I'm overcome with an urge to quip about a phoenix rising from the proverbial ashes. Jokes aside, there is something novel about an indie rock band being solicited to render its repertoire on a symphonic "scale" (an event all the more improbable when the band in question is Wellington's The Phoenix Foundation and the orchestra is our preeminent NZSO).
And yet anyone who has heard The Phoenix Foundation perform live knows well enough that their soundscapes have been courting an orchestral texture — a bigness, a panoramic something, amplified by a pastoral longing — from the outset. In this way, the upcoming collaborative concert, which will mark The Phoenix Foundation's 20th anniversary, promises to be anything but inapt.
Helmed by founding members Samuel Scott, Luke Buda and Conrad Wedde, The Phoenix Foundation has mastered an unpretentious and laconic lyricism that, to my ear, recalls the cadences of Frank Sargeson's and John Mulgan's writings (or, more evocatively, the Kiwi pleasure of consuming a pie, idiosyncratically, though not unreasonably washed down with a bottle of craft beer). If that sounds like your jam, be sure to secure a ticket pronto.