The Eastern, at Barrytown Hall

Lyttelton band The Eastern are one of my favourite artists to go and see play live. The first time I saw them they played last at a show called The Slow Song Review. The other artists were talented, but pretty quiet, low-key musicians. The small crowd, at Franks Cafe, Greymouth, was sitting, drinking cups of tea quietly and enjoying a relaxed evening. Then The Eastern took the stage. The inimitable Adam McGrath grabbed a quart bottle of beer and used it as a slide to play his guitar fast and loud, the crowd almost falling off their chairs. We all leapt to our feet, and stomped along with Adam and Jessie as they finished the night on an energetic, furious, hoe-down note. It was really quite a show. They’ve been back to the Coast numerous times since, and I’ve caught most of their shows. This weekend just been they were over again, this time with a new violinist and Reb Fountain adding vocals. As usual they did not disappoint.
Lindon Puffin opened, and played beautifully. His incredible cover of Elton John’s Benny & the Jets was a highlight of the evening.
When The Eastern came on, in between foot stomping and hootin’ and hollerin’ I shot a few frames. It really hit another level when, after throwing out a trouble maker (which seems to be a regular feature of the Adam’s Barrytown shows), the whole band left the stage, and played a few songs amongst the crowd. Not to be outdone by Lindon in the wonderfully executed cover stakes, they finished with an encore of ACDC’s It’s a Long Way to the Top. Check it out.

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