The Killers bring Vegas to Christchurch

On Tuesday night at a sold out Horncastle Arena, the Killers took the stage in the most spectacular, Vegas-style fashion. They started off with their first single Mr Brightside (cue several audience members paying up on their bet that this would be the last number), the audience got to their feet, and remained there for the rest of the night. Immediately after, the arena went dark, a fantastic show of lights began, and the band launched into a fantastic repertoire of old favourites’ like ‘Human’, and ‘Read My Mind’, along with some great new songs such as ‘The Man’ and ‘Run For Cover’.

Brandon Flowers owned the stage, firstly in a fabulous pink jacket, then in the most glittering of gold suits that Elvis himself would have envied. If you were worried you wouldn’t be able to hear the show over the loud suits – never fear. Brandon Flowers voice was as powerful and on form as ever.

He was also backed up with a great band including 2 guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and 3 backing vocals. To be very technical about it, the noise was loud, and the Killers sounded bigger and better than ever. There were some great touches of flamboyancy too with giant confetti and streamers pouring from the ceiling at a couple of opportune moments. The band seemed to be stoked to be there, and Brandon Flowers smiled, pranced, and made love to us all. He said it had taken fourteen years for the band to get to Christchurch but assured us  it wouldn’t take that long again. The entire audience will no doubt hold him to that.

The programme was truly packed, and pauses for applause were very small, almost as though the band were worried we wouldn’t applaud. There was a nice hat tip to Kiwi music, with a rendition of ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and the band went out with a true bang, on ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’.

Not all of the Killers were there as guitarist Dave Keuning has left touring to spend more time with his family, and bassist Mark Stoermer has likewise paused touring to take up study (as my brother in law observed, this is ‘in true rock star fashion’). How unusual is it to hear of rock stars halting their careers not for rehab reasons but rather for study and their bubs? This is just another reason to love this band. Brandon Flowers in particular just comes across as a heck of a nice guy, thrilled to bits that you’re having a good time.

If you’re gutted you missed the concert, well, this blog probably hasn’t helped. Happily though, the library does have plenty of Killers albums you can borrow, and like Brandon Flowers said, it won’t take fourteen years for the group to come back. Judging by the love for Brandon Flowers bursting from fans on Tuesday night, the group are no doubt aware that Christchurch has already started the countdown.

Digging up the past

New Zealand Archaeology Week runs from 28 April – 6 May, with events up and down the country, including an exhibition courtesy of Underground Overground Archaeology at our own South Library called Pubs of the Past: the archaeology of Victorian Christchurch Hotels, so this seems like a good time to mention some of the archaeological books, magazines, and other resources that you can find at Christchurch City Libraries.

Books

The Library has thousands of books and eBooks about archaeology for both adults and children. Because archaeology lies at the interface between art, history, and science, books on this subject can be found in several different places among our non-fiction collection, so if you’re having troubling finding what you’re looking for, then ask a librarian for help.

Here is a list of a few of my personal favourites that have recently been added to the library’s shelves, including some fiction that features archaeologists as characters…

Archaeology

List created by robcruickshank

Books about archaeology and archaeologists for adults and children, including both fiction and non-fiction

The 50 Greatest Prehistoric Sites of the WorldCover of The 50 greatest prehistoric sites of the world – A guide book to archaeological sites

A’a – The fascinating story of a Polynesian artefact, now in the British Museum, that became an inspiration for Picasso

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes – The consequences of an archaeological hoax come back to haunt the characters of this 1956 novel

Built on Bones – What happened when we started to live together in cities? – the archaeological evidence

Cover of Cigars of the PharaohCigars of the Pharaoh – A classic!Cigars of the Pharaoh

The Incredible Cabinet of Wonders – Not just archaeology, but I love this children’s “lift the flap” bookThe Incredible Cabinet of Wonders

Keeping Their Marbles – The uncomfortable story of how archaeological objects from around the world were acquired by western museums, often by coercion and theft

Cover of A little history of Archaeology by Brian Fagan

A Little History of Archaeology – Stories of some of the great archaeologists and what they found – one of the “Little Histories” series

Lost in A Pyramid – Twelve tales from the golden age of the mummy story, collected and published by the British Library

Mayan Mendacity – The second mystery for Dr Elizabeth Pimms, archaeologist and librarian – sequal to Olmec Obituary

My Life in Ruins – What is it actually like to be an archaeologist?

Cover of The quest for ZThe Quest for Z – A delightful retelling for children of a doomed expedition to find a lost city in the Amazon jungle

The Story of Tutankhamun – A beautifully illustrated book for children about perhaps the most celebrated of ancient Egyptian pharaohs

View Full List

Magazines and eMagazines

The magazine Archaeology is available both as a hard copy and as an e-magazine through RBDigital. Check out the January/February 2018 edition for an article called “New Zealand’s First City, Uncovered”, which tells the stories of the early European colonists of Christchurch through some of the artefacts found among the rubble in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes, as well as presenting evidence of earlier occupation by Māori dating back as far as 1250 AD.

We also have many other general science and history magazines that include articles about archaeology, such as All About History, BBC History Magazine, DiscoverSmithsonian Magazine, etc., in both hard copy and digital formats. Check out the library catalogue for details.

eResources

A library card gets you free access to a huge number of electronic resources that contain information about archaeology, many of which can be accessed from home. The best way to find out about these is to log on a take a look. In particular, you might want to check out some of these:

These are in addition to our extensive collection of eResources about local and family history. If you are a Christchurch resident, but not yet a member of the library, you can join online, with the option of a digital only membership if you just want access to our online resources.

Other places of archaeological interest in and around Christchurch

Fans of Egyptology should check out Tash Pen Khonsu, an Egyptian mummy on display at Canterbury Museum. For those with more classical tastes, the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, run by the University of Canterbury, is well worth a visit. This relatively new museum opened in May 2017 and is located in the recently refurbished Arts Centre on Level 1 of the Old Chemistry Building at 3 Hereford Street. It is currently closed, but will re-open during New Zealand Archaeology Week on 5 May with an exhibition called “Beyond the Grave: Death in Ancient Times”.

More information about archaeological sites in Christchurch can be found on the websites of Christchurch City Council and Heritage New Zealand (formerly known as the Historic Places Trust), which has an extensive archaeology section that includes a wealth of fascinating and useful information, and of course on our own Library Website.

Happy digging!

The camel ride including two young travellers at the New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-1907: Picturing Canterbury

The camel ride including two young travellers at the New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-1907 [ca. 1906]. File Reference CCL PhotoCD 12, IMG0005.
The three adult camels which offered rides to vistors to the New Zealand International Exhibition (1906-1907) were purchased in Melbourne, Australia. Prior to their departure to New Zealand, the camels gave birth. Accompanied by two baby camels, the three adult camels arrived in Christchurch in October 1906 onboard the S.S. Wimmera. After being unloaded they were conveyed to their destination by cattle trucks which were impractical given their long necks.

Featured as part of the “Wonderland” amusement park section of the exhibition, it cost 3d to ride a camel. The camel handlers were Aboriginal Australians from South Australia. The use of animals at the exhibition was inspected by representatives of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but it was found that the camels were not being mistreated.

The exhibition closed in April 1907, after which some of the “Wonderland” amusements were dismantled and removed to Wellington where they were put on display at Miramar. Although one of the camels died in June 1907, the rest were relocated to Wellington. Following the Miramar “Wonderland” show, one of the camels was given to the zoo in Wellington.

Do you have any photographs of the New Zealand International Exhibition (1906-1907)? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

The Camel Ride Including Two Young Travellers At The New Zealand International Exhibition 1906-1907