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Mel Parsons - Gig Review: Mel Parsons @ Galatos, Auckland - 19/05/2023

22 May 2023 // A review by Lou Clement

Talking about her career in an interview, Mel Parsons had said she was "grateful for the slow burn." Five albums in, tonight was a chance to hear that hard work distilled, as she moved between the decades of her life through music and shared her experiences of motherhood in her latest single release, Tiny Days. This was a night of humble and accomplished performances from an award-winning talent, in what felt like an environment that was second nature for her and her band.


Galatos' crowd was seated and attentive for an evening of heart-crumpling solos, soft and tender harmonising and anthemic finishers. The night began with Fables, in support. Fables is vocalist Jess Bailey and her voice captured delicate emotions as it rose and fell over lyrics full of longing, loving and just trying to work out what it all means.


Mel Parsons seemed to beam onto the stage. One moment there was a darkness and hush in the room and then her white guitar caught the lights. In her forest green jumpsuit, she sat between a line of instruments, atop a stool and began to play for us. The show was not about the arrival but the delivery. It was almost like we were sitting on a sofa in her living room. Parsons delivered a performance that felt in the moment, intimate and soulful. It might seem like a misnomer - to describe a pervasively alt country act as soulful. But somehow it was. She joked with the crowd and reflected on her introspective lyrics. They are not purposefully cathartic though; I think that’s what she wanted to make clear. But art makes a path in hearts and minds.

Parsons lyrical path definitely included a conversation with the difficult stuff. Early on in the set, in Blame a contemplative track rendered with just her guitar was a good case in point. Other highlights from the evening included Lights and Far Away, which roused the crowd to clapping in time. Before we knew it the game was up and an evening, in the palm of the hand of Mel Parsons was over. It was a show of beautiful hearty music played live in a way that only a performer who believes in the magic of her music can play. Wonderful.


Photo Credit: Taiga Semori
Fables Gallery
Mel Parsons Gallery

 

About Mel Parsons

Well recognised as one of New Zealand’s established songwriting stars, indie-folk singer songwriter Mel Parsons’ star is on the rise. Following the success of both her debut album Over My Shoulder in 2009, and sophomore offering Red Grey Blue in 2011, Parsons released her third full length record Drylands in 2015.

The Kiwi singer/songwriter and two time NZ Music Award (VNZMA) finalist for Folk Album of the Year, has released the first single from Drylands – the gutsy & rhythmic audience favourite originally performed with Fly My Pretties, Far Away. With a dynamite live show, solo or with her band, Parsons is an engaging performer with a natural emotive voice that allows the listener to become part of the story.

With home as a hotel room and a suitcase, Parsons has built up her fan base the old fashioned way – winning over audiences on the live circuit. The only New Zealand artist invited to showcase at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, USA in 2014 & 2015, Parsons has also had recent tours in Australia, UK, Ireland, and Germany. She is also a cast member of Kiwi musical collective Fly My Pretties, with tours and festival performances including the prestigious Byron Bay Bluesfest at Easter 2015.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mel Parsons

Releases

Sabotage
Year: 2024
Type: Album
Slow Burn
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Drylands
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Red Grey Blue
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Over My Shoulder
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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