Aldous Harding, The Powerstation, September 1.

Aldous Harding swept the audience under her wing the moment she took the stage, announcing her arrival with quiet plucks of her guitar.

When she began her set with The World Is Looking For You it was like she was playing to herself, alone in her room, rather than transfixing an audience.

That was until she broke the trance, her band starting up to support an upbeat and goofy performance of latest album title track Designer, complete with her shaking some maracas.

It was Harding's second sold-out show of the weekend at the venue and the conclusion of the New Zealand leg of her Designer tour. She donned a black hat and a brown top with matching pants, strands of her black hair peeking out and slicked on to her face.


To understand an Aldous Harding performance is to seek to understand the artist herself, and that is easier said than done. She brings quirks to her on-stage persona, whether a cheesy grin or a strange dance move, and her audience latched on to every single one like they were a direct translation of her inner thoughts.

There were no sing-alongs; people were there to listen and to absorb her talent. But there were still the token hecklers.

"I love you spooky b****," yelled one, a rather accurate term of endearment. "I think you're choice as," yelled another directly afterwards. Harding responded briefly before moving the show right along with a simple "alright my babies", and launching into Fixture Picture.

Perhaps the show would have been more suited to a theatre setting, where there wouldn't have been people pushing past to get back to their spot.

Before playing her single The Barrel, Harding requested the lights be turned up, revealing the spectrum of fans who packed the room. The audience age was, perhaps surprisingly, skewed to the middle-aged mark.

"It's your show now, how do you like it?" she teased, but in a lot of ways it was the audience's. They were the ones interpreting the magic of the artist before them.

When it was time for an encore, there was no boorish chant for "one more song". Instead, there was a comparably polite crescendo of cheering, the volume escalating until she returned for a beautiful performance of Heaven Is Empty.

Her band rejoined her for the final hurrah, teasing a new track called Old Peel. Bowing out for the night, it was clear Aldous Harding had just cast a very long spell. And the audience was happy to be bewtiched.