Friday, September 21, 2012

"He's adorable like a puppy and a little boy rolled into one...."

Actually, Anthonie Tonnon of was a lot more than that. We put on our last houseconcert of the year, and truth be told, I wasn't sure how it'd all turn out. (Okay, truth be told, I ALWAYS don't know how it's going to turn out). For one, Tono doesn't perform music that you can dance to. We're sort of dancing fools in this town. He sings in a broad New Zealand accent about life in your twenties - about falling in love, the economics of being broke, the ghost of old girlfriends, etc. His "Skinny Jeans" is a primer on getting it on in the modern age.

But, I have been a fan for about five years - ever since I heard Graeme Downes sing Tono's praises on National Radio in New Zealand - ever since I wrote that quick note and bought that first release - and every release thereafter.

Matty said to me the night Tono and his friends arrived, "They get younger and younger each year." Babbo was so thrilled to be in the presence of the singer of his new theme song (ugh, 7 year olds wanting nothing but skinny jeans) - even more thrilled when said singer showed him a thing or two in soccer. I will always treasure the sound of Babbo squealing like a school girl and the sight of Tono in barefeet stealing the soccer ball time after time.

Turn out for the show was light (20-24). It was a school night. It's getting dark early. The twentysomething climbers in town are all broke. As always, the folks who came (and some aunties in particular) were very generous. The lights went down and we were blown away by the storytelling arcs, the lovely and touching and hilarious lines. I could hear folks chuckle as they listened through the veil of recognition. I could hear wee gasps when some line like this was sung:

One day I might be the mayor
And history has seen stranger things
It’s seen shrews grow wings
But no bat would exist
If mammals never leaped from trees
Following stupid dreams
Into the dirt face-first

AT and Karen took us to Rusty's, and Michael from Seattle, Karlya from Plimmerton, and Tono from Dunedin got a bit of that famous hometown hospitality. I even went. AT and I danced a few rounds of her jumping up in the air and touching the ground with our hands jig to Nick Cave. It was that fine of a night.