Boney M – Live @ The Bruce Mason Theatre, 2018
If someone said to play something we all know, any number of Boney M songs would immediately come to mind. They are one of those bands you grew up listening to if your parents had rhythm and soul.
WORDS BY KJ PANUI | PHOTOS BY BRAD HOLLAND
Having your Bruce Mason Centre cherry popped to the disco sounds of Boney M isn’t too bad. If I get anything from the venue about the man, it is that he was a real gentleman. The place makes you want to walk around with your pinky up. Bar service is quick and fast, the ushers have dressed accordingly and the seating is appropriately spaced. This is how the other half go to concerts.
Albi & the Wolves are the supporting act. Recent winners of the NZ Music Tui award for Best Folk Artist they are New Zealand’s version of Mumford and Sons. Close your eyes and feel the beat kinda stuff.
They got the call a week prior to perform and they were stoked. It was a good way to build up into what would be an energetic evening. Although I will say, when you’re fairly new to the scene not many will know your songs, so give it a couple of years before you ask the crowd to sing along.
I spoke to Chris Dent, aka Albi, after the show. It turned out that we had mutual friends in the music scene. If judging people by their friends is anything to go by, he is definitely a great guy. The only downfall from these guys was there were no actual wolves.
Waiting for Boney M is a chance to people watch. The crowd is diverse. Mainly 40 and over although I am not the youngest one. And there is a good vibe and energy to them without even getting through the doors.
There is only one lady who is dressed in disco style. Someone missed the memo, it was either her or the rest of the crowd. She is a sweetheart though. We call her Sandy.
Boney M are fashionably late and don’t come on when they originally intended. And no one minds. The background music playing is 80s classics and the crowd are living it up like a true garage party. Woman finger banging their hearts out, men fisting like they were at a 1080 protest, it’s all on. You can’t help but join in…especially A-Ha starts.
The lights finally dim and within seconds the band is onstage. They get the crowd amped and clapping along to the rhythm of Daddy Cool. A few seconds later and BOOM the eyes are bedazzled by the sequins that shoot from the sides that are Boney M and they start with a cracker “Sunny”.
The only original member, Maizie is looking gorgeous and youthful. Her posse really knows how to rock a crowd with their powerful voices and Carlton like dance moves. They played all the tunes to the original note. I think Bobby Farrell would have been impressed with his replacement. He is similar to Bruno Mars in his appearance, slick dance moves and questionable sobriety…the dude is just having way too much fun up there.
I was stoked to not know a song, which meant I had an opportunity to go to the wharepaku. You can get great reviews from the stalls. ‘This is probably the best concert I have ever been to!! That sounds bad right?’ ‘No way girl, c’mon let’s get back out there!’. Two ladies having the time of their lives.
They keep pumping out the classics like “Daddy Cool”, “Belfast” and “Ma Baker”. And they sound like the classics. The harmonies in “Malaika Nakupenda” make me think of ‘The Lion King’. The one that really blows it out of the park though is “No woman, no cry”. Amazeballs.
The girls go off for a costume change which gives us a chance to meet the band behind the instruments. Two keyboardists, a guitar, a bass and drums are all that are used to create such a soulful and electric sound. And the drummer is pretty good looking too.
When the ladies come back the sequins are still vibrant but of a different colour and they hit us with “Brown girl” and up the ante with some audience interaction. And when I say interaction, I mean having like a dozen or so fans up dancing on stage. One woman, in particular, was taking this opportunity as a chance to grind up on her idols. Twas quite a show!
They save the best for last and kill it with “Rasputin”. That is the jam. Sadly after only 11 songs they call it quits, not before coming back for one last song “Gotta go home” which is quite fitting. They get Sandy up on stage for a solo boogie and sign an album one of the guys at the front had thrown in the air most of the evening.
The only downer would be that one hour and twenty minutes is not enough when you are watching a band that has numerous classics. However, the atmosphere was definitely alive and energetic. For some in the audience that was just the right length to be home to grab a quick cup of tea before bed.
Another classic concert ticked off the bucket list.