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When:

Fri 1 Feb 2008, 6:00pm

Where: Auckland Zoo, 99 Motions Rd, Western Springs, Auckland

Related Artists:

Rising star Liam Finn, named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of 10 artists to watch in 2008, performs on Friday 1 February and helps raise funds for a Wildlife Protection Unit in Sumatra's Bukit Tigapuluh National Park – home to endangered orang-utan, rhino, tigers, and a multitude of other wildlife.

What Liam says about his upcoming ZooMusic concert: "it's such a thrill to get to play unique shows like this one at the Auckland zoo. It's also a great way to help spread the word about the important work the conservation department are doing in Sumatra, and create more awareness of the devastation in this area of the world."

The front man of Betchadupa, Finn released his solo debut album I'll Be Lightning in July 2007 – which includes the singles Gather to the Chapel and Second Chance – to rave reviews, including being named in Rolling Stone's list of "10 artists to watch in 2008". The magazine is full of praise for his style of performance, calling him "a dynamic performer".
There are many, many ways to make good music. But, as musician Liam Finn has discovered, there's really only one way to make your first solo album.

First you form a one man band. This involves knowing how to play a variety of instruments, and sometimes several of them at the same time. This hasn't been a problem for Finn, member of Betchadupa and heir apparent to the Finn family's musical talent. He has recently given live audiences a bit of a thrill by singing, playing guitar lines, bass lines and the drums onstage at his solo gigs, with only a looping effects pedal for company.

Then secondly, you gather a bunch of suitably solitary compositions together. Finn has been writing the songs that will appear on this album, I'll Be Lightning, for the past few years while he and his band have been resident in Australia and the UK.

Then finally, once you've gathered twenty ditties together, you record them. Also alone. Finn spent two months at the beginning of this year in a central Auckland studio, Roundhead, playing, recording, engineering and producing his own album. "Mainly because I didn't want to compromise or collaborate," he acknowledges. "I wanted to record these songs the way I heard them in my head. And I had a very clear idea of how I wanted them."

Part of this had to do with what Finn describes as the sort of passion and raw enthusiasm musicians get when they're recording demo tracks – that is, when they're recording a new song – for the first time. "It's a pretty special feeling. But usually you don't record them well enough to convince anyone to release them. So I wanted to get myself into a situation where I could translate that special mood into a recording."

To do this, Finn also stayed away from anything digital or computerized, instead opting for old fashioned analog gear, including a vintage Nieve recording desk that The Who had once owned and a bunch of two inch tape. "It's like the difference between digital video and film," Finn explains. "There's just something you can't capture on computers."

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