Okkervil River Headed To New Zealand In February 2014Tuesday 12th November, 2013 9:01AM
Prodigious alt-country band Okkervil River, will return to New Zealand for two shows - one in Auckland and one in Wellington - in February 2014. The dates are part of an Australasian tour in support of their critically-acclaimed 2014 album, The Silver Gymnasium, a loosely conceptual record in which wordsmith Will Sheff details his childhood memories coming-of-age at a boarding school in Meridian, New Hampshire (which in turn, is where the original line-up of Okkervil River first met). Sheff uses his literary tact to evoke shimmering nostalgia, and - unlike a lot of Okkervil River's previous records, which are brilliant precisely because of the desperate melancholy they contain - The Silver Gymnasium is hopeful and wondrous. Anyone who has seen Okkervil River on previous New Zealand tours will confirm their devotion to live performance - watch their videos for 'Stay Young' (from The Silver Gymnasium) and 'For Real' (from Black Sheep Boy), and check out tour information and ticket details, below.
Okkervil River New Zealand Tour:
Saturday 15th February 2014: Bodega, Wellington
Sunday 16th February 2014: Kings Arms, Auckland
Tickets for both shows available from UnderTheRadar, here, Real Groovy in Auckland and Slowboat Records and RPM in Wellington.
'Stay Young' from The Silver Gymnasium
'For Real' from Black Sheep Boy
The Texan-bred indie folk-rockers Okkervil River recently -released, retro-tastic album The Silver Gymnasium, which finds them travelling back to those glory days (for some) of the 1980s! For the seventh Okkervil River long-player, enigmatic and super-literate frontman Will Sheff Ė who writes all of the bandís material as well as lending his inimitable voice to bring it to life Ė concocted a series of vignettes based on his hometown of Meriden, New Hampshire and his memories of the rural outpost circa 1986. The albumís title is taken from the gym at the boarding school which Sheff attended and the songs are softly conceptual in nature, each based on a recollection from a more innocent age in every sense of the term, long before todayís heightened state of technological reliance came into being. The Silver Gymnasium was not only salivated over by critics but also reached No 7 in the US Billboard 200, Okkervil Riverís highest place to date by a considerable margin.
While there are mild flourishes of Ď80s pomp and production amidst The Silver Gymnasiumís tracks, for the most part these songs continue the natural and fascinating evolution of the Okkervil River sound which has been transpiring over the last 15 years. Local fans will attest from previous visits that Okkervil River are an extremely well-drilled and evocative live proposition, so it will be exciting to watch them bring these time-travelling new tunes to life when they return to NZ next February for two headline gigs!