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Catching Live Marlon

Check our review of ‘Live At Auckland Town Hall’ by Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams – photo LTTL


By Rob Dickens

He looks like Valentino straight out of the boxing ring.

He sounds beautifully mournful, his vocals have grown up on Orbison or Isaak or Caruso but somehow refuse to be derivative, which is no mean achievement.

Just released, Marlon Williams treats us with his new album, Live At Auckland Town Hall (via Caroline Australia). It is a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2018 outing, Make Way for Love.

Williams spent the bulk of 2018 with an intensive seventy-date world tour. He returned home to New Zealand, performing two sold-out nights at the historic Auckland Town Hall with its 1500+ capacity. Possibly the relief of having that rigorous schedule behind him and being in front of the most adoring and biggest audiences of his career have brought the confident joy in his performance here, beautifully encapsulated in this twenty-one track, ninety minute package.

Live at Auckland Town Hall provide unequivocal corroboration to Williams’ ability to bedazzle us in the live setting as well as in the studio. I have never heard him sound better – go no further than his excruciatingly tender version of the late Lhasa De Sela‘s “Is Anything Wrong”. Other material include tracks from his self-titled debut, his latest album, the stand-alone single “Vampire Again”, and previously unrecorded covers of a diverse group of people such as Olivia Newton-John, Barry Gibb and Yoko Ono. Two standout live favourites are also here to savour – “Portrait Of A Man” (by Screaming Jay Hawkins) and the room-stopping “When I Was A Young Girl”.

Here’s a clip for “Carried Away,” filmed at one of the shows.

I bumped into Marlon in Nashville in 2016. He had just appeared on ‘Conan’ which exposure-wise was priceless. Since then, his trajectory has taken off and there’s no slackening in sight for this unique and accomplished artist.

Live at Auckland Hall tracklist:

1. Come to Me
2. I Know a Jeweller
3. Everyone’s Got Something to Say
4. Beautiful Dress
5. I Didn’t Make a Plan
6. The Fire of Love
7. Is Anything Wrong
8. Can I Call You
9. Dark Child
10. I’m Lost Without You
11. Nobody Sees Me Like You Do (digital & CD only)
12. What’s Chasing You
13. Party Boy
14. Carried Away
15. Vampire Again
16. Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore
17. Make Way for Love
18. Love Is a Terrible Thing
19. Goodnight (digital only)
20. Portrait of a Man
21. When I Was a Young Girl

Via Riot House Publicity

Check our review of ‘Live At Auckland Town Hall’ by Marlon Williams

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Author: Rob Dickens

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2 Comments

  1. I stumbled into Marlon Williams Live while killing time at Readings Book & Music store waiting for a friend last Sunday. It was playing on the in-house system and has since been on high rotation at home. It is superb.
    I first stumbled into Marlon Williams about 6 years ago when he was supporting Robert Ellis and Corey Chisel out at the Substation in Newport. I have been a fan since as he has evolved into a unique performer. This recording faithfully captures his outstanding live performance.

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    • Well that was a fortuitous visit to Readings! Well said on Marlon and the album – very glad there’s at least two of us in the MW Fan Club. The band on the record is The Yarra Benders and I neglected to mention how good they were.

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