Nelson Arts Festival
Songs to Leave Behind Don McGlashan, Julia Deans and Anna Coddington TSB Bank Mainstage, Founders Park. October 17. Reviewed by Gail Tresidder
REVIEW: As a measure of the respect we felt, in particular for Don McGlashan who has contributed so much to New Zealand contemporary music, a full house listened in appreciative quiet until the end of each song before applauding enthusiastically.
Throughout the evening, we were taken on a musical magic carpet by three of our finest contemporary singer/songwriters, Julia Deans and Anna Coddington joining McGlashan in a concert of sweet melody. They sang songs that had "turned them on to music" and from their favourite songwriters; ones they wished they had written and finally their own songs they would like to be remembered by.
This talented trio were delightful on stage together, taking turns at lead then backing each other up with fine musicality. They all played guitar, Deans did a flamboyant whirl with a xylophone, Coddington a spell on drums and McGlashan played percussion, miniature mandolin, harmonica and Casio keyboard, this last to great effect in David Bowie's Ashes to Ashes sung by Deans, her choice for Song by a Master Songwriter.
Every song was a pleasure although McGlashan's While You Sleep backed with elegant harmony by the women and again his own composition, the evocative This is London, heavy rain falling on the roof as he sang, were especially so. Coddington wished she had written Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong's huge hit for Marvin Gaye I Heard it Through the Grapevine and gave us a great upbeat version. With a little help from her friends producing the required close harmony she also sang a marvellous Because by the boys from Liverpool.
Deans' choice of a song to be remembered by was her lilting waltz A New Dialogue. It brought out the haunting quality in her voice and, along with McGlashan's gentle I Will Not Let You Down held us spellbound. The clever format allowed for an eclectic mix of music and surely pleased everyone. It was a happy wonderful evening, polished off with an encore, Dominion Road.