The Territory appears Friday 31st October 2014 in good keen community record stores New Zealand wide and on the digital networks that few understand but many use. It is the fourth album in six years from Christchurch based Lyttelton raised string band The Eastern. It was recorded, as were the previous three with courage, friendship and grace by the kind hearted, quick handed, coopers cupping, and baby making Ben Edwards at his Sitting Room Studio on Hawkhurst st. in Port Lyttelton, New Zealand. It is released on the small but mighty Rough Peel Records and distributed with thanks by Rhythm Method.
It carries on its tender shoulders fifteen songs wrestling with such unhip topics as place, marginalised voices, localised metaphors, justice, peace, hope, truth, friendship, family and myth. It has bagpipes, banjos, fiddle and as much acoustic fury (fury of both the quiet and loud kind) crammable into a bunch of folk songs, yet the electrics keen and the drums kick along and the bass rumbles and the trombone takes the air and pushes through just enough to keep the set interesting. At least that is the hope. Fingers are always crossed.
The Eastern are lifers in this folk singing business, they make the rent playing music and spend most days of the year getting ready for sound check, packing down the speakers and coiling the leads. Most of the days in between are spent driving between the places where they are doing sound check, putting up the speakers and uncoiling the leads. With over 1000 shows played over god knows how many miles they have proudly garnered a reputation as on of New Zealand’s hardest working bands. A reputation they carry with pride. They have shared stages with Steve Earle, Old Crow Medicine Show, and even Fleetwood Mac.
They have gathered a fair clutch of kind-hearted reviews, four stars in the UK’s Q magazine, five stars in the New Zealand Herald amongst many more. Grahame Reid described Adam McGrath as, “NZ’s toughest minded songwriter”; Barry Saunders from NZ country icon’s Warratahs simply said The Eastern were, “the truth”. Their last record ‘Hope and Wire’ debuted at number 2 on the NZ charts, became the inspiration for Gaylene Preston’s six part prime time television series regarding the Christchurch earthquake. These things are all well and good but The Eastern consider the real meaning in what they do is the continuing relationship they get to build with the good people who come to the shows, shell out for the records, and share a beer with the band after the show. Hence the excitement the band feels in offering up another record and getting the opportunity to take the record around and round New Zealand and parts beyond.
The Territory Album Release Show
Friday 31st October & Saturday 1st November
Lyttelton Top Club
tickets from Undertheradar