Julia Deans, Auckland NZ, 2017

Julia Deans 
10th October 2017
Golden Dawn: Tavern Of Power, Auckland, New Zealand.

Review by Sarah Kidd. Photography by Doug Peters.

Julia Deans performing live in Auckland New Zealand 2017. Image by Doug Peters.

In an intimate invite only soiree a resplendent Julia Deans took to the stage tonight to deliver a small but perfectly formed set in celebration of her new single ‘Walking in The Sun’. The first release from Deans impending new album entitled ‘We Light Fire’, the song is touted as a challenge to one and all to “imagine the possibilities open to us, if we stopped holding each other down”.

You could have heard a pin drop as familiar faces of the New Zealand music industry both old and new stood shoulder to shoulder all focused on the iconic voice pouring forth from the stage before them. Slowly easing us all into the evening with a couple of ‘country style tracks’ Deans joked that “All these pretty country songs are just lulling you into a false sense of security before I hit you with my heavy metal mode.” 

However instead of bringing down the music of the rock gods upon our heads she instead invited a couple of familiar faces onto the stage to join her – Anika Moa and Anna Coddington providing some exquisite harmonizing that added multi-faceted layers to the melodies. ‘A New Dialogue’ and the wonderfully pulsating ‘Skin (Everything is coming to A Halt)’ from her 2010 solo album entitled Modern Fables was fantastic to hear again live, the acoustics of such a venue lovingly cradling the sound and enfolding it within the subtle scent of mulled wine hanging in the air.

Deans band for the evening consisted of Richie Pickard on bass and Tom Broome on drums, both well-established musicans in their own right they helped to bring Deans songs to their full potential live; the combination of instruments and soaring vocals from all three women at one point almost feeling like a spiritual awakening. Adopting a humorous voice Deans announces to the audience “this is the reason why we’re here” – her humour a shield for the obvious emotion she is feeling at presenting her latest work to many of her peers for the first time.

As Deans’ hands hovered above the keyboard, Moa and Coddington once again melded their voices into one, providing a short but powerful acapella intro to the song, before Deans’ voice cut through with powerful intensity. The lyrics indeed have a boldness to them, the structure of the song methodical as it is rhythmical; immediately it captures your attention – leading you down the path as it lays out its reasons likes cards on a table.

If ‘Walking in the Sun’ is any indication of what we can expect from the rest of the record, then this will surely be one of the must have albums of the year.

Were you there at Golden Dawn for this intimate gig? Or have you seen Julia Deans perform live somewhere else before? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

Add your comment below: