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Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Eastern - Blue Smoke - Christchurch, 25th May 2017

I picked up one of The Eastern's Lps last year and have enjoyed the few times I managed to listen to it. A folk country band who would comfortably sit in the Americana idiom, Richmond Fontain comes to mind as a good reference. Their reputation as live act was strong but it appeared that they hadn't played locally for a while from my understanding.
  Blue Smoke was pretty full as I waited near the stage for the first act and got talking to an older lady whom I had seen at several gigs over the last year or so before Ravens hit the stage at about 8:15pm.
Ravens were three ladies playing electric, guitar, acoustic guitar and violin, as well as singing. They played a great folksy country type of music and did it very well and looked to be enjoying themselves very much. Wasn't familiar with them, don't think they have any recordings but I enjoyed their set. Turns out all three of them were also part of The Eastern.
 Luckless is a young lass originally from Auckland but now resident in Germany. She played solo with guitar and effects which she used to set up loops and rhythms to flesh out her music and presented up with an enjoyable set of angst ridden indie type pop. She had a good singing voice and coaxed some interesting sounds from her guitar and sang with some intensity on some of her songs. I was intrigued enough to buy a copy of her LP at the merch table.
 The Eastern then filled the small stage with the seven members jammed together with not a lot of room to move. Their instrumentation consisted of electric guitar, mandolin, acoustic guitar, banjo, violin and drums and additional female vocal backing up the band leader and singer, Adam. Their energy and ability was excellent and had the place enthralled as they poured out their alt-country stories to the enjoyment of us all. Adam had plenty to say and spent a lot of time telling stories and making jokes and interacting with his band. They certainly lived up to the reputation and expectations I had and played for quite a long time. The last song of the night entailed the band unpluging their instruments and wading through the crowd to the center of the venue and finishing the set with an audience singalong. Excellent gig and the quality of the local live music scene is very strong indeed.

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