Tuesday, 15 May 2007

REVIEW: Tommmy and OdESSA


By Charlette Hannah

I have not yet seen Bodega as packed out as it was for the Tommy gig on Saturday. Tommy's homecoming show on their 'Tomorrow I Might Go' album release tour included old friends OdESSA.

It was my first time seeing OdESSA – I had heard great things about them, but for some reason had never gotten round to going to one of their gigs. Which was most unfortunate, as I quickly learned. These guys are on fire! I don’t think I have ever seen such a showy front-man in a New Zealand band, but the dance moves are not to hide a lack of talent. This guy can sing! OdESSA are great to listen to and interesting to watch. Really funky, sophisticated songs. I would recommend going to see them whatever mood you’re in.

However I really went to see Tommy, probably the first New Zealand band I became a ‘fan’ of back in the vicinity of ‘98-’99. Tommy’s reggae influenced pop/rock is upbeat, full of soul, and rhythmically, tunefully and lyrically intelligent. After a personnel change, Tommy have been on a massive nationwide tour.

Tommy himself is a brilliant performer. At one point in the show he broke a string, and instead of handing the guitar to a roadie or stopping the show while he changed it, he informed us the band was going to jam. Bass followed drums and the keyboards soon joined in. Then Tommy himself starting freestyling over the music. I don’t know where he comes up with that stuff! He continued to lyricise while still winding on the string. He looked infinitely comfortable on stage, and his soft yet metallic voice was great as always. The new band members held up their end well, the bassist in particular stood out.

Finishing with my all-time favourite – The Magpie Song, Tommy had the audience in tears and with their arms around each other. Pretty strong stuff.

Tommy's MySpace

OdESSA's site

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