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The Eastern Two For The Common Room

Fri Oct 15th, 2021

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Cassels Blue Smoke present two nights with The Eastern. These will be intimate sit down shows, all level protocols will apply.

In times like these a month can be a year, a year a month and a day a lifetime. All of us straddling a line between hope and doubt. Way back in April, “National Treasures” (RNZ) The Eastern were feeling relieved and as at ease as a bunch of no-hit musicians could ever feel. The continuing Covid blitz that had waylaid the lives and incomes of travelling musicians, crews and venues all around the world had managed only to nibble at the heels of this shore. We had prevailed.

With this in mind a collective decision was made by the band to reach out to brothers and sisters overseas, with some solidarity and some money to help the wheels turn. It was conceived, agreed and believed that The Eastern could throw a small drop in someone else’s bucket.

Here there were gigs on the calendar, a functioning country and an air of the above-mentioned relief. Thus shoulders could be shifted in the direction of need and so the band picked a venue in Ireland dear to their hearts and raised over three thousand dollars for the great DeBarras pub in Clonakilty Co. Cork. They played a bunch of Pogues songs, mopped the floors with their swaying and baying and paypaled the money across the water. Job done.

But then here at home a few months later the wolves start howling and the doors were locked down once more. The band prevailed again but noticed that one of their favourite local venues, The Common Room in Hastings was shaky and due to the vicissitudes of trying to run a goddamn people friendly pub in an un-people friendly virus haunted spring, were now looking at that forever lockdown.

A quick chat with Common Room governor Gerrard Barron and a glimpse at their give a little page convinced The Eastern they could duke up and sing for some dollars, in the same service focused manner all their Christchurch performances project.

So, its roll the sleeves, book the venue, get the tickets up and hope they can pull together a hooley (of the sit-down kind if in level 2) in just two weeks, in order to help their friends and comrades in the Hawkes Bay.

“We trade music for ticket money, we donate the ticket money which gets turned into love, which keeps the doors open, which keeps the music humming and the bar staff tipped and ready” - Says Eastern front man Adam McGrath.

An easy pop up gig for a band that has cemented themselves into hearts and minds nationwide.

The shows will be ready, rowdy and willin’ at their home base of Blue Smoke in Woolston on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th of October. Two nights ready for any level eventuality. New songs, hope songs, hearts songs, fight songs, drinking and crying songs will all be on the program. They'll play favourites and more, all in trade, all in service to the spirit of The Common Room, solidarity and to the idea that music needs people and people need places and we need to protect the best of them when the road gets rocky.

acoustic/solo, alternative, blues, country/folk, rock, The Eastern

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