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Here's Ten: The Eastern

Here's Ten: The Eastern

Wednesday 7th December, 2016 10:45AM

This weekend, Christchurch country stalwarts The Eastern will celebrate a decade of making music together. Formed in 2006 by core members Adam McGrath and Jess Shanks, the grassroots group have tucked four albums and three EP under their belts, and averaged 200 shows a year - clocking up miles everywhere from Papanui to Portland. As they gear up for Saturday's 10 Good Rounds shindig Mr McGrath indulged us in a special 'Here's Ten' edition of our regular Here's Five feature - sharing 10 songs that have been pivotal during the band's time together...

1. Louis Armstrong- 'St James Infirmary Blues'

So Delaney Davidson comes round to my house
He says: "are you playing music?"/br> I say "not much"/br> He says I should meet this person who'd just moved back to port, name of Jessie Shanks who plays the banjo. We meet up at the Wunderbar, go in the back room play this together and decide to play our first gig that night. 10 years later we’re still kicking, and almost still standing.

2. The Hold Steady -'Stuck Between Stations'

When it was just me and Jess running up and down the country, sleeping next to the van and floors all over, sometimes we'd do the big long late night drives home to try and make it back to our own respective beds. This record was a big favourite. "Sometimes i think that Sal Paradise was right, boys and girls in America have such a sad time together" what an opening line! Not just America!

3. Waylon Jennings - ‘Lonesome On'ry and Mean'

I became designated late night driver and in order for me to function through the long sad post-gig night it was important to listen to Waylon for at least an hour. Someone once passed through the band who claimed Waylon was 'boring'. Theres two kinds of people in the world, ones you can trust and ones that think Waylon is boring.

4. Cold Chisel - 'Flame Trees'

Not telling. But trivia buffs may like to note that out of all of the bands we ever supported, Jimmy Barnes was the coolest, kindest, realist, hardest, sweetest and by far the best singer I've ever got close to.

5. Lil’ Band of Gold - 'Spoonbread'

One of our most favourite tours was with these guys, you always collect good stories out there, but these ones stick with us hard, right between the heart, liver and funny bone. This joint is always top post gig throw down dance your drunk ass off to number one choice.

6. Todd Snider - 'Devil's Backbone Tavern'

A road guard, Todd makes the miles smaller and the van a better place to be.

7. The Staple Singers - 'I'm Coming Home'

Whenever our hubris extends to having intro music. Its always this or….

8. AC/DC - 'Rock N' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution'

or this.

9. Lindon Puffin - ' Down to the Sea'

Lyttelton was home for a long time, it maybe exactly the same or totally different. Depends on the light or the hole in the soul where the wind blows through. But in my humblest of opinions, Lindon is pound for pound the best song writer to ever come out of that quayside.

10. Public Enemy - 'Everything'

It may be unpickable, and it maybe unreachable, but everything in this song and video is everything I ever wanted The Eastern to say or be about. We're still trying, still falling short but still walking still hoping. Ten years down the line, phew!

The Eastern are celebrating 10 Good Rounds this Saturday 10th December at Blue Smoke in Christchurch, where they will be joined by The Warratahs, Manos Del Chango, Lindon Puffin, Reb Fountain, Eb & Sparrow and more. All profits from the show will be donated to the Christchurch City Mission. Head over here for more information and to buy tickets.


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