I went to see Jose Gonzalez last night with friends in Wellington.
Gonzalez, who believe it or not is Swedish, is a guitarist probably most famous for the song used in this Sony Bravia advert. His set was mostly energetic acoustic guitar stuff, with a couple of covers – one was a lovely version of Teardrop by Massive Attack, plus a bizarre revamp of “Hand on your heart” by Kylie Minogue.
Not the kind of stuff I’d normally listen to, and his two support bands were odd and awful respectively, but Gonzalez was clearly an exceptional talent and his music was good, and it’s nice to broaden one’s horizons now and then.
Other than that, the only music I’ve had on my trip so far has been my iPod.
Formerly one half of Arab Strap, the Falkirk-born musician (who’s middle name is sadly not “in the”) has come up with three solo albums, featuring a dour, melancholic but very beautiful – and very Scottish – sound. His songs are downbeat, but captivating and poetic. While his voice is not exactly beautiful, his lyrics definitely are, and as such there’s a bit of Bob Dylan about him.
My favourite song by far, which I have listened to far too often on this trip, is a haunting and strangely uplifting ballad called “Choir”, from his second and best album, Into the Woods. If you ever get a chance to listen to it, do.
No doubt I should tell you something about Wellington, now I’ve been here a massive twenty-four hours. But I’ll save that for another day, when I might also give my tuppence-worth on the “Auckland v Wellington” debate that New Zealanders seem to enjoy so much.
In the meantime, my manic end-to-end (or mullet-to-mullet) race round the South Island starts tomorrow.