Davidson in carnival mode

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MUSIC and film will intersect during New Zealand Arts Laureate Delaney Davidson’s homage to lost ways of storytelling, Magic Lightbox, at the Invercargill Brewery on Saturday, November 4.

Davidson’s performance, blending live music and film footage of dusty highways, old Europe, the “new world” of the United States (US) and New Zealand, will start at 8.45pm.

Davidson, who said he was “totally excited to be coming” to Invercargill, a special part of New Zealand and “a shining beacon of hope in the middle of” his 31-venue tour of the country, has synthesised a unique stage persona inspired by the songs of Hank Williams and the Birthday Party, together with the performance styles of Johnny Cash and Buster Keaton.

The guitar and harmonica have become his trademark, along with a small battered suitcase, a props table for his magic show.

He also loops sounds over each other to achieve an old-fashioned carnival tent sound.

Davidson’s lyrical content ranges from classic murder ballads to songs with a deeper insight into human frailties and a sympathy and acceptance of the quirks of life.

Arts On Tour NZ (AOTNZ) media liaison Diana Moir said Davidson was “much more than a musician” and able to really create an atmosphere.

Davidson had recently given a “very physical” performance as the devil in The Black Rider, a free theatre production in Christchurch.

“He was superb in that production, but “perhaps a little typecast” because of his “dark and brooding songs”, she said.

MASSAV Productions music and events promoter Blair Savory, who arranged for Davidson to perform at the Invercargill Brewery, said this act was perfectly suited to the venue.

“He is very rustic and a lot of what he does is refreshing and a little bit different.”

Forging an identity on the European tour circuit, Davidson had been part of the Voodoo Rhythm Family record label, of Switzerland, since 2003 and was building a name for himself in the US.

Fresh from a recent European tour, Davidson will be performing Magic Lightbox thanks to AOTNZ, an environmentally sustainable programme which organises tours of Kiwi performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand, enabling artists to travel to their audiences rather than the reverse.

Davidson, who was New Zealand Arts Laureate in 2015 and was awarded New Zealand Country Music Album of the Year in 2013 for Sad But True, the Secret History of Country Music Songwriting Vol One, a collaboration with Marlon Williams, has also been a three-time winner of the NZ Country Music Song of the Year Award and a finalist for the coveted NZ Apra Silver Scroll Award.

In 2011 he won the One Man Band Competition in Zurich, Switzerland, and in 2010 he won the Berlin Saddest Song Competition.

Tickets cost $27 and are available from the Southland Chamber of Commerce in the SIT Arcade, or can be purchased online at www.ticketdirect.co.nz. Booking fees may apply.

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