Acoustic guitars, harmony singing, occasional banjo, electric bass or percussion. Original songs, melodic and lyrical.
The Phil Corfield Band came together when John Sule (guitar, bass) and Jean Barkman (harmonies, guitar, banjo, percussion) expressed an interest in Phils songs. To date there is a catalogue of 170 songs. 'Too Far From Heaven, 'The Lion Is Loose' and 'Changes' were added to the set-list this year.
John and Jean arrange and orchestrate the songs. Both have long experience in bands, some going back to the early 70s when Jean played throughout N.Z. on the 'Brewery Circuit'. Jean is an award winning performer and plays some of her own songs in the duo 'Hummingbird'. Phil is an award winning songwriter and in 2014 was a finalist in the M.L.T. Songwriting Awards with the song 'Earnscleugh Road'.
Many of the songs are drawn from the land and the people of southern New Zealand and occasionally Australia. Others are more auto-biographical, exploring relationships, concepts of freedom, work, family, travel, states of mind. Creativity drives the band, whether constructing songs or performing on stage. It could be the evocation of a 'Roaring Forties' storm coming in from the sea over Colac Bay, or a narrative of life in the student area of North Dunedin.
There is a warmth and a love in the sound, an affection for the people and the places. New Zealand has a rich culture, seemingly as changeable as the weather. And yet there are identifiable threads from our past. And so, for instance, the 'ordinary joker' getting old before his time in Peter Capes 'Taumaranui', appears again in a new guise in the bands 'That's The Way That It Goes'. The ordinary can become extraordinary when closely observed.