Warm welcome for homegrown singer-songwriters

Photo: Supplied
Nadia Reid. Photo: Supplied
Four Otago homegrown singer-songwriters treated festival-goers to an intimate evening of songs from the heart last night.

Port Chalmers-raised Nadia Reid, a rising international star, followed a set from three Wanaka-raised musicians, Martine Harding, Connor Moore and Phoebe James.

Despite plunging temperatures, the three locals enjoyed a warm welcome home, but all admitted to feeling daunted at the prospect of playing for people who had seen them grow up, and people listening attentively rather than the noisy bar and club crowds they were used to.

Moore gave us delightful, insightful songs, some taken from her experiences moving to Wellington - clever lyrics, funny and believable and clearly delivered. More please.

Dunedin-based James' vocal style suited her largely sad songs with her music creating a matching mood.

Harding's confident presentation and great individual voice had echoes of her powerful electronic work with Wanaka's Danny Fairley in Arma Del Amor, already a successful duo but still with masses of potential. Lovely emotional solo set with more lyrics taken from life.

Nadia Reid has shot from local admiration to international acclaim. Quiet and unassuming, she is anything but a showy star, just doing the business - but what business.

It is all about the voice. It is warm and wise and all-encompassing, strong enough for Reid to start the show alone with an unaccompanied song, letting us know she was in total control and we were safe in her hands.

She was right. Whether flying solo or surfing the full sound wash of her tight, three-piece band she could wrap her troubles in the silk of her vocals and we were happy to accept them.

Reid claims she takes comfort in music. We are lucky that she can share that comfort so well.

 - Nigel Zega

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