Newtown Social Club, Wednesday 8th July 2015
This 29 year old diminutive pocket rocket can sure belt out a tune. An outstanding deep, gravelly, almost guttural, snarly growl that totally enthralls and excites you from the second that she steps up to the microphone, for this girl is different. Gin Wigmore is Gin Wigmore and to compare her to her peers serves no purpose. In this day and age when many artists are manufactured to sound and look a certain way via the plethora of reality shows, Gin Wigmore is a refreshing change, a breath of fresh air and a lovely soul to boot.
Having attended many shows and after show functions, I can’t help but admire the genuine warmth and humility that Gin displays as she is openly affectionate with many of her followers after the show. She is grounded, takes her time while conversing with fans and gives the best hugs that I’ve ever seen after a show. I like the fact that Gin is aware that this experience tonight will be remembered by many of her fans not only for the music, but for the eagerness and attentive nature of Gin herself.
Across the pond, Gin Wigmore is a local phenomenon with her new album, "Blood to Bone" going straight to the number 1 position in New Zealand on debut this week. After successful shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, it is little wonder that Gin Wigmore is so popular there, being a local girl. Gin Wigmore (resident of Los Angelos these days) is also well liked in America with many of her shows in September selling out in the presale which augurs well for a good tour. Unfortunately the new album, "Blood to Bone", is not released in Australia until September 2015, but by handing out a free 3 song sampler CD to patrons after the show to get a taste of the new record, the disappointment of not being able to purchase the new CD was diminished. A nice touch.
Newtown Social Club is a small intimate venue in Newtown that holds approximately 200 people. The stage is small and for Gin and her 5 male band members this is going to be nice and cosy. All sharply dressed in black from head to toe, her band members make a great contrast to Gin’s red lace up basketball shoes, ripped black jeans and sleeveless overalls with her tattoos on her arms holding centre court for attention.
At $25 a ticket, this show is outstanding value and as opposed to many other small venue appearances, this show is fully amped, plugged in, raw and electrifying. The show opens with “New Rush” which is also the opening track from “Blood to Bone” and tonight is all about exploring the new songs in a live setting. This song is well received by the 200 strong crowd, but the applause strengthens as the opening bars of “Kill of the night” from "Gravel and Wine" ring throughout the Newtown Social Club.
Gin has bought with her a great band comprising of 2 guitarists, a bass player, keyboards and drums. From the very get go the band sound great, are tight as a collective unit and are clearly enjoying themselves. The lead guitarist utilizes both a Fender Stratocaster and Gretsch guitar to great effect and the small compact nature of the stage set up gives this performance an intimate earthy feel with musicians all in close proximity to one another. Asides from performing vocal duties, Gin Wigmore also plays a Gretch guitar tonight and bangs a floor tom drum on several songs throughout the evening which, aside from sounding great, is also a terrific visual aesthetic.
Other new songs to be played tonight are “Nothing to no one”, “Black Parade”, “Written in the water” and “I will love you” but my favourite new song off “Blood to bone” is the song titled “24”. A song written by Gin about the time that can pass when you text, email or message someone you care about and the stony silence that encapsulates the next 24 hours if the feelings are not reciprocated.
Of the older songs, tonight’s rendition of “If only” is particularly good, as is “Dirty Love”, both taken from her previous "Gravel and Wine" album of 2011. “Black Sheep” is a crowd favorite and “Sweet Hell”, “Man like that” also get a run in tonight’s set list.
“Holy Smoke” was released in 2010 and already seems like such a long time ago. but on hearing “Hey Ho” and “One Last Look”, I had forgotten what a great debut album that was for Gin Wigmore. A 16 strong song setlist for $25 has been extraordinary value and to see Gin Wigmore in such a small intimate venue has been truly memorable and inspiring. Having talent doesn’t always get you noticed, but I am hoping that Gin Wigmore becomes as popular here in Australia as she is in NZ and USA. She is the real deal and needs to be noticed.
see more photos here