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January 28 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm NZDT$20
You’d be hard pressed to find a musician with a more diverse recorded output.
In a career spanning over 20 years, Paul McLaney has released a remarkable body of work under various guises; the acoustic finger-style guitar and lush string arrangements of his solo work ‘EDIN’ ‘Diamond Side’; the ambient and experimental electronica of The Impending Adorations; prog-rock homage (Immram); the piano excursions of ‘The Old Traditions’ with Raashi Malik (“a highlight”); the Te Reo song settings of Shakespeare and an ever expanding body of composition for theatre and dance – over 30 productions to date.
Added to this are his collaborations; Anika Moa, SJD, Breaks Co-op, Julia Deans, Concord Dawn, Counterstrike, Fly My Pretties, Jeff Boyle (Jakob), Proteins of Magic, Magik Johnson, Eden Mulholland, Rhian Sheehan, Maisey Rika the list goes on and on…
He’s lost track of how many albums are actually out there, but it’s somewhere around the 30 mark. The unifying feature of all his work is that singular voice. “I’ve had everything from Bowie, Bryan Ferry, John Martyn, Chris Isaak, Scott Walker… my only thing about singing is conveying the emotion and doing it in tune…”
In regards to his diverse output McLaney explains, “My problem/strength (I’m not sure which, it’s probably both) is that by the time something is released I’m already on to the next thing. They’re all aspects of me. We all crave diversity; we’re all a conflicting mess of emotions and our appetites reflect that. It’s just that mine manifest in my music.”
At the heart of it all though is the acoustic guitar. “No matter where the song ends up, that’s generally where they start; on the guitar. One guitar in particular, one I’ve had since I was 16. I’d say 90% of the songs I’ve written have originated from that instrument.”
It is this instrument, his beloved K.Yairi, nicknamed Imogen (after John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’), that is front and centre of his new collection of songs ‘As The North Attracts The Needle’.
“I had just completed what will be the next Gramsci album with Devin Abrams (Pacific Heights) which is a very ambitious and sophisticated record, then subsequently, without any design or plan I found myself completing a bunch of solo acoustic songs. Getting away from computers altogether and only allowing myself an acoustic guitar, a pen and a notepad. Some of these ideas I’ve had since I was 13. The opening track ‘All It Takes Is Time’ is basically the completion of what I regard as my first ever composition.”
“The music of John Martyn, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Bert Jansch et al has been a constant in my adult life. The lone troubadour, a voice and self accompaniment. I see synchronicity between that sort of artist and electronic producers like Aphex Twin and Burial. Fundamentally one mind communicating.”
Community is at the heart of this album. “Music without empathy is just noise. As I was completing these songs I knew I wanted to personally take them out and perform them in intimate spaces up and down the country. Social Media creates a vicarious reality of community and I want to engage audiences in real time; again in that tradition of the troubadour.”
An ambitious national tour started in October. “Part of me doesn’t think it will conclude, I’ll just add more songs and more dates and keep going.”
There are 2 x 50 minute solo sets.