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Miss Bridget Walsh at Rogue & Vagabond

Miss Bridget Walsh returned to town with a new band for a low-key gig at Rogue & Vagabond.

by Mark Cubey

When I first met Takapuna traveler Bridget Walsh late in 2015 at my old coffee grounds of Mojo PWC (about to be transformed as all those WCC wallahs move into the building) she struck me as one of those indefatigable characters who would let nothing stop her as she pursued her musical goals.

She’d moved to London, formed the Electric Swing Circus combo, relocated to Birmingham (proper house for the same price as a crap room in London, with travel when you need it), and had all the entrepreneurial suss and artistic vision that grabs me where it counts.

I put her in the ring with Kim Hill on a Saturday Morning to kick off 2016, and it was good. (I always know when these things work, but when RNZ boss Paul Thompson endorses the work enthusiastically and unsolicited, it’s nice.)

So, here we are, two years down the line, with Miss BW and her three-piece band of guys (Londoner Lyle Barton on keys, French bassist Basile Petite, and Slovakian Radovan Brtko on drums) playing for free at Rogue & Vagabond on a Saturday night, and I’m thinking… life doesn’t get easier.

It was a chill night. There was an older guy roaming tables, fondling female nethers, with the women concerned seemingly happy to have their buttocks caressed. I’m sure they were all good friends. I caught up with a bunch of Weta workers, and a Weta wife, on a birthday bash. We talked about her home in Texas, and I tried to persuade her that Beto O’Rourke is going to kick Ted Cruz out of the Senate. Still hopeful.

Then the band came on.

A woman to my right in a perfect post-VWOAP comment, described Bridget Walsh’s hair as “so Beth Brash”. And it was.

The band had flown up to Auckland from Christchurch that morning, then driven down to Wellington. Tour madness.

Didn’t seem to matter as they sashayed their way through a mix of downbeat originals and bold covers chosen for the Saturday night crowd (Michael Jackson, Bill Withers…) with a casual elegance that spoke to accumulated hours of earned stage confidence.

It was a lot of fun, especially once the women at the front cleared out the guys on stools at stage front, to make room to groove.

But no one’s getting rich here. It’s all about the long game.

Catching up with Bridget Walsh after, I heard about her EP plans and suggested she contact the Afternoon producers at RNZ, who are always looking for great music for the First Song segment with Jesse Mulligan. She lured, they bit.

Here you go.  Jesse had no idea about what “Tom Riddle” might denote. Shame.