The Winner of the Church Tour 2016 tickets

…is Hugh Joughin.

Congratulations Hugh, and thanks to everyone who entered our competition for a double pass to the first of two Christchurch shows next week.

We asked you to name your favourite song by one of the artists performing in The Church Tour 2016 and there were some clear favourites.

Shona vs Sharon

Shona Laing’s Glad I’m not a Kennedy got four times the votes of anything else, and though Kiwi classic Maxine, by Sharon O’Neill made an attempt it was nowhere near the popularity of Laing’s 1986 hit from the album, South.

Win tickets to the Church Tour 2016

Whether you’re religious or not, churches are often very pleasing spaces, and well suited for musical performance.

Now in its eighth incarnation, The Church Tour has become something of an institution as each year a different set of talented Kiwi musicians and songwriters perform acoustic sets in a selection of houses of worship up and down New Zealand.

The Church Tour lineup for 2016
The Church Tour lineup for 2016 (image supplied)

This year the combined powers, voices and songs of Sharon O’Neill, Shona Laing, Debbie Harwood and Hammond Gamble will fill our churches with the sounds of new material and Kiwi classics as you’ve never heard them before.

There will be two Christchurch shows this tour, the first in St Michaels & All Angels on Friday 30 September and a second concert at the Transitional Cathedral on Saturday 1 October. In either venue it looks to be a great night out for music lovers.

Tickets are on sale from and

Transitional Cathedral on Madras Street
Transitional Cathedral on Madras Street, Flickr File Reference: 2014-01-03-IMG_1455

One double pass up for grabs

We have one double pass to give away to the first Church Tour date here in Christchurch on Friday 30 September at St Michael’s & All Angels. Just email subject line “The Church Tour” and tell us your name and your favourite song by Sharon O’Neill, Shona Laing, Debbie Harwood or Hammond Gamble. Entries close Wednesday 21 September at 6pm.

Terms and conditions

  • A winner will be selected by random draw.
  • If you are a winner, you consent to your name and photograph being used for reasonable publicity purposes by Christchurch City Libraries.
  • Staff of Christchurch City Libraries and their immediate families are not able to enter.
  • The competition ends on Wednesday 21 September at 6pm.
  • We will notify the winner by telephone and/or email on Friday 23 September.
  • The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Prizes are as stated and are not transferable.

Music by The Church Tour line-up

Out of this world Kiwi music

Some songs just make you feel good, don’t they? I first heard  Heavenly Pop Hit when I was studying Broadcasting Communications at CPIT. I was on work experience at the TVNZ studios on Gloucester Street watching the production team put together segments for What Now!  They ran the video and everyone started singing along. I remember jellyfish swimming in an amorphous mass of green and blue and feeling wow, this is great! It was a heavenly moment.

Heavenly Pop Hit

The Chills was formed by singer/songwriter Martin Phillips in 1980 after the demise of his punk band The Same. The Chills experienced Kiwi chart success throughout the 80s and 90s with hits such as Pink Frost and I Love my Leather Jacket and was one of the first bands to embody the Dunedin sound. Phillips has been the only member to stay with the band to the present day. The most recent album released by the Chills was Stand By in 2004 and they performed in Australia in 2010.

To create a zippy ending to this blog, I tried to sum up how I feel about great Kiwi music but the words were beyond me. I’ll just leave it to the master:

So I stand as the sound goes straight through my body,
I’m so bloated up, happy, and I throw things around me.
And I’m growing in stages, and have been for ages,
Just singing and floating and free.
Martin Phillips – Heavenly Pop Hit (1988)

The Eastern – Genuine Christchurch Rock

album coverThe Eastern embody Christchurch spirit through and through. They’re a band of hard-working, no-nonsense folk who sure haven’t let an earthquake get in the way of making music. The perfect band to open NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries at Central Library Tuam tonight at 7pm.

Chart, Christchurch’s music website, defines The Eastern as ‘ a string band that roars like a punk band, that swings like a gospel band, that drinks like a country band, that works like a bar band, that hopes like folk singers, and sings love songs like union songs, and writes union songs like love songs, and wants to slow dance and stand on tables, all at the same time.’ I think this sums things up pretty well.

I first came across The Eastern at The Mussel Inn in Takaka and was blown away by their talent, diversity and passion for music. Charismatic Adam McGrath has a voice as gritty as Waimak gravel and complements Jess Shanks who sings like a angel.

The Eastern is based in Lyttelton. Their first self-titled album was released in 2009, charity record The Harbour Union debuted at 20 in the NZ Charts, and their most recent recording Hope and Wire will be used in the soundtrack behind the upcoming television mini-series by the same name which portrays life in Christchurch after the quakes.

These hard core musos have played around NZ and the world and have opened for acts such as Fleetwood Mac, Justin Townes Earle, Vic Chestnut and Jimmy Barnes. They average 200 shows a year and will be performing along with Luckless and Katie Thompson at Central Library Tuam tonight at 7:00pm. Don’t miss them!