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Gin Wigmore, New Zealand Singer, Brings Her Sassy Sound To The UK (INTERVIEW)

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It's not every day you enjoy the support act more than a gig's main attraction. But when I saw American pop rock band Train at their sold out Hammersmith Apollo concert last Friday, sassy show opener Gin Wigmore was who I wanted to hear more from.

The packed out venue cheered along as the singer/songwriter from New Zealand, who's achieved huge success in her homeland and is now over in the UK to crack Europe, shimmied around the stage in a casual grey tee and shorts.

Her small stature may make her look cute, but after she'd played an energetic 40-minute set tinged with a bit of rockabilly and culminating in her biggest hit, the spirited 'Oh My', it became clear this is a girl with attitude too.

Earlier in the week, I spoke to Wigmore on the phone, shortly after she'd arrived in "freezing" London, ahead of the release of her second album 'Gravel & Wine', a record that is already double platinum in NZ.

gin wigmore

It wasn't the first time the 26-year-old had visited the UK. In fact, just last year she flew over to Shepperton Studios to film alongside one Mr Daniel Craig. Wigmore's song, 'Man Like That', was chosen to feature prominently in the Heineken commercial tied to the latest 007 flick 'Skyfall' and she was asked to make an appearance in the ad. She was - as she put it - "stoked".

Talking about handsome Bond star Craig, she said: "I didn't get to speak to him, he was probably about a few metres away at all times. He was very Hollywood, stayed for about two hours, did his thing and then left, so it was all very professional on his part."

gin wigmore

Another of her tracks 'Black Sheep' has also made waves in the beverage community, thanks to its inclusion in Guinness Black Lager ads. But it is a coincidence that her name is that of one spirit usually mixed with tonic.

As for her own alcohol tastes, Wigmore prefers a "glass of white wine" and "a shot of tequila" before a show. This is tame compared to her teenage years...

"I was a horrible little bitch at 14 years old. I was angry with everything, particularly at my mum. I was mean and I made everything hard for her, sneaking out and smoking weed, getting cheap booze and getting tattoos on my back."

I ask her how her tearaway years influenced her music: "I think it makes you really open, nothing really fazes you. I'm very comfortable and can adapt in most situations, which is good in the music industry as you see some pretty crazy sh*t sometimes...

"It teaches you to be open and independent and you've learned from lessons, so you kind of know your boundaries and don't have to test it in your twenties. You kind of know your limits."

Wigmore, who has played "hundreds and hundreds" of shows over the last six or seven years, says her mum "is like 'thank God you amounted to something more than a supermarket checkout girl.'"

Wigmore explained her favourite thing is "playing shows", something that shines through in her Hammersmith appearance. She was less enthusiastic about top tens: "F*ck, to be honest I don't care about the charts."

It's something her fans appreciate and Wigmore's affection for them was clear as she recalled the time a 75-year-old couple waited for her to get off a bus so they could serve lemonade pitchers in return for an autograph.

"I think they were my oldest fans, and then there's been 4-year-olds coming with their parents to these all-ages gigs. The coolest thing is they are such nice people. I've got some real diehards down in New Zealand, I look after them and make sure they always get tickets."

Wigmore's album, which she described as "a very eclectic record. It's got some rock n roll, some soft fragile moments soundtracks for a breakup, it's righteous and also rebellious", is out now and you can take a listen to her lastest single below. Does Gin suit your taste?

Gin Wigmore - Man Like That from Richard Bell on Vimeo.

Around the Web

| Gin Wigmore

Gin Wigmore - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gin Wigmore - Man Like That - YouTube