Wellington-based trio (and backing band for recent installments of Fly My Pretties) The Nudge smashed out an electric performance in celebration of the release their new single Dark Arts from their upcoming album of the same name at Whammy Bar on November 26. Jean Bell headed along.
While Whammy wasn’t packed to the rafters, it was certainly full of love for music. With the sound fine-tuned to appear textured and full, the experience was completed by a psychedelic light show created by an orb placed in the centre of the stage.
Lead singer and guitarist Ryan Prebble (Spartacus R) commanded the audience’s attention, both with his flawless playing skill and pleasantly raw vocals. James Coyle (Newtown Rocksteady) on synths was placed further to the back of the stage, but still his groovy bass and organ cords rang out across the room. Drummer Iraia Whakamoe undoubtedly stole the show, wowing the crowd with his heated instrumental drum jams, with his extended solo feeling like he was playing directly from his soul.
Where the set seemed to err towards becoming pure classic rock, sonic synths pulled the audience back into the depths of psychedelic blues.
Being seasoned performers, The Nudge seems to be able to deliver their older work with finesse and passion while remaining fresh. Their performance of new single Dark Arts was a little less polished than the rest of the set, but each track was effortlessly executed.
Overall, a standout aspect of The Nudge is the clearly relaxed dynamic between the guys and how professional their stage presence was. It felt less like a staged gig and more like watching friends jam together. Seeing an act live can feel like you are merely watching a band play – here however, the separation between band and audience felt non-existent.
The Nudge have perfected a fine balance between psychedelic rock and classic rock to create a niche sound that sounds impressive recorded and even better in person.