Kiwi 'supergroups' wow in laidback style

TOM CARDY
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2013
Jon Toogood
ALEXANDER HALLAG
GENERALLY ELECTRIFYING: Jon Toogood was as funny as he was the consummate frontman for The Adults at Alana Estate on Saturday.

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Classic Hits Winery Tour with Clara van Wel, The Adults, Anika, Boh & Hollie and Fat Freddy's Drop

Alana Estate, Martinborough, February 9

Reviewed by Tom Cardy 

Conditions for this four-pronged show were perfect - warm, no wind and not a cloud in the sky.

It made a usually festive, picnic atmosphere for the annual Winery Tour an even more relaxed event, and this seemed to touch the performers.

Half the entertainment from The Adults - the first of two Kiwi "supergroups" in the lineup - came from self-deprecating jokes from Shihad's Jon Toogood and Julia Deans, although Shayne Carter was unusually reticent, preferring to underpin each song with atmospheric guitar play.

A strong set included One Million Ways, Up and Gone, as well as the ballad Anniversary Day, and Deans comfortably filling in on Ladi6's album vocal duties on the funky Nothing to Lose.

The Adults' debut was one of the best Kiwi albums of 2011. This confirmed them as one of our best bands.

Anika Moa (wearing a blue polka-dot dress), Boh Runga (bright red dress) and Hollie Smith (bright yellow dress) had me at first thinking they'd tapped their inner Wiggle.

But, like The Adults, Anika, Boh & Hollie have managed to be more than the sum of their parts with new songs as a trio, including Don't Really Care and the psychedelic-tinged Peace of Mind. On occasion they were also wickedly funny.

Fat Freddy's Drop also confirmed what I've felt about other Kiwi acts, including Shihad and The Datsuns: While proficient on albums, it's playing live at which these bands really excel. Silver and Gold was stunning. The band has seamlessly incorporated horns into its sound.

Regrettably, I missed opener New Zealand's Got Talent winner Clara van Wel, although I could hear her as I scrambled down the long entrance to the vineyard.

Friends who had arrived earlier - and had no idea who she was - were nonetheless very impressed.

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- The Dominion Post

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