The Eastern are string band that roars like a punk band, that swings like a gospel band, that drinks like a country band, that works like a bar band, that hopes like folk singers, and sings love songs like union songs, and writes union songs like love songs, and wants to slow dance and stand on tables, all at the same time. Whether roaring as their big six piece string band or swinging the lonesome ballads as a two piece and averaging over 200 shows a year, the eastern can hold it down in all settings for all comers.
Constantly on tour the eastern have played all over New Zealand and parts beyond from gore to Nashville, Shirley to Sydney they’ve held it down and treat any opportunity as a chance to plug in a play. They’ve toured with Steve Earle, the Old Crow Medicine Show and the Lil’ Band of Gold as well as opening for everyone from Fleetwood Mac to the Jayhawks to Jimmy Barnes to Justin Townes Earle as well as Jim White, Victoria Williams and Vic Chestnut.
Their self titled debut album was released in 2009 and debuted straight into the top ten of the new Zealand indie charts based only on a ferocious live reputation and a belief in the old fashioned concept of playing for people, having made album of the week status in the Sunday star times and the chch press its sold out of its first run and continues to gather friends for the band far and wide.
In 2010 they released ‘Arrows’ tight on the heel’s EASTERN - Arrowsof a year which would see most bands wilt at the workload, The Eastern recorded the album in January started touring in February, released the record 1st of march and have been on tour ever since up and down New Zealand. It’s been a thrill to see the work pay off with the record selling faster than they can print it, bar rooms full of repeat listeners and new friends alike and a growing audience who seem to care as much about the band as the band cares about them. ‘Arrows’ has been a watershed for the band and the response to the record has kept them on tour most of 2010 and through the summer of 2011, in may it was released in Australia and the band have hoped in the van and started runnin’ round those Australian highways also.
Due to start recording their new album in Feb. plans were waylaid by the chch earthquake, instead they gathered up friends and singers alike in their home town of Lyttelton (chch’s port) and begin work on the charity record ‘The Harbour Union’, the album debuted in the top 20 of the NZ Charts and has proved to be a wonderful vehicle through which the eastern and their friends can trade music for donations to the chch earthquake fund.
This March sees the release across New Zealand and Australia of their third and most realised record yet ‘Hope and Wire'... a double album loaded with stories, heart and harmony as well as the grand barroom philosophising and old time fury the band are known for.
Recorded in the home of the gracious Harris family of Dallington, who being forced to move out of the house they'd called home for over thirty years (down the road their parents lost their house they'd had for fifty) offered their broken little house to the band to record in before the insurance company knocked it down. So there they were in the mostly abandoned suburb of Dallington/Avonside desperately wanting to honor the space and the people who've lost their homes around it and make something bigger than usual and hopefully meaningful to them all... the more cynical amongst ya are probably playing finger violins right now... The Eastern ain't bothered by that but just so you know there is a bunch of fiddle on the record, and the Woolston Brass Band!
It's released on the small but mighty ‘Rough Peel Records' and distributed by the always kind Rhthymethod in NZ and Newmarket music in Australia.
It has twenty songs on it.
It was produced/recorded/mixed/mastered by the ever industrious and generous Ben Edwards in Dallington, Christchurch New Zealand.
It'll be available in all good community record stores and online anywhere you can buy music.
It'll be available on double vinyl late March.
And it's dedicated to all The Easterns friends, loved ones, neighbours and strangers in the city of Christchurch, specially on the eastside...
"...you can smell the whiskey and dust on every song...true to the spirits of Bob Dylan, Springsteen, Patti smith and Townes van Zandt" - Sunday Star Times
"Stunning"- Rip it Up
"the first New Zealand band in a long time to do things the good old-fashioned way." - Dominion Post
The hardest working band in NZ are proving that title with a mass of shows coming up over the coming months. Check them all out on their website www.forteastern.com/shows
You can also purchase their whole back catalogue from their website aswell! - www.forteastern.com/store