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It is a much-welcomed opportunity to revel in Dunedin’s unique character and celebrate our immense collection of homegrown works.
Graeme Downes’ orchestration skills have considerable merit.
Recreating the original often sparse, and invariably melodious and quirkily constructed Dunedin Sound for orchestra while allowing the often astoundingly beautiful lyrics to be heard is no mean feat.
His orchestrations are often complicated with many layers co-existing, sometimes without convincing resolution but always with stunning effect.
The Dunedin Symphony Orchestra led by Peter Adams came to the party well prepared.
Those songs with less orchestral noise allowing the lyrics to shine forth worked best: Shayne Carter’s Dialling a Prayer and Anthonie Tonnon’s Sugar in the Petrol Tank have echoes of Tom Waits and Kurt Weill; Tonnon’s dramatic articulation of Paratai Drive with its alluringly astringent harmonies and, finally, Martin Phillipps’ Lou Reed-sounding I Love My Leather Jacket.
Remarkable for their delicious beauty were Nadia Reid’s own composition Call the Days, Anna Leese’s enchanting version of Carter’s hedonistic ballad Waiting Game, David Kilgour’s stunning, sensitive Instra 2 Reprise and the delicious trio of Leese, Molly Devine and Metitilani Alo in Spooky.
But they saved the very best till last.
Submarine Bells must now be the genre’s most brilliant anthem. The audience gasped with anticipation at the first chord and gave a standing ovation at its close.
Phillipps’ distinctively clipped delivery of pain-etched lyrics was brilliantly countered by the mellifluous chorus of Leese, Devine and Alo.
The evening closed with a punchy and raucously celebratory Pull Down the Shades from the full complement of artists.
- Marianne Poole
Tally Ho! 2
• Dunedin Town Hall November 4