LITTLE BUSHMAN: Live In Concert With The NZSO
By Adam Burns
What an achievement. Little Bushman’s rootsy blend of psychedelia and blues riffery is taken to amazing new quarters by the NZSO in this live documentation. Composer John Psathas’ lush arrangements amplify familiar cuts from the Bushman’s ‘The Onus Of Sand’ and ‘Pendulum’, without over-extending the muscle of the orchestra; which is felt from Wellington to the depths of the Mangamuka Forest. Warren Maxwell seems to be on cloud nine throughout and why wouldn’t he be, strutting his stuff with the country’s musical elite in front of the Wellington Town Hall, leading the gig with comments like “You fulaz are too much, alright. Awesome!” and “This song is dedicated to mister Jimi Hendrix”. And on that particular track, drummer Rick Cranson’s cymbal tease and the orchestra’s string section build tension that you half expect to explode, like Bonham halfway through Dazed And Confused. I can only ponder over the possibility that the album is no match for being one of those fortunate enough to be there on the night. Either way this is essential.