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Jeline - Gig Review: Jeline @ Valhalla, Wellington - 31/05/2023

01 Jun 2023 // A review by Danica Bryant

Three exciting upcoming acts are ready to play Wellington's Viking rock bar Valhalla tonight, a student show headlined by Massey student star Jeline. Just after the clock strikes 8, the bar is already packed and waiting to start the party, and this is a line-up ready to deliver.

Pop rock act Out of Hand open the evening to an already pumping crowd. The five-piece line-up have plenty of fun originals on offer. Early number Rainstorm, described as “a little bit of a heartbreaker”, puts their catchy melodies on display, and a lyrical shout out to Taylor Swift acknowledges her clear over their emotive content and sound. Throughout the set, dreamy acoustic guitar and groovy basslines hold ground, whilst lead singer Emma moves from smokey lows to powerhouse highs. The added interest of a keytar is a crowd favourite, particularly on The 1975 cover Happiness where it transforms into a digitised saxophone, although it’s noticeable that the key could be adjusted. Original song Abyss is an Evanescence-esque highlight, where the electric guitar and drums provide some real thrill. By the closing Paramore cover, the crowd are sold on Out Of Hand, an act who certainly have the passion to rise on the Poneke scene.

Second up, Fine Wine Social Club have their tongue firmly in cheek from the get-go for their first gig, grabbing the rowdy crowd’s attention with a wry acapella rendition of Blink-182’s I Miss You. Multiple vocalists creates a staggeringly beautiful choral effect throughout their set, each song infused with touches of jazz, soul, funk, R&B and classic Kiwi barbecue reggae. Shuddering electric guitars and basslines make the groove relentless, but it’s the bright trumpet appearing in intervals that really takes the cake. And if this instrumental feast wasn’t satiating enough, they’re well equipped to handle crowd banter, making conversation throughout with ease and responding to the punter’s energy well. Each of their songs typically revolve around a simple, sweeping hook, but they’re expanded with such instrumental depth you’ll likely not notice the simplicity, such as on the stunning original Dr. G. From slinky numbers like Freezing to more upbeat covers including Mas Que Nada and Careless Whisper, Fine Wine Social Club prove themselves as a band with stage presence, charisma, and a love for each other that always shines through.

Finally, Jeline and her band W.K Book Club arrive, immediately at their absolute best. Despite her microphone being off when she tries to start, Jeline is unphased, grabbing a different mic and bursting into a performance full of angst. She commands the stage with unwavering confidence. Sauntering around like “a real pop star”, dancing and making quips, the party never gets in the way of her gorgeous melismas and whip smart rapping. She jumps between her light, fragile upper range to raw, heavy low notes in a heartbeat.

Aided by W.K Book Club, her sugary pop songs gain a harsh rock edge, such as her sweet then sour rendition of TikTok hit Cupid, or her fearless take on Doja Cat’s Get Into It (Yuh). Tight basslines give the set crucial gravity and cohesion, amongst sweet keys and joyful drums. An obvious standout is her upcoming single Time Stops. The song is dreamy, percussive and beautifully sincere, with quirky jazz flourishes. The band makes clever use of the title with plenty of unexpected pauses and fills along the way. It's apparent the song's official release is in hot demand with the crowd.

There’s also an impressive level of professionalism to Jeline’s set. Suffering a dire wardrobe malfunction, she turns her back to the audience and her band provides a human shield whilst she changes, seeming entirely unbothered and all the more confident for it. She follows this power move up with a self-described “petty obsessive bitch” anthem about her boyfriend’s ex, showcasing well supported, expressive belting skills and a great ability to get into character. Here, the sheer skill of W.K Book Club is also abundantly clear. They are put together and controlled, but still relish in their joy of the stage. By the final song, we’ve moved through a stunning setlist of pop power numbers. The only thing the audience is left craving is perhaps more of Jeline’s exciting original material.

For only $10, there's no way anyone is leaving tonight unsatisfied. Jeline, W.K Book Club, Out Of Hand and Fine Wine Social Club have put on not just a gig, but a show. And with gigs like this happening every week in the capital city, Welly's student scene proves the future of local music is in good hands.


About Jeline

Jeline is an artist from Wellington. Her music is 'pop-centric' with blends from other genres like indie, RnB, gospel and hip-hop. This results in a unique sound for each song and a wide catalogue to capture any audience.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jeline


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