The fruits of a purple patch by Madelaine Empson
Songwriter and raconteur Andrew London will debut his new show at Kapiti Playhouse in Paraparaumu on the 27th of May. In Songs I Wrote When I Was Cross, he’ll showcase his rowdy repertoire of satirical songs with his wife Kirsten on bass guitar, backing vocals, and lyric prompt duties.
London’s songs traverse politics and religion, social status and shopping, neighbours and small-town protocol. Comic gems include the tongue-in-cheek Let’s Go Out to a Concert and Talk, which pokes fun at audience members with bad concert etiquette. You know the ones: they’re fashionably late, they “move chairs around, let them scrape on the ground”, they “giggle and snort like the Duchess of York” while the band plays. Some ditties provide insight into the unpredictable, occasionally frustrating lives of traveling musicians, based on London’s experience of playing a thousand gigs from woodsheds in the back blocks of Kaponga to the board rooms of Queen Street and Lambton Quay.
Audiences who don’t talk through the concert will be thrilled to hear some brand-new songs born during a “purple patch” London had this year. More songs still have come out of the backburner since 2022, when London starred in a full-scale stage musical built around 25 of his songs by playwright April Phillips.
“It’s very flattering and humbling that anyone would write a show around my songs”, London says.
“Doing the musical did remind me of some songs I’d almost forgotten or side-lined, and the reasons I was motivated to write them.”
Described as “Flight of the Conchords for rest homes” by a Radio New Zealand technician, don’t miss witnessing one man “sing so many words, so fast, without swallowing his own tongue” this May.