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!

How to turn a library into a moving vessel

NZ Music MonthCustomers at New Brighton Library were silenced (a rare occurrence!) by a performance from members of the Silencio Ensemble. Metal poles, a sink, old shelving and a cymbal were played by an assortment of hammers, bows and sticks.

Chris, Mike, Reuben and Tom responded to the library’s architecture by suspending poles from the pipeline alongside the buildings main pillars, creating a musical experience for people to listen to from all parts of the building. The sound varied from temple-like tinkering to cacophonous metal hammering.

Customers displayed bemusement, confusion, fascination, curiosity, and horror. The rhythms of the waves coupled with the rhythm of the gongs within our ship-like structure made one person say that it felt like being inside a moving vessel.

This performance is a forerunner to a project being developed for the Christchurch Arts Festival in August. Live music performed by the Ensemble will accompany a screening of the 1948 silent movie, “Joan of Arc”.