Delaney Davidson (photographer credit: Jon Behm).
Delaney Davidson (photographer credit: Jon Behm)

If you’re going to have an in-depth conversation about New Zealand country, folk and rockabilly music, there are certain names and geographical locations that will always come up. One of those key lionized locations is the port town of Lyttleton near Christchurch. An idyllic coastal community which was sadly reduced to a ghost town by the Canterbury Earthquakes, over the last decade or so, Lyttleton served as somewhat of a creative incubator for some stellar bands, including the likes of The Eastern, The Unfaithful Ways, Delaney Davidson and The Tiny Lies. Acts who are the real deal when it comes to whisky soaked, wild man folk and rockabilly. Genuine pioneer/frontier music as they call it in some corners.

This week, over both Thursday and Friday night, a few of those acts will be passing through the capital, bringing their demanding countryside rhythms, and reflectively down and out storytelling though Mighty Mighty, the best possible Wellington venue for these sorts of music. Thursday night sees The Unfaithful Ways and some mystery support acts camping out in the venue to promote their new album Free Rein. You can read a review I wrote of Free Rein for Under The Radar, by clicking here. But for those who just want the cliff notes, expect ornate hillbilly orchestration (organ, fiddle, trombone, pedal steel, harmonica, banjo and trumpet) draped over rich multilayered vocals which cast a journalistic eye on the seedier side of life.

Then the next night, once The Unfaithful Ways have packed up camp and ridded out of town, Delaney Davidson and his support act The Tiny Lies will be taking over the saloon for an evening headlined by some seriously primitive rock and roll (proper junkyard style, Delaney is the New Zealand Tom Waits for real). But before Delaney works his internationally acclaimed lo-fi rawness on the audience, proceedings will be warmed up by The Tiny Lies, a folk duo who, while running with a classic sound, actually met on MySpace, and collaborate heavily via the internet. Social Networking Folk 2.0 anyone?

Thursday night is $10 entry on the door, with copies of Free Rein for sale for $20, Friday is $5 on the door. I wonder if they’ll cut you a special price if you turn up with a sleeping bag and a change of clothes to make it through the whole weekend? Probably not, but one can still dream right?



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