Spend An Enchanted Evening With Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams
Senior Writer
James is trained in classical/operatic voice and cabaret, but enjoys and writes about everything, from pro-wrestling to modern dance.

In 2021, with the world shut down, globally renowned New Zealand troubadour Marlon Williams toured his homeland extensively with his theatrical solo show, An Evening with Marlon Williams.

In June, following a few pandemic-thwarted attempts, Australian audiences will at last get a chance to witness this finely tuned set.

At just 33, angelic voiced New Zealand alt. country singer-songwriter Marlon Williams' resume is extensive: seven studio albums (solo and collaborative), two live albums, and over half-a-dozen big and small screen appearances, alongside stars like Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Russell Crowe.

For Marlon, the pursuit of novelty is a motivating factor. "Being able to change it up definitely feels like part of what keeps me interested in making music. Just being able to switch out the surroundings and see where it pushes me," Marlon says.

"It's always the case of the grass is always greener. I'd love to be able to try this thing solo and then I'd love to have a band."

After touring Australia's festival circuit last year, including Splendour and Adelaide's Harvest Rock, it's time for the green pastures of a solo tour, which will explore Marlon's early recordings, crowd favourites, and unreleased compositions.

"I'm going to keep the structure of how I ran the show in New Zealand, but I'm still in the spot of playing around with what's going to go into the final set list. I'm going to keep a fair part of it open to some audience interaction," Marlon says.

"I'm sure there'll be a few [requests] that will completely blindside me but I think generally if I can remember 60 per cent of it, then I can find some version that works. That's part of the fun and the risk too. I have no qualms about falling over in front of an audience either," Marlon says.

"I reckon there will be a good handful of new songs. Part of the fun is trying to slip them into the received oeuvre and let them take the place in the family. I really enjoy letting them speak to each other.

"It's R and D in front of an audience. You can discover things about a song just through the power of knowing people are perceiving it. As an artist I find it really gratifying to present new songs to an audience and letting them swim," Marlon says.

Throughout his career, Marlon has been compared to icons such as Roy Orbison, Elvis, and Leonard Cohen. The theatrical presentation of An Evening with Marlon Williams draws upon insights gleaned from his foray into acting as well as, perhaps, Leonard's tightly stage managed late-career live shows, which Marlon saw three times.

"I feel very lucky to have found a side door into the acting world. I try to let the two worlds [of music and acting] interpenetrate and learn from each other," he says.

"The thing that actors have is the ability to objectify themselves and I mean that in a neutral way; it can bring a certain mania along with it too. The ability to see from a third person what a world looks like.

"The lens is always somewhere in the picture for me now, which is fun thinking about in a positive way and for me it can be a real boon." On Cohen, Marlon says the live experience felt like he'd "become part of the club. You're now on the in. For an audience, that's a whole other world to be privy to."

With Australian audiences already eagerly snapping up tickets to Marlon's club, get in fast if you want entry into Marlon's world.

Marlon Williams 2024 Tour Dates

Thu 6 Jun - City Recital Hall (Sydney)
Fri 7 Jun - City Recital Hall (Sydney)* sold out
Sat 8 Jun - Anita's Theatre (Wollongong)
Wed 12 Jun - Open Season @ The Tivoli (Brisbane)
Thu 13 Jun - Open Season @ The Tivoli (Brisbane)
Sat 16 Jun - Odeon Theatre (Hobart)
Tue 18 Jun - Melbourne Recital Centre
Thu 20 Jun - Melbourne Recital Centre* sold out
Fri 21 Jun - Melbourne Recital Centre* sold out
Sat 22 Jun - The Sound Doctor (Anglesea, VIC)* sold out
Sun 23 Jun - The Sound Doctor (Anglesea, VIC)* sold out
Tue 25 Jun - Astor Theatre (Perth)
Thu 27 Jun - The Gov (Adelaide)* sold out
Fri 28 Jun - The Gov (Adelaide)

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