Smash Hits 70s - Paper Lace and Eve Graham
Opera House, Wellington, May 7
Reviewed by Colin Morris
Nostalgia is a seductive liar. So said George Wildman Ball. That said, I approached this concert knowing very well that I had lived though the 70s but I was determined not to wear rose-coloured glasses.
To be fair, I've never owned a New Seekers or a Paper Lace album, and as immensely hummable as the tunes were they had no social bite, no modicum of a musical trend other than to tag on the shirt tails of Mud, The Sweet, Gary Glitter and Status Quo.
It didn't surprise me that this was a nearly full house; the baby boomers (of which I am one) were here for a good time. Paper Lace knew about pace and chose good songs in between their few hits, Billy Don't Be a Hero, The Night Chicago Died and Dreams Are Ten a Penny, which was a nice stroll down memory lane.
But their covers were really excellent Band on the Run, Free Ride, Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) and a crowd-pleasing Daydream Believer.
The second hour featured Eve Graham (dressed in a gorgeous silver outfit that would have done Shirley Bassey proud) and husband Danny (Kevin) Finn, whose harmonies and those of Paper Lace propped up Graham's vocals sadly lacking in the mid range.
Another female to add counterpoint would have helped and for that reason alone I would have preferred Paper Lace to close the show. However, it was The New Seekers songs that stood out rather than the covers.
An odd selection of big-band numbers plus The Skye Boat Song lacked power, but the audience was won over with the hits: Never Ending Song of Love, Look What They've Done to My Song Ma, Nickel Song and of course I'd Like to Teach The World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony).
Surprisingly, the two hours flew by, given that these were pop songs that lasted at best no more than three minutes each. The audience certainly got their money's worth and were generous in their applause.
- The Dominion Post