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Nadia Reid – The Fulford Arms, York, 11/02/2017

Nadia Reid has come a long way. Not only has the Port Chalmers-based singer-songwriter travelled nearly 20,000 kilometres from her native New Zealand to be here in the United Kingdom (and taken a 29°C temperature hit in the process), her career is suddenly in the ascendency.

Seeping into the wider public consciousness in late 2015 with the release of her debut album, Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs, – its songs having taken the now 25 year old some seven years to write – Nadia Reid is about to drop its eagerly awaited follow-up, Preservation. The sold out signs are already appearing outside many of the venues on this European tour to herald the new album and a recent appearance on Marc Riley’s BBC Radio 6 Music session also points to her growing recognition and popularity.

Nadia Reid – accompanied by the excellent Sam Taylor on guitar – wastes no time tonight in introducing us to the new album by opening with its title track. It is a bold statement of intent, demonstrating Reid’s great confidence both in her songs and herself as a performer.  With its imperious combination of desolation and inner strength, ‘Preservation’ does bring to mind echoes of the doomed 70’s American singer-songwriter Judee Sill. Yet there is absolutely nothing tragic about Reid or her delivery. And as the set gently unfurls, loose connections with artists such as Jolie Holland of The Be Good Tanyas, Gillian Welch and Angel Olsen can also be made. But such idle comparisons are rendered futile. These musicians may well all share gender, play guitar and sing some songs, but ultimately Reid stands out very proud and tall as the most compelling of contemporary artists in her very own right.

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Tonight Nadia Reid treats us to a dozen songs, split almost equally between her two albums. Both records deal with the complexity of romantic relationships, the concept of love and the boundless possibilities it can afford us. Yet where Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs reflected upon the tumult of love and the melancholy of post-relationship breakdown, Preservation speaks of a much brighter future for Reid. It may well still be tinged with a certain sadness, but based upon the material we hear here tonight the songs on Preservation have been emboldened by the passage of time and the creation of a far greater emotional distance from the past.

Beautifully illustrated by the colour, eloquence and inflection of Taylor’s guitar, all of these songs come alive in a packed Fulford Arms tonight. Wrapped in a perfect melody and with its opening line “Richard liked the sound of his own voice”, ‘Richard’ may already have got Nadia Reid into a bit of trouble but it also shows her unerring ability to accurately observe human behaviour.  Responding to a request from the audience, Reid plays ‘Hanson St Part 2 (A River)’, a gorgeous reminiscence of a street in New Zealand’s capital city that she knows well. And she dedicates another new song – ‘The Arrow and The Aim’ – to local promoter Joe Coates (Mr Please Please You ) who she rightly describes as “a really nice man” and who for the third time in 10 days has put on a quite wonderful live music show.

The current tour travels round the UK before heading onto mainland Europe. Nadia Reid then returns to the Antipodes in March but will be back on these shores later in the year and is already scheduled to play the End Of The Road Festival in late August/early September. Full details of these dates can be found on http://nadiareid.com/

Preservation will be released on 3rd March 2017 on Basin Rock

Photo credit: Simon Godley

More photos from this show can be found HERE

https://soundcloud.com/hellonadiareid/richard

 

 

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.