Reviewed by Jan Lowe
February 16  2010

Although only one performance was planned, keen public interest meant that locals were able to go to a second concert by Canadian singer, Jane Siberry at St. Peter`s Church hall, Paekakariki last week.
Jane Siberry came on stage to perform, – red turbaned, theatrical, effusive and with vibrant stage presence.
Her rich mezzo-soprano voice, more often than not, lyrical, – brought out the story in each song.
Siberry sang to piped music, or with her guitar and at times while playing the piano.
She said she adapts her music to the audience and the energy in the room. All her songs are about things she has seen and her experiences in life that have moved her to write about them.
It was difficult to pigeonhole Siberry`s genre, a hint of jazz, sort of soul, spiritual at times, not really pop, a glimpse of folk……………..definitely interesting!
She wants, through her music, to encourage people to be in touch with each other ……”to create togetherness and dispel separation”.
There was a flash of humour when a small boy was waiting to cross the floor in front of the stage to get to his seat. Siberry was singing at the time, but changed the words of her song to tell him, “not to wait or worry, just go across now” – and didn`t miss a beat!
The audience was spellbound throughout and obviously delighted with the concert, which opened with singer Monique Rhodes.
Monique, a New Zealander living in France began the concert with a medley of her own songs written in the 1960s style of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.
Her voice filled the hall or dropped to almost a whisper as she sang her songs to the accompaniment of her guitar. Each song came with an anecdote and message, including one dedicated to the people of Tibet, after meeting the Dalai Lama.
Another song was written for a Texan prisoner on death row, who was executed, despite a campaign to spare him. After his death Monique wrote to other prisoners on death row, calling them the forgotten people.
At the concert’s conclusion there was a surprise in store for Siberry………
A Haka had been arranged, because she had not seen one. Nikau and Matiu Te Huki and Toa Waaka gave a performance that will be remembered by Siberry forever. She watched with a mix of fear, fascination and uncertainty but “greatly appreciated the gift given to her.”
The audience showed it`s appreciation for the concert with prolonged applause. – One woman had gone the first night and taken her daughter with her for the second.
Shar Cullinane, from Paekakariki, said she cried tears of joy and was deeply touched at the heartfelt beauty of Siberry and her message.
The last word goes to Lee Hatherly, another Paekakariki resident, and formerly a member of Hen’s Teeth performance group, – ” Awesome, wonderfully challenging and edifying and nice to see it locally in Paekakariki.”

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