TAMA WAIPARA: Sir Plus and the Requirements
By Kara Segedin
Aotearoa’s own Sergeant Pepper, Tama Waipara, mixes here the pomp and flourish of 1960s Brit-pop and Motown with a natural, pure Kiwi-ness. The ‘Sir Plus and the Requirements’ live show was part of this year’s Auckland Festival, and the album reflects the theatrical nature of a show – one so colourful it’s impossible not to get caught up in its fun spirit. It opens with the magical Golden Bullet, a catchy song with Beatle-esque harmonies, keyboards, and unexpected lyrics. Questions is a soulful, more modern track. Then Waipara perfectly captures 1950s doo-wop with Cruise and appears to be channelling Bowie for Hero of My Kind. Welcome to the Show is loungey, crisp and smooth, Bert Bacharach would be proud. Waipara’s delivery is effortless and the whole sound of the record fits beautifully, doubtless aided by the very high calibre participants. The album was engineered by Tony Moan, produced and mixed by Justyn Pilbrow at Waiuku’s Revolver Studios which would have suited perfectly. The arrangements are delightful with layers of sound and harmonies, and turned out beautifully by Waipara’s talent-dripping band. You can hear the influences of other eras, but the album is uniquely Waipara.