5 October, Common Room
Fringe in the ‘Stings 2017
Hailing from the westside, New Plymouth, Sonic Delusion’s Andre Manella jumped venues and time slots within the Fringe schedule and landed bright and light in Common Room, a perfect location for his singular whole band sound. There is a decent size crowd listening with comings and goings, no one’s perturbed by this. Nor is Andre, who despite a broken guitar string, just threaded anew whilst continuing with a few base beats to hold us in on his groove.
He is surrounded by a myriad of floor peddles and buttons from which his performance really comes alive. Like a maverick, he is looping and stringing his sounds together, with his legs fair dancing across his tech equipment in a jig.
Andre’s songs lead me to the anticipation of summer to come, they are warm and upbeat with a good fill of funk. There’s a fresh layering of tones and building of base soundscapes, switched on and off with a tap. All through his voice and guitar remain continuously central. Spontaneous and clearly with experimental momentum at times, I feel like I am watching a guy who is playing with all his musical toys at once. Even when his lyrics denoted perhaps a little despondency, he still left me happy to listen and feeling good.
The audience truly enjoyed themselves and I noted loads of foot-tapping and swinging. Once again, Hawke’s Bay audiences have shown that they love new acts arriving to perform locally and are firmly appreciative listeners. Had Andre played for longer, this wouldn’t have gone amiss.
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