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  • Jia Sharma

Review: First Reserve | "Alice"

Updated: Jul 3

Words by Jia Sharma

If you have engaged with the Wellington music scene at all, I’m sure you have heard of First Reserve. Often spotted performing at San Fran, the singer and bassist has just released his latest single, “Alice”. Last week, San Fran hosted a release show featuring a thrilling performance by First Reserve, alongside supporting acts Keira Batten Coogan and Red Necklace. As someone who has seen both the openers multiple times, I can safely say that they never disappoint, successfully building the energy of the crowd and setting the stage perfectly for First Reserve's entrance.

"Alice" marks First Reserve’s third single to be released on streaming platforms. Written last year and recorded with Joe from Wet Denim, the song is based on a true experience and serves as a rejection of not feeling valid within your relationship. I’ve seen quite a few live performances by First Reserve now, and "Alice" is precisely the song I hoped they would release as a single. It was also the first song that resonated with me, and I was beyond excited by the idea of hearing a recorded version. The drums and guitar blend seamlessly with the vocals, capturing the same raw energy and authenticity as their live shows. The song’s infectious chorus, with the line “please don't call me again,” lingers in my mind long after the music stops.

The release show was one of the best experiences I’ve had at San Fran. I remember the way the energy raised more than I even thought possible when First Reserve appeared with his bass and signature eyeliner. What initially intrigued me about First Reserve was the combination of being a singer and bassist. When I asked about this, he explained a preference for playing bass over guitar, describing it as a sort of oxymoron. The singer is usually the focal point, while bassists often go unnoticed—a true injustice, I know. Luckily, when it comes to First Reserve, they are sure to capture the crowd. 

The audience sang along passionately to every song, and the excitement peaked when the recognizable opening chords of "Alice" echoed through the venue. The crowd’s reaction was overwhelming—everyone sang along to every word, creating an unforgettable moment. 

In addition to the single’s release on streaming platforms, fans can eagerly anticipate First Reserve’s first music video, set to debut within the month. The video promises a unique blend of creepy and comedic elements, making it a must-watch. But First Reserve isn’t slowing down—"Alice" is the final single before they move on to a full EP, set to release in a couple of months. 

Be sure to check out First Reserve and "Alice" on streaming platforms, and keep an eye out for the upcoming music video. They also have two upcoming shows: one on the third of July at Meow with Ani Saafa, and one on the first of August with Debt Club at Valhalla. I can promise you, a performance by First Reserve is not one to miss.


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