Monday, 19 March 2007


By Charlette Hannah

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Tommy play – too long in fact. This week I got a double dose, in two very different situations.

On Friday I took an extended lunch break to see Tommy play solo at the CD and DVD store in Cuba St. Sadly, for there are many good solo artists, it is hard to pull off a gig when it’s just you, the mic, and the guitar. Tommy is one of the few who can. His intense vocals – both his lyrics and the quality of his voice – are arresting, and hold attention, while his confident guitar playing backs them up. Playing a selection of songs including one he had written that morning, some from the new album, and a couple of old favourites, Tommy sang to a small but appreciative crowd. At one point a woman ran in, saw Tommy, started screaming ‘no, no’ in excitement, and ran out again. Most interesting.

On Sunday, I strolled along to Civic Square for an unadvertised gig including Spartacus R, Tommy, and a hip hop dance troupe. The debut of the new Tommy line-up in the sunshine, surrounded by high school boys and girls, was a situation I wouldn’t necessarily have placed them in. Sunshine, yes, as the music is bouncy and upbeat and easy to dance to, but the crowd? As evidenced by the lack of dancers (I’ve never been to a Tommy gig before where it’s taken longer than the first song to get people up and dancing) it was perhaps not the ideal gig.

Having said that, they played well, the songs were great as always, and I look forward to seeing them again when they begin their New Zealand tour.

Note: On Saturday I caught up with Tommy for an in-depth interview – watch this space for the full thing.


Anonymous said...

Good Blog! Nice to see a full interview with a musician rather than just a few meaningless soundbites. I haven't seen Spartacus R before, I was curious what you also thought of them at Civic Square?

Charlette said...

Hey, I didn't actually catch Spartacus R - hence the non-review of them! The loss of daylight saving threw me a little on Sunday :)
What did you think?