Mu­si­cian re­turns to bow ’em over

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

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.

. PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

For­mer Palmer­ston North mu­si­cian Graeme James is cov­er­ing as many is­lands as he can on his sum­mer tour

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