WOMAD 2009 Featured Artist Shona Laing
WOMAD 2009 Featured Artist Shona Laing (NZ)
Brooklands Park & TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth
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Highly distinctive in sound, attention grabbing lyrically, Shona’s work endures and makes listeners stop and think. Since her first breakthrough composition ‘1905’ shot her to national fame as a teenager in 1972 Shona has been writing songs that have become part of the fabric of our lives. As a teenager she collected gold discs, Rata Awards and represented NZ (twice) in the Tokyo World Song Festival before relocating to the UK where, amongst other things, she was a member of Manfred Manns Earth Band.
Skinhead Shona returned from England in the early 80s saturated with the intensity of her experiences. She was in love with drum machines and hard-edged synthesisers. Injustice and abuse of power burned her, they always have.
Following her return to New Zealand Shona released a number of albums, as well as extensively touring Australia (Glad I’m Not A Kennedy was a number nine single there) and the USA.
More recently she has released a new album "Pass the Whisper". Shona says: "Some old songs are revisited including Kennedy and Soviet Snow. Other songs are as old but have only really found their place recently”. It is all played, acoustic guitar-based, with the colour of penny whistle, Northumbrian pipes, bhodran (the Celtic drum), acoustic upright bass, and brushes vocals.
Shona has an extensive catalogue of material that not only spans three decades but also continues to endure, and endures well.