2023 kicked off with a sprawling double-album masterpiece by The Veils entitled …and out of the Void Came Love, which remained my favorite album throughout that year. Vocalist Finn Andrews, after an injury kept him from the perpetual touring that had filled his previous 20 years, ended up taking that album, the Veils’ 6th, to an entirely different level.

Given the challenges of a New Zealand band touring the States, Finn performed a small U.S. tour of solo shows that found him at the City Winery in Philadelphia this past week. Playing with a piano and a single guitar on the stage, Andrews pulled from a generous collection of Veils’ songs, cover songs, and a few from his solo album. He opened on guitar with the raucous “Bullfighter,” and then moved to the piano with the very different, heavy vibe of “Rings Of Saturn,” both tunes from out of the Void.

The Veils | photo by Joe del Tufo for WXPN

Andrews shared interesting stories about growing up around music — his father Barry Andrews has long been the frontman for the band Shriekback, and also played keyboards with XTC — and about the challenges of being a new father himself. Andrews mentioned completing The Veils’ upcoming album which (frustratingly) will not be released until 2025. We did get a wonderful preview in the form of a track called “O Fortune Teller.”

For me, the highlight of the show was a raging performance of “Axolotl” from Total Depravity. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a solo performer shake the stage while playing piano, but his performance was visceral. For fans of the TV show Twin Peaks, this is the song The Veils performed at the Roadhouse in the final season.

The enthusiastic crowd stood for two encores, bringing a smile to Andrews’ face. First, we got a great version of Springsteen’s “State Trooper” (which interestingly replaced a cover of Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman” on the setlist),and then closed with the opening song from The Veils’ first album, The Wild Son.

Here’s to hoping we get Finn back with the full Veils band. Given the attention they deserve, I think they would find a strong following here on the other side of the world.

The Veils' Finn Andrews
City Winery
  • Bullfighter (Hand of God)
  • Rings of Saturn
  • Swimming With the Crocodiles
  • The Tide That Left and Never Came Back
  • Sun Gangs
  • O Fortune Teller
  • One by the Venom
  • Not Yet
  • Lullaby of London (Pogues cover)
  • Under the Folding Braches
  • Someday My Love Will Come
  • One Piece At a Time
  • Axolotl
  • State Trooper (Bruce Springsteen cover)
  • The Wild Sun