Musician returns to bow ’em over
There are few instruments more richly evocative than an electric violin. Think Vanessa Mae among others, including Nigel Kennedy, who have plugged in and bowed along.
And so has Graeme James. The ex-pat Palmy person was a regular local performer, busker, and street musician for the Art on Edge George St festivals. It was while he was in Palmerston North that he found a new musical direction.
‘‘I started playing violin when I was seven and I studied classi- cally for ten years. When I moved to Palmy I was really quite done with it all, and I ended up not playing for a long time. I had a bit of space musically but in that time I picked up a guitar and started exploring that side of things.’’
He also chanced upon a loop station at the RockShop. Now Graeme has a burgeoning career, adding vocals, beatbox, guitar, bass, ukulele and percussion. With a couple of recordings already under his belt, he is set to release an album of original music later this year.
As for his sound, the musician is ‘‘happy to steal the pretty, shiny things from any genre’’ with influences from folk, pop, country, celtic, gypsy, jazz and blues.
It’s perfectly epitomised in Graeme’s catchy single Alive, with its quirkily atmospheric music video put together by local filmmaker, Tim Hamilton, with whom he has collaborated before.
‘‘Tim kindly gave his time and skills and turned it into something that I’m super proud of.’’
While the video, with its unmistakable Manawatu backdrop, looks and sounds pretty good on YouTube, Graeme is appearing live on his Summer Island tour at Feilding Little Theatre on Friday night, a venue he perfformed at last year to a ‘‘fantastic audience’’.
‘‘It’s a cool place to play. It’s the best, I really like it. It’s one of those places that has a nice warm, community feel and it’s a lot of fun to play at.’’
He kicked off the tour in Stewart Island moving up both main islands with gigs planned for Waiheke Island, Great Barrier Island, White Island and across the ditch to Tasmania.
Graeme brings Feilding Little Theatre ‘alive’ this Friday at 8pm.
Former Palmerston North musician Graeme James is covering as many islands as he can on his summer tour