Playing it Live – Showcase Concert

And what fun we had.

We were asked to close out the Showcase concert at Meow in Wellington. There was enough time for a few practices, some careful thought into the set list and song order, and before we knew it we were on stage.

Let’s start backwards with a review from the Balladeer;

Review of Acoustic Routes Showcase concert,
Meow, Thursday 22 August – Last Act;
Nigel Parry’s closing set was a delight – a nicely balanced selection of songs, beautifully sung and played and enhanced by some very accomplished accompanists: Julian Ward on guitar, Philippa Boy on ocarina and hurdy gurdy, and Niels Gedge and Sue Rose on backing vocals. James Taylor’s ‘Millworker’ got an airing, and Alan Taylor’s ‘Roll On the Day’, but the highlights for me were Nigel’s own songs. ‘Ship of Dreams’, with Julian’s harp-like guitar backing had its first public performance and ‘The Road is Long’ was given the full, rich a cappella treatment. I can see that one becoming an old friend at singarounds.

It is often hard to know what to kick off with, and a friend some time ago advised to ‘start with two songs you know’. Ignoring that completely, I launched straight into Millworker.

We only had a limited time on stage, so the chit-chat was kept to a minimum. Don’t get me wrong, I can talk well enough between songs and there’s a lot you can say for some of them, but with so many good tunes left out just to fit in the time slot we wanted to perform as many good ones as we could.

Meow Compo Image

Photos courtesy of Peter Dyer

That meant thinking carefully about the changes between songs too. With solo, three other combinations of musicians and several instrument changes it would have been very easy to eat up time faffing between numbers. Planning to build a musical picture without ‘spoiling the moment’ can be tricky and it is the first time I have had to think about it so hard.

It can also be a sound mixer’s nightmare. So hats off to Barry Carter for doing such a great job in the midst of what could have been musical mayhem. And thanks to Peter Dyer for taking such nice photos, and Bernard for the video.

Here’s a taster for one of the numbers;

I did get to chat, with some of you at least. That was after the gig had finished (we were the final act on stage).

So many thanks to the other wonderful performers who made the gig so enjoyable. It was definitely a strong part of the encouragement and inspiration that led to the new studio CD recorded soon after. That has lead to a new web site as well.

Thanks for taking part, for watching, listening or just reading.

About Nigel Parry Music

Described by a radio presenter as; 'one of the finest traditional folk artists in NZ', Nigel Parry's unique mix of singer / songwriter, traditional and early folk music relies heavily on his vocal arrangements. Hailing from the UK, he was originally a rock singer and turned to folk music through friends, historical events and real ale. Nigel now lives near Wellington and in the last 4 years has performed at folk events and music venues around New Zealand, festivals and live on radio and in the UK, France and Canada.
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