There are music collectives and then there are Fly My Pretties. There are very few bands in the world that could match the talent and size of the Kiwi group, who currently are at fifty members. For their current tour around New Zealand, however, “only” fourteen made the trip.
Their stop in Wellington on Sunday was a special event. For starters, many of the members are from Wellington, so it was a homecoming of sorts. Second, in typical Welly fashion, the weather did not cooperate, forcing this picnic-mode, family affair to relocated indoors at the TSB Arena. While we weren’t able to enjoy the sun or the starlit sky, the advantages of moving indoors were obvious – better light show, better sound, and even a more intimate setting.
While we’ve long known FMP are different from many collectives, their live show truly exhibits the band’s versatility, diversity, and collaborative spirit. Instead of focusing on one sound and approach, each member’s talents and personal styles are allowed to flourished, such as Ills Winter‘s stark mixture of ambient and indie rock or Ria Hall‘s beautiful blend of neo-soul and classic pop. The band’s chameleon-like sensibility is a testament to the leadership of Barnaby Weir, who has been the driving force behind the band and who adds his own alt-country and southern-rock flavour.
Veterans of the NZ music scene are given the opportunity to shine and share their distinct sound, such as Tiki Taane and Bailey Wiley. The newcomers, such as Miloux and A Girl Named Mo, too, have made their mark on the band, and one does not have to look beyond the spectacular “Mud and Stardust”, arguably the most breathtaking and scintillating number from Fly My Pretties’ latest album, String Theory. The song – an experience into the cosmos – was conceptualized by A Girl Named Mo, and witnessed live it was sensational. Then there is the multi-talented Laughton Kora, who at times stole the show with his vast guitar skills, facial expressions, and infectious personality.
The show was three hours long with a 20-minute intermission. To describe in detail every song and moment would be immensely difficult. There is one thing we would say – anyone who has a chance to see a Fly My Pretties show should not hesitate. Their concerts are musically rich and a trip through time and space; their talents are extraordinary; and despite being stars they made the event feel like they were playing in someone’s home.
The photo essay provided below is by Dan Robinson. Words provided by Ben Yung
Fly My Pretties on tour included: Barnaby Weir, Bailey Wiley, A Girl Named Mo, Ills Winter, Miloux, Ria Hall
Iraia Whakamoe, James Coyle, Jarney Murphy, Laughton Kora, Mike Fabulous, Nigel Patterson, Ryan Prebble, and Tiki Taane.
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