17th April, 2016

Hamilton Falls in Love with Judith Durham


Just three shows into her ‘Farewell New Zealand’ tour, Judith (pictured here with her pianist, the awesome David Cameron) received this amazing review from Sam Edwards in the ‘Waikato Times’:

There was a rare poignancy in the air, and in the music and the lyrics, as Judith Durham stood on a modestly set and lit stage and sang, at the end of the performance, This will be our last goodbye, Though the carnival is over, I will love you til I die.

The fully-entertained audience stood, and the standing ovation was a tribute to the honesty of the music, her interpretation of the lyrics, and the unfailing commitment Durham has to their best expression.

We had heard some unexpectedly unfamiliar numbers, as well as such sing along tunes as Morningtown Ride – to which the audience did.

This, however, was no populist concert.

This was a remarkably honest and moving performance, entertaining, to be sure, but with an atmospheric and emotional depth rarely experienced in the contemporary climate of pop for profit.

Durham, with an unwavering focus, sang of relationships, the tragedy of loss, the excitement of passion, the security of love, and the essential humanity of knowing and understanding ourselves as well as others.

Her optimism was boundless despite her understanding of grief.

The range of acts was a delight. At one stage she turned to classic blues, accompanied by spectacular jazz riffs from her pianist, David Cameron of the lightning energised fingers.

On another she reinterpreted the familiar old hymn Amazing Grace made popular with Kiwis through Howard Morrison.

The vintage wine which is Judith Durham was bottled in the sixties. Five or so decades later, the bottle is the same, albeit a little dustier, but the wine has matured. Magnificently.

She recognised, and enjoyed, the importance of being there, and at one stage made the comment to us, the audience, what would we do without live theatre? Live theatre indeed.

It opens doorways to that …new world somewhere… where we can find previously unimaginable ideas and create imaginings. Ah, my dear Durham diva, there may be others who are powerful musos, and they may be, in their own ways, memorable, but I’ll never find another you.

The late afternoon performance had an ambience which could not possibly be communicated by the manipulated sterility of a compact disc, or even a recording of the concert itself.

It allowed Durham to demonstrate a voice which had a timbre different from that remembered from sixties Seekers songs, and an enjoyment of the role and a delight in the audience which was palpable.

She sang singable songs, lyrics lit by beautifully sensitive minor movements, rousing rhythms, and memorable melodies, and they moved some patrons to tears and laughter in the same moment.

The main driver for modern commercial music is never to offend the listener by evoking emotions or ideas which may be real or disturbing.

Durham both entranced and disturbed – in the most provocative way, but also with a sense of the vision of real poetry and the illuminating power of genuine emotion.

The crass offensiveness of so many current lyrics which pass themselves off as poetry and social comment had no place.

They are offensive merely because they are crude, empty frothings accompanied by a simple, pounding rhythm.

Durham, this afternoon, provided a perfect antidote.
There are still 9 shows to go!:


Thu 21 BLENHEIM ASB Theatre

Sat 23 CHRISTCHURCH Isaac Theatre Royal

Sun 24 TIMARU Theatre Royal

Tue 26 INVERCARGILL Civic Theatre

Thu 28 DUNEDIN Town Hall

Sat 30 NAPIER Municipal Theatre


Sun 1 PALMERSTON NORTH Regent on Broadway

Wed 4 TAURANGA Baycourt Theatre – 2 Shows*

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6th October, 2016
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Judith’s ‘Live In London’ CD Moves To No. 16!

2nd May, 2016
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