Image by: Melany Barrington
Concert Reviews

Concert Review: James Reid's Songbook Tour In Wellington

Where: Meow, Wellington NZ
When: 20 Sep 2019
Melany Barrington

James Reid is one of New Zealand's most iconic singer-songwriters. Here he is, stripped back with his guitar to saturate Meow in Wellington for a night of acoustic songs. As most of us know him as the frontman of pop-rock band The Feelers, sitting down in front of James really exposed the voice behind the band.

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James Reid

Kicking off the first half of the show with Larger Than Life, hearing it without a large production or heavier instruments presented Reid's raw vocal range. Everyone seemed mesmerised when he strummed and sang and with the emotions expressed from this intimate approach, we began to hear the songs differently from what we typically rock out to.

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Learning that he’s quite a characteristic guy, he sang Suspicious Minds in his best Elvis Presley impression and later in the night an attempt at being a cowboy. Though he was entertaining with his humour, he concluded his first set by acknowledging those who suffer from mental health specifically anxiety by dedicating the song, Dear Anxiety.

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Kicking off the second half of the show with songs Time Is Another Lover followed by his roaring performance with I Am Human for the first time live. The venue picked up more contributors to sing as the set picked up, with a cover of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide, everyone matched their pitch with James before he broke off into a Billy Corgan inspired song break that got everyone cheering.

A big part of what determines the atmosphere of the show is what the crowd makes of it. Those in the venue recommend songs and even offered to dance. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any drunk dance moves but, later in the night, we did have the majority of the house trying to harmonise once their drinks kicked in and it wasn’t as peaceful as Landslide. However, with the banter between James and a potential drunk dancer, no one really focused on the crowds' voice quite like the focus on Reid’s range.

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Covering most of The Feelers classics in the first half. He was still yet to play Stand Up. As he was flicking through his songbook choosing what songs he’d do next, he eventually played the Kiwi anthem followed by Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven.

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Performing a collection of his all-time classics and new material such as his latest single Planet Nowhere, he wrapped up the night with The Traveller as an encore. Between both sets and after the show, you could find James Reid around Meow speaking to those who came for his music.

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Catch James Reid as he tours across New Zealand with his songbook. 

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Radio 13 thanks and credits Melany Barrington for all the images featured in this article. 

James Reid's songs in Meow

  • Larger than Life
  • One World
  • Arm
  • All Connected
  • Fishing for Lisa
  • Blue Skies
  • Weapons of War
  • Venus
  • Snake
  • The Fear
  • As Good As It Gets
  • Communicate
  • Space cadet
  • Astronaut
  • Pressureman
  • SuperSystem
  • Anniversary
  • No Need To Worry
  • Stand Up
  • Dear Anxiety
  • More Than I Was
  • No Horizon
  • Back To The Beginning
  • The Traveller
  • Little Known Facts
  • One Man Army
  • From Your Side
  • I Remember The Day
  • Planet Nowhere
  • Time Is Another Lover
  • Narrow Lanes
  • Sweet The Tempest
  • Something About Romance
  • Meet Me At The Troubadour
  • I Am Human

Covers

  • Rocketman
  • Crazy
  • With Or Without You
  • Can’t Always Get What You Want
  • Landslide
  • Alive
  • Jeremy
  • Black
  • Come Together
Written By: Melany Barrington