birds of passage, The Unseen Mechanised Eye (Clarence Street)
Hide & Tallow, Rumpus Room, Inchworm (Nivara Lounge)
11 March 2016
March 11 was a big night for music in Hamilton, with a Fringe Festival gig at Clarence St Theatre followed by the Inchworm reunion at Nivara Lounge.
First up at Clarence Street were Birds of Passage. Over 60 were in attendance, ranging from the young to the old, and included a disproportionately high number of beards. With the audience sitting on the darkened Clarence St Theatre stage, rather than in the main theatre seating area, the two-piece performance featuring Alicia Merz (keyboards and occasional guitar) with Gareth Schott (guitar) played their ambient minimalist compositions with a backdrop of interesting visuals projected on a big screen. Overall, the seating placement, music and accompanying visuals made for an intimate experience, which the audience greatly appreciated. Next up were ‘The Unseen Mechanised Eye’, whose “minimal, droning avant-classical soundscapes” were based primarily around Rob Thorne’s traditional Māori instruments (taonga puoro). Their performance was both interesting and varied, although with the show unfortunately running later than expected, I needed to leave them early for my second port-of-call, Nivara Lounge.