Words and Photos by Charlette Hannah
Albert Williams was the first act of the night at Bodega on Wednesday. He started off humbly and then proceeded to absolute blow me away. With his husky, gentle voice, he lulled me into a false sense of daydreaming, and then really let go. The dynamics and absolute control over his voice and guitaring was spellbinding. From a heartfelt cover of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here he then sang a knockout version of Joni Mitchell's Woodstock. He made the songs his own, which I do not say lightly, as often when that phrase is used it's a nice way of saying they didn't do such a good job. Not in this case. I would imagine Joni would be quite pleased to hear the heights her song had reached. I was wholeheartedly won over and impressed with Albert's (too-short) set.
Second up was Rikki Doolan, who I actually came across busking earlier that night. (Photo below). Rikki has a cruisy style and a great voice. His songs are down to earth and very easy to listen to. He started with a song about working for 'the man', followed by one about crippling debt, and a sweet and charming song called 'Kiwi Girl'. Rikki is very natural on stage and I was impressed with the calibre of his songs. I happen to know he's currently forming a band, so check out Rikki's MySpace if you're interested!
Unfortunately for me, the pressures of work (i.e getting up early in the morning) meant that I didn't stay for the whole of Ben's set, but I wanted to post these photo's. What I did hear was a well structured song with interesting melodies. Ben has a great voice, although his guitar playing seemed little lacking. However as I didn't stay for the whole set it's hard to tell.
Spotted Busking: Rikki Doolan, Cuba St
I have only admiration for any hardy soul who braves the icy chill on Wellington streets to serenade us in the evening.