This weekend I had a brand new experience - I went to an album launch party.
Held in a fairly well known pub in town, the evening comprised of the band playing through the songs on the new album, and then some socialising while the CD played in the background.
Knowing the kind of music one of the band members plays (he's a friend of mine), I really wasn't sure what to expect but went with an open mind. And it was fantastic!
Paul Symons is an incredibly talented songwriter and musician, and every song was a hit with the audience. He had a few anecdotes to share about the lyrics of some, and many had a lot of truly 'kiwi lifestyle'' references in them - which made the music have a comfortable, familiar feel, even though the songs had never been heard in public before. There were some clear influences in the music - shades of Greg Johnson set, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson - but the music was still unique and easy to listen to.
The band comprised of a drummer, steel guitar, double bass and Paul on acoustic (and sometimes electric) guitar. All amazing musicians in their own right, and an absolute winner as a band. How wonderful if this album was to be released widely in NZ and get airplay on some of the commercial radio stations.
You can find out more about Paul here: http://www.spaceman.net.nz/