Pop Vulture tour brings Nation to Gisborne

POP VULTURE: Electro-pop-funk-soul band Nation members warm up for their feelgood, dance-your-feet-off gig at the Dome on Saturday as part of their Pop Vulture tour.
Picture supplied

THE gold-hazed sensuality of summer invoked by Coke and Corona TV ads dives like a dolphin through pop-funk-soul band Nation’s most recent album Pop Vulture.

The album and title of the tour that brings Nation’s feelgood, endless summer groove to Gisborne on Saturday are a good fit for the radio-, stadium- and Dome-friendly four-piece made up of musicians from a wide range of backgrounds.

Drummer Marcus Gurtner is studying at jazz school while guitarist Ngarewa “Nag” Reid and bass player Dhanesh Pamar are “pretty into metal”, says singer-keyboard player Miharo Gregory.

Soul, fun and pop

“We dip our beak into various genres.” As the album title Pop Vulture suggests.

“We go through a journey of soul, fun and pop. That happens naturally.”

Gregory and Reid met and jammed together regularly while studying music in Invercargill.

“We hadn’t discussed what direction to take,” says Gregory. “That was quite organic. When we became a group the songs made themselves.”

Nation packs a lot of sound into its songs.

The album has a subtle but distinctive Pacific flavour.

Along with Jamiroquai, Gregory cites the godfather of soul, James Brown, and the electronica-soul-drum and bass pop of New Zealand band Six60 as influences on the band’s sound, while in his vocals is the mellifluousness of Che Fu.

Pop Vulture

Pop Vulture’s first track Voodoo opens with bell-like keyboard notes, the sea sound of a cymbal swish, then the classic funk soul guitar break that announces the band’s sound and has inspired some to call Nation New Zealand’s answer to Jamiroquai.

A jazzy riff that mixes with fuzzed-up heavy metal chords almost takes the prog-rock road but there’s no time to think about it. Nation are all about dance-ability (and musicianship) and the song moves along pretty quickly with some forest bird sounds from the keyboard.

An evocative 48 second interlude called Dawn follows with a nightclub keyboard pulse opening backed with the subtle sound of crashing waves. The building chords suggest the rising sun, there is a quiet smattering of tui song, a pause and then we’re away into the full early morning sunburst of Summer.

“I’m drifting away/ away with you/ we’ll watch the world slip out of view/ like sand and sea we’ll crash between tides high and low tides high and low/drinking summer wine/ Winter we’ve enjoyed but I can’t wait for summer.”

THE gold-hazed sensuality of summer invoked by Coke and Corona TV ads dives like a dolphin through pop-funk-soul band Nation’s most recent album Pop Vulture.

The album and title of the tour that brings Nation’s feelgood, endless summer groove to Gisborne on Saturday are a good fit for the radio-, stadium- and Dome-friendly four-piece made up of musicians from a wide range of backgrounds.

Drummer Marcus Gurtner is studying at jazz school while guitarist Ngarewa “Nag” Reid and bass player Dhanesh Pamar are “pretty into metal”, says singer-keyboard player Miharo Gregory.

Soul, fun and pop

“We dip our beak into various genres.” As the album title Pop Vulture suggests.

“We go through a journey of soul, fun and pop. That happens naturally.”

Gregory and Reid met and jammed together regularly while studying music in Invercargill.

“We hadn’t discussed what direction to take,” says Gregory. “That was quite organic. When we became a group the songs made themselves.”

Nation packs a lot of sound into its songs.

The album has a subtle but distinctive Pacific flavour.

Along with Jamiroquai, Gregory cites the godfather of soul, James Brown, and the electronica-soul-drum and bass pop of New Zealand band Six60 as influences on the band’s sound, while in his vocals is the mellifluousness of Che Fu.

Pop Vulture

Pop Vulture’s first track Voodoo opens with bell-like keyboard notes, the sea sound of a cymbal swish, then the classic funk soul guitar break that announces the band’s sound and has inspired some to call Nation New Zealand’s answer to Jamiroquai.

A jazzy riff that mixes with fuzzed-up heavy metal chords almost takes the prog-rock road but there’s no time to think about it. Nation are all about dance-ability (and musicianship) and the song moves along pretty quickly with some forest bird sounds from the keyboard.

An evocative 48 second interlude called Dawn follows with a nightclub keyboard pulse opening backed with the subtle sound of crashing waves. The building chords suggest the rising sun, there is a quiet smattering of tui song, a pause and then we’re away into the full early morning sunburst of Summer.

“I’m drifting away/ away with you/ we’ll watch the world slip out of view/ like sand and sea we’ll crash between tides high and low tides high and low/drinking summer wine/ Winter we’ve enjoyed but I can’t wait for summer.”

Nation performs at the Dome on Saturday at 8pm, as part of their Pop Vulture Summer Tour. Tickets $10 from eventfinda and at door.

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