The following review appeared in Wellington Acoustic Routes news The Balladeer, February 2013;
Review of Nigel Parry at the Malthouse, 13
I made it to the Malthouse about 45 minutes into Nigel Parry’s two hour set. My
first view as I walked in was of the singer standing on the left not far from the
door, surrounded by his flash new sound system. Even voices as powerful and
beautiful as his can use a little boost, though on a Sunday afternoon the bar noise
was at a reasonably low level.
I was just in time to hear him do “The Banks of the Ohio” Interestingly, Nigel’s
version had a hint of swing to it – something new in my experience of this
beautiful old American standard.
The Malthouse is a pleasant place. We sat on bar stools, facing the music and
away from the bar. There are tables towards the back where people sat who were
less interested in the music. Their loss.
The espresso machine wasn’t working, so the very pleasant and apologetic
bartender sent me next door for a flat white. Can’t tell you about their alcoholic
beverages, but I reckon they’re pleasant, in keeping with most everything else
Playing ukelele and guitar, Nigel skillfully entertained and engaged the audience. I know it was skillful because I found myself being musically urged to “Shut up and bugger off.” And liking it.
Additional musical highlights for me came from an eclectic set list: “Fields of
Athenry” – long been one of my favourites; the classic “Summertime” by George
Gershwin – highlighting the singer’s musical versatility; Bill Monroe’s “I Wonder
Where You Are Tonight”; “Sloop John B” and “Brown-eyed Girl” topped it off. Irish
modern folk to American jazz/blues to bluegrass to New England folk and back to
modern Irish pop.
Well done, Nigel – I enjoyed the musical journey.