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Monday, July 9, 2018

Great North - Blue Smoke - Christchurch - 8th July 2018

Great North are a New Zealand Husband and Wife duo playing folksy/americana indi pop of quality.
 They had been based in the UK and Europe for several years where they recorded their "The Golden Age" Album, released last year, a record I have really enjoyed. They have several more earlier CD's on their Bandcamp page.
 They returned to New Zealand and have decided to put the band on indefinate hold and so have gone out on the road for this final tour so I needed to catch their set.
 This was one of Blue Smokes Sunday sit downs although I was a little late to secure a table and was on my own so wasn't to bothered. It was a modest crowd but enough to look reasonably busy.
 The support act was another Husband and Wife duo of Brendon & Alison Turner whom they had brought down from the far north. Brendon played acoustic guitar and they sang harmony as they presented us their old style  blues tinged country music. Their male female harmonies were pretty good(I do like that style) and their songs interesting and pretty good. They didn't really capture the audiences attention though with most of them chatting loudly through the set apart from us near the front.

 Great North hit the stage soon after 5PM, Hayden and Rachel Donell joined by a peddle steel player and another fella on electric piano. Hayden was pretty chatty throughout ther set and told stories about some of the songs with plenty of dry humour. At one point announcing "This song is about my ex girlfriend, sang by my wife". Their live set followed closely what I knew from their record with most of the material being from their "Golden Age" album and a new CD called "The Caravan Recordings I" which maybe some older unrleaserd material and the title suggest more in the pipeline. I picked up the CD and played it on the way home and noticed at least three songs from their live set.
 I really enjoyed their set, Hayden has a strong distinct voice that reminds me a little of Don McGlashan and he combines very well with his wife. Great gig and sad that it may be their last tour.

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