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Concert Reviews

Concert Review: Eyreton Hall Celebrates Album Release With Grace And Reverence

Where: Galatos, Auckland NZ
When: 25 May 2019
Roger Bowie

NZ band Eyreton Hall cast a blissful spell upstairs at the Galatos in Auckland, NZ last night with an intimate set presenting their sophomore effort Spaces to an attentive audience of friends, family, and lucky others.

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Eyreton Hall

Effortless is a better word to describe this gentle jazz-tinged sound, and it’s all about the voice, rich, warm and soothing, of singer-songwriter Toni Randle, supported by the sympathetic beat of husband Andrew Keegan’s drums, brother Tim Randle on bass, James Fistonich on guitar, Nick Duirs on keyboards and Ben King (Producer) on everything including backing vocals.

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Toni Randle

Out of sadness and loss comes hope, and with new life comes joy, and the album’s ten songs reflect the emotional rollercoaster of a busy life.

Playing the entire album, but not in order, the band launch into Beautiful and the tone is set for an enchanted evening. Next, we have the by now familiar Weekend, the second song to be released a few weeks ago now.

Eyreton Hall is named after the village hall just north-west of Christchurch where the band’s first album, Featherstitch, was recorded some five years ago. The album Spaces now comes forth after several years... an unexpected third child bringing unexpected joy and the loss of a close friend bringing much sadness and hence the need for space and time to cope with life’s ups and downs.

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The melodies are majestic, the harmonies infectious, and the music and arrangements reflect the deliberate tension between Toni’s perfectionism and Ben and Andrew’s counterfactual injection of an earthier, sharper sound.

Out of sadness and loss comes hope, and with new life comes joy, and the album’s ten songs reflect the emotional rollercoaster of a busy life. New Tulips and Constant follow. The melodies are majestic, the harmonies infectious, and the music and arrangements reflect the deliberate tension between Toni’s perfectionism and Ben and Andrew’s counterfactual injection of an earthier, sharper sound.

Rust, which closes the album, comes early in this set and ups the tempo in a folk-rock style before we retreat to the beautiful bittersweet angst of the title track Spaces which talks of the agonising process of letting a dear friend go.

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Andrew Keegan

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James Fistonich

Back we bounce with Ilse, but the tone is still sombre, putting on a brave face. Tell us a story, Ilse, let’s have a party, but the clouds are still gathering.

Bell Notes is confessional, with a slow intro before the drums kick in, a background to the exceptional range of Toni’s voice as she soars into the belfry. No bats up there!

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Tim Randall

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Ben King

We’re almost there, and time for Goodnight, co-written with Baxter Keegan who I guess might be Toni and Andrew’s ten-year-old. My ten-year-old, Nicole, who has come along to the gig, likes this song and requests it this morning on the way to rehearsal.

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Albatross, the second song on the album, and the latest song to be released (check out the video) closes out the set, on an essentially optimistic and upbeat note and so we are done.

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Brilliant, beautiful, breath-taking music from Eyreton Hall. Nicole thinks it’s better than Kacey Musgraves. What more can I say?

EyretonHall Spaces

Go get the album out now on Marigold Music. Make it your constant companion.

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Tim Allen opening for Eyreton Hall at Galatos

Radio 13 thanks and credits Reuben Raj from SomeBizarreMonkey for all the images featured on this article. 

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Released: 24 May 2019

Written By: Roger Bowie Roger Bowie has been collecting music since 1964, starting with 45 rpm singles, and then building an LP and CD collection from 1970. 1.8 per week since then. Not a vast collection, but eclectic and occasionally obscure. Roger is a big Americana fan, and regularly attends AmericanaFest in Nashville, held every September. Also, he once played golf with Alice Cooper...

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