60 seconds with Shane Abbott

What instrument do you play?

Keyboard.

Who are your musical influences?

Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, The Beatles, The Doors, Incognito, Split Enz, Crowded House, DIG, Herbie Hancock, James Brown, Jeff Buckley, Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Lior, Massive Attack, Portishead, Prince, Ray Charles, The Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai.

How do you describe The Tangerines music?

When explaining our brand of music to people I generally say “Folk Jazz” - I guess because of the acoustic yet experimental nature of the music.  It is so much more than that though.  There are so many influences at play it can be difficult to categorise.  The song ‘All Over Me’ is solid late-night jazz club whereas ‘Awakes The Mind’ is a sweeping ballad with a classic lilt.  

There within lies the fascination with writing and arranging for this eclectic mix of pieces.  For a musician this can be a rewarding challenge - a lot of bands have a very homogenous style where we are always pushing boundaries musically.

What was your first instrument?

My first instrument was a small Yamaha keyboard my parents bought me when I began to learn aged seven.

What can people expect when coming to see The Tangerines?

Hopefully something extraordinary - the music is so varied and the collection of people and instruments isn’t exactly conventional.  Rowena’s ethereal vocals along with her rhythmic mastery of the acoustic guitar are just one element that threads the rich embroidery of The Tangerines.  The presence of the double bass is a unique nuance and Paul doesn’t disappoint with an array of stylistic bowing and plucking. He revels in finding harmonics and hints of jazz inspired dischordancy.  Darren is a force of nature - his solos and soundscapes are the stuff from which the world was made.  The fullness of sound from his vintage guitar and amplifier is legendary - a virtuoso of layering and effect.

What album/artist are you listening to at the moment?

Having access to an amazing thing called ITunes these days and being able to stream a plethora of my collection randomly I generally let what I already have play out.  One artist I have been particularly drawn to lately though is Donny Hathaway - an unrivalled talent who got buried quite literally in the soul/ghetto groove movement of the seventies with an untimely demise.  His depression and subsequent suicide were at odds with such a capacity for songwriting and an alluring voice with comparisons to Nat King Cole and Stevie Wonder. 

What’s the first album you bought?

Sad to say being a child of the eighties - Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet.

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