Is it worth driving almost 2.5 hours to Rotterdam. Spending a full tank of gas on it. Paying a whopping parking rate and driving back even longer (because of the fog), for a concert that lasted a little longer than an hour by Nadia Reid?
The singer-songwriter from New Zealand is currently touring Europe to promote her upcoming album (available online in March, see this link). She’s doing concerts at venues in the UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland.
I found her music, by accident, online at Soundcloud last year. Just like I found the music of Samantha Fish, David Philips, Aldous Harding and many others on Facebook, SoundCloud and Youtube. It’s the ultimate way to find new, fresh, real music.
The show was held at Vessel11, a boat in Rotterdam (see pictures). A very nice venue though it was a little too crowded in my opinion. Probably one of the smallest venues I’ve ever visited. Acoustics of the concert-location are great though. Perfect for singer-songwriters. And it’s the perfect place for smaller gigs of course.
Nadia seemed to be a little tired and that’s no surprise. She’s having a tight schedule but despite of this she gave a great vocal delivery of a selection of older and new songs. These songs are all original songs and written from a personal perspective on the things she’s gone trough.
Self-discovery doesn’t come easy. It’s usually a rite of passage to get burned before the wounds can heal and often takes a new perspective to truly understand yourself. 18 months and 10,000kms travelled since many needles first dropped on her debut LP Listen To Formation Look For The Signs, it’s safe to say with her second album Preservation, Nadia Reid now knows herself extremely well. (Press release)
Nadia’s work is released trough Spunk Records (http://www.spunk.com.au/artists/), the same company that distributes the music of Aldous Harding, also from New Zealand. Recently I’ve read in an interview with Harding that Nadia Reid and she were even roommates for some time. What are the odds finding two singer-songwriters on SoundCloud from New Zealand you both like so much and to find out they even had shared housing? So anyway — back on topic. The concert.
To my surprise she didn’t need to win over the audience. I had the impression most people already had seen or heard her before or, just like me, were following her on the Internet. Some around me even knew the words to many songs and softly sang along. All songs were received very well. Even a country’ish song that made my daughter (who joined me) not “that’s a little like the music you can hear on Spongebob”.. (no offence!). She was referring to the rhythm and guitar playing with over the top reverb. Creating that “Hawaiian feel”. I can’t remember the title of the song but it was the only one that didn’t really work for me.
In between songs Nadia told a little about the songs, what triggered her to write them. Mentioned her concert last year at Vlieland, shared a few personal things. I didn’t know what to expect from the live performance apart from the videos I’ve seen online. Songs that were played included Preservation, The Arrow and the Aim (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04s8ch7). The encore song was the one that got me hooked to her music. It was the first I’ve ever heard and I was happy she played it live: Holy Low (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwjnTp54qL0).
So — to get back to the question: was it worth the long drive to Rotterdam (and back), effort and money to go see Nadia Reid live? In one word: absolutely! I’m very glad I had the opportunity to hear and see her live and decided to go! My daughter was also impressed and we agreed that Nadia Reid is one hell of a talented songwriter and performer. Can’t wait to see her again, hopefully with a full band and perhaps in front of a far bigger crowd. She deserves it big time!
** This review is in English so my friends and the artists, in case they read it, can (hopefully) understand what I’m talking about.