Prince Bandroom tonight to celebrate the release of New Zealander Marlon Williams's debut eponymous album. Belinda and I arrived towards the end of Ben Salter's opening set, but the couple songs we did hear sounded good.
Marlon came out onto the stage solo and began the evening with an acoustic version of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." He then started to bring out his band The Yarra Benders along with singer Aldous Harding. The set was a mix of songs from his album and covers, which crossed a variety of musical styles from folk to country to bluegrass. Highlights included "After All," "Lonely Side Of Her," "I'm Lost Without You," "The Ballad Of Minnie Dean" and "Dark Child," which was done with Ben Salter.
Marlon has such an incredible voice with this Maori lilt to it that adds another dimension to his vocals. He finished the main set with my favorite track off the album, the barnstorming "Hello Miss Lonesome." For the encore he played "When I Was A Young Girl" solo on acoustic guitar, and then he and the band brought the house down with an impassioned cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "Portrait Of A Man" to finish the night. It was such a privilege to be able to see Marlon play live, and he has certainly earned all the acclaim coming his way.
Here's the video for "Hello Miss Lonesome" (warning NSFW):