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  • Neive Strang Music - Gig Review: Neive Strang @ Whammy Backroom, Auckland - 29/04/2023

Neive Strang Music - Gig Review: Neive Strang @ Whammy Backroom, Auckland - 29/04/2023

02 May 2023 // A review by Lou Clement
Neive Strang recently brought her Living in Two Aotearoa tour to Tamaki Makarau, Auckland. She delivered a set that felt full of certainty, with her blues, folk and rock songs. Support came from Finn Johansson. He was zealous about his performance and it was catching.

Whammy was hectic. The crowds poured into to its underground hollows with the promise an intimate night of music. Whammy always delivers. For bands it must feel like the audience is inside the music-making machine. You’re so close, it’s almost molecular. You can hear the sound of the pedals, eyeball the drummer’s flick of the wrist and feel the breath of vocalists. There’s no fourth wall to break here. Both Neive Strang and support, Finn Johansson, threw their musical offerings to the Saturday night crowd.

Johansson opened his chest of contemplative musical treasures. He moved around the stage playing instruments and talking to the crowd. There was a polarity to the person and the music that made the performance magnetic. Johansson had something of Will Oldham to him. A seriousness and a breathy mic grazing vocal style. It will interesting to see what he is like performing with a full band, which he shared is due to happen as he gears up for a European tour.

Strang and her band played an almost back to back set. Each song delivered confident arrangements. But the nub of the music was the vocalist and her guitar. It felt like there should have been a song or two solo, to hear her voice isolated a little. There was thoughtfulness to her show, it seemed to transcend the place and time; the making of a good show.

Neive was into her stride with Lock It Up. She had an enviable vocal versatility. She also had sensitivity to her lyric writing. Her voice comes somewhere between PJ Harvey and Phoebe Bridgers. It’s got that much substance to it, no wonder she applies herself in different vocal directions, so to speak. Overall, there some sense of emancipation or catharsis to her music. Sick love tick was the highlight of the set for me.

Neive Strang’s nationwide tour continues with further dates set for Christchurch and Dunedin, later this month.

Photo Credit: Ivan Karczewski / Kioui Pix

Neive Strang Gallery
Finn Johansson Gallery



I Am The Ribbon
Year: 2022
Type: EP
Moon Life
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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