Sunday sessions a great start to New Zealand Music Month

New Zealand Music Month launchThe first day of New Zealand Music Month in Christchurch delivered atmosphere in spades. The Eastern’s  gig in Heathcote was at the unpromising venue of St Mary’s Church Hall. When I got there however, I found chairs set up in a lovely sheltered garden and The Eastern playing their own brand of  folky alt-country music on the deck. The audience of about 70 arrived on foot, with children on scooters and bikes, the sun shone, the roses bloomed, and the children danced on the grass or lay on blankets and ate their picnic food. It was the perfect way to spend a fine autumn afternoon.

The evening launch at New Brighton Library began while the audience was still arriving. The eerie sound of Silencio’s original music filled the room, inspiring looks of curiosity and wonder. The musicians were spread around the room playing everything from hollow tubes to kitchen sinks, suspended from the ceiling (sounds awful I know, but it was amazing).

Once the capacity crowd was settled, Marlon Williams of (Unfaithful Ways) entertained with some country numbers. Williams, who was also a guest with The Eastern, has a particularly true voice, which develops a special distinction when harmonising with others and his collaborations with Lawrence Arabia were outstanding.

The big star of the night was Lawrence Arabia , formerly of the Brunettes, who delivered his eccentric, twenty-first century twist on sixties music with aplomb. His stunning guitar playing took the music to a new level. The audience obviously knew a lot of his music already and received him with enthusiasm.

There’s more fun to be had over the next few weeks – check out the events on the library website

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