23 Sep 2023

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Jazmine Mary - Gig Review: Jazmine Mary @ Hollywood Avondale, Auckland - 08/07/2023

10 Jul 2023 // A review by Roger Bowie

Jazmine Mary enchanted the fully seated Hollywood theatre in Avondale on Saturday night celebrating their new album Dog.

But first up was an elegantly attired Julia Deans bringing us some new songs from her next album due out later this year. A little nervous, unexpectedly, a little tentative, needlessly, a little apologetic, for no reason, because when she sings the world is suddenly a beautiful place and we are blessed and privileged to hear one of New Zealand’s star vocalists in stripped back mode, bringing warmth and glamour to the stunning Hollywood scene. Great songs, glorious voice, a Katherine Mansfield poem, a recovery from illness, and a collaboration with the ubiquitous Delaney Davidson rounds out the set and we are joyful in anticipation of the (as yet unnamed, or at least unrevealed) new album release which will be about cancer.

Jazmine Mary is arriving, by which I mean rising into our collective consciousness as a star, as an artist to be reckoned with, as a creative force. Which must be why there’s a man playing bagpipes to open the show, what other reason can there be?

The band strike up, a veritable supergroup of the eclectic, with the also ubiquitous Dave Khan on fiddle, the venerable Peter Ruddell (Sulfate, Wax Chattels) on keys and sax, Louisa Nicklin on sax and keys, and the also rising star Arahi on drums. And then, Jazmine Mary themselves, in a layered white dolls dress which almost swallows them up, with just enough room for their head to float free, to release their many voices from the folds, like a Seagull enjoying the weightlessness of flight, soaring above the absurdity of houndog and flower power and they are Jazmine Mary, and this is music, and they are so happy to play to us.

Only Yellow features searing saxophone from Peter as does Wet Mouth and Dave on fiddle. The band are in flawless form behind Jazmine as they take us through the album, not in the same order, but it doesn’t matter. Peter Ruddell is a tall man who glides effortlessly across the stage between the keys and the saxophones and fiddle strike discordantly and melodically in support of the many voices. There’s a costume change after Salt Lake Desert and Jazmine escapes the burden of the doll’s dress and re-emerges in a one-piece, dreaming of people eating popcorn and having their dream come true in July.

Dog is almost complete when Jazmine invites Julia back on stage to support Skeleton from the first album and then Dancer and Harry Styles gets a mention and then there is Dope.

And it’s seemingly all over except it’s not and we obey obediently before Jazmine comes back in another, more conventional outfit to further surprise us with a Taylor Swift cover before they finally finish with the uplifting optimism of You’re Never Alone If You’ve Got Music and we are therefore not alone but still mesmerized by their presence.

Jazmine Mary Set List

1. Seagull
Only Yellow
Wet Mouth
Take an Orange
Salt Lake Desert
Getting Down
Love Story (Taylor Swift)
You’re Never Alone If You’ve Got Music

Photo Credit: Joe Photography

Julia Deans Photo Gallery
Jazmine Mary Photo Gallery


About Jazmine Mary

Jazmine Mary is a Noir Folk Artist based in New Zealand. Visceral and haunting. . their surreal rose-tinted sounds will allow you to be transported somewhere bold and watery.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Jazmine Mary


Year: 2023
Type: Album
The Licking of a Tangerine
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Kissing Girls In The Temple
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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