The first time I heard the name ‘Tiny Ruins’ was in a cheap apartment in Rome.
It was our last night and a friend saw that she was playing in the centre of the city, at a bar called Black Market. We brought 750ml bottles of beer from the corner store and ran down cobbled streets. I skinned my knees.
And we drank red wine and I listened to Tiny Ruins for the first time, live.
A year later and very far from Rome, I saw Tiny Ruins, aka Hollie Fullbrook, play again, at Galatos, off K Road. And although Italy seems more romantic, I think this performance, which was to raise money for Women’s Refuge, was more magical. She wore a black velvet dress and school-girl shoes.
She played all of our beloved songs from ‘Brightly Painted Ones’ (a now much-worn record in our house) including my favourite, the haunting ‘She’ll Be Coming Round’ and a surprise Bob Dylan cover. We nudged through a relaxed and tall crowd to watch her float and sway to the waves of the music, seemingly unaffected by the awed eyes at her feet.
Nobody can deny the talent that is Tiny Ruins, the voice and beauty behind her soft spoken yet self-assured lyrics. But it’s her storytelling that’s the rare gift, tales from her childhood that she expertly weaves into a story, spinning straw into gold.
You can see Tiny Ruins play The Others Way Festival, Friday 4th September, on Karangahape Road.
In the meantime, listen to:
“That old free will might be a myth, but I’m gonna try and get me some”