as the b-Nets, Kiwi FM & other smaller regional stations] The Veils now drop their second NZ single, the storming album opener 'The Wild Son'.

The personnel who constituted The Veils for the debut album – 'The Runaway Found', released February 2004 - split up 2 months after the record's release. He returned from London (where he was born, in 1983) to New Zealand (where he'd moved during his teens) and recruited new musicians with the vow, "We must make things as terrifying and exciting as can".

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Veils

Releases

...And Out of The Void Came Love
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Time Stays, We Go
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Troubles of The Brain
Year: 2011
Type: EP
Sun Gangs
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Nux Vomica
Year: 2006
Type: Album
The Runaway Found
Year: 2004
Type: Album

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