Saturday, September 5, 2009
We all love them, even the old ones (although it is more appropriate to call them women).
Last night we were invited to go to the 'Give it a Girl' concert (thank you Lindsay) featuring some of NZ's greats.
Debbie Harwood was first up. She seemed pretty nervous for such an experienced performer and was a bit disappointing in her presentation although she never has impressed as a great singing talent. She is however a great organiser and got this line-up together ( and was probably the energy behind 'When the Cats Away'.
She was followed by Shona Laing who gave a solid performance although you couldn't help feeling that she was wondering what she was doing in a line-up of essentially 'pop' performers.
Margaret Urlich was next and was definitely a step up. Apart from looking bloody good for 50 (sorry, sexist I know but honest), her voice is still great and she really carried the songs well.
Next up was a knock-out surprise. Julia Deans from Fur Patrol who apart from being striking with flaming red hair showed herself to be a very accomplished and confident performer - funny, gutsy and in control.
Julia introduced Sharon O'Neill who seems to have shrunk over the years. Either that or she used to always have big hair and stilettos. (Apropos of nothing I have rolled around on Sharon O'Neill's shag-pile carpet in her house she once owned in Northland Wellington). Apart from looking a bit diminished she was still able to belt out her classics.
After a break, Julia introduced nervous newcomer Lisa Crawley whose very young age belies her talents. One to watch I think.
OK. So far so good. Some bits were a bit pedestrian but generally the feeling was good and that newzild still has it.
Next up was Annie Crummer. Wow! She took the whole show up several notches. Bursting out on the stage with an outstanding number that was seamlessly integrated with the backing band that she virtually claimed as her own. What a star. Her voice which she had some problems with a couple of years ago was amazing. Powerful but with fantastic clarity. I've always admired her and last night confirmed that.
After Annie's single stint (each performer did 3 songs each) the whole group lined up and took turns with their own standards but this time supported with backing vocals by the rest. Fantastic. How come the Kiwi blokes can't do this (they need a male version of Debbie Harwood I guess to organise it)? Even in the line-up of eight vocalists (the seven plus backing support singer who was with the band) it was Annie Crummer's and Margaret Urlich's voices that stood out. They really seem to complement each other. Its a shame that we haven't had Good run of those together over the last 20 years- apart from 'When the Cats away' that is.
The band was very, very good.
It was a great night out and looking around the audience even an old bugger like me was comfortably in the middle of the demographic. I saw a few old faces I recognised including an old girlfriend of mine (don't tell her-indoors) and all looked like they were having a good time.
The wine? Crap, except for the Deutz which is always a very reliable stand-by when there's nothing else decent at a Pernod-Ricard dominated bar. Sky City for some reason have decided to do away with the bottle pours from their excellent portfolio (Montana Reserve, Stoneleigh, Church Rd etc) and gone to just offering the 175ml offerings of Montana (very ordinary) range. Wankers!.
Fortunately we had a pre-concert drink at a tapas bar in Federal st (forgotten the name). This place has an excellent wine list which is all Spanish or Spanish-influenced wines (Chilean etc). The tapas menu is great. We had a glass of Torres Gran Coronas Cabernet Tempranillo each. Great!. Hawkes Bay can learn from this wine style.