Anika, Boh and Hollie - a real treat

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 09:10 17/10/2012
Anika, Hollie and Boh

Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith are touring the country's churches.

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REVIEW: Anika, Boh and Hollie
The Classic Hits Acoustic Church Tour
St Michael and All Angels Church, Christchurch
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's not often Christchurch gets to see a decent female singer perform, so having three talented, beautiful and funny women all on the same stage at once is a real treat.

Anika Moa, Boh Runga and Hollie Smith, all well-known musicians in their own right, need no introduction.

The trio played the first of three Christchurch shows last night as part of this year's nationwide Classic Hits Acoustic Church Tour. Tonight and tomorrow's shows have long been sold out.

St Michael and All Angels Church is one of the few central Christchurch churches left standing and before the show starts we're given a reassurance the building has been earthquake-strengthened.

"Let's hope we don't have one,'' the announcer says.

Moa's Running Through the Fire kicks off a strong two-hour set.

Despite having rather different voices, the three women work well together, singing in harmony and making the most of each other's talents.

They take turns performing their own songs and those they've written together, including first single Be Mine.

The trio plan to head into the studio after their tour wraps up and aim to have their debut album on shelves on February 1 next year.

On tour they're joined by backing musicians Godfrey De Grut on the keyboard and Tom Broome on drums, but it's Anika, Boh and Hollie's show and they provide much of the musical accompaniment themselves.

After a 20-minute intermission the trio come back with new outfits - mocking the fact they're technically a girl-band.

They cover Moa's touching song about loss In the Morning and dedicate others to her mother and her father, who died of cancer five years ago.

Runga takes lead on songs from her Stellar* days, including Part of Me and For a While, and Smith shines on songs from her various collaborations, including Clarity (written for Fly My Pretties) and Bathe in the River (by Don McGlashan).

The trio's between-song banter is almost as entertaining as the music and has the crowd chuckling regularly, even if Smith has doubts about their efforts.

"We must be really nervous, cause we're not doing very good talking," she says.

"I think we're doing alright," Runga replies.

The crowd agrees, even if they are a bit quiet.

If only all girl bands were this good.

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- The Press

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