War­ratahs play Eltham on tour

Stratford Press - - News - By ALICE COWDREY

Taranaki fans of Kiwi band The War­ratahs will hear songs played span­ning the pop­u­lar band’s 30-year his­tory in Eltham this month.

The band is play­ing at the Eltham Town Hall on Satur­day Septem­ber 29, as part of its 30 Years of The Drivin’ Wheel Tour with sup­port from lo­cal band Gum­boot Tango as well as Opunake mu­si­cians Ari­anna and Ja­cob.

Started by mu­si­cians Barry Saun­ders and Nik Brown, the band has played at New Zealand pubs, clubs, vine­yards, barns, fes­ti­vals, theatres, halls and even on the Cook Strait fer­ries.

Win­ner of the Best Coun­try Mu­sic Al­bum of The Year in 2016, the band is hit­ting the road dur­ing Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber to pro­mote the mile­stone and new dou­ble CD 24-track com­pi­la­tion Drivin’ Wheel which doc­u­ments the band’s mu­sic from 1988 to the present day — in­clud­ing the band’s new song Fast Train.

The band is well known on the tour cir­cuit and dur­ing the last three decades has pro­duced seven stu­dio al­bums and sold thou­sands of al­bums.

When the band formed in Welling­ton, it did not have any grand plans apart from shar­ing a pas­sion for mu­sic, says lead singer, har­mon­ica player and song writer Barry.

“We stayed to­gether 30 years be­cause the band is driven by mu­sic — we are glued to­gether now through the mu­sic — a lot like the Rolling Stone but a smaller ver­sion.”

Barry, who di­vides his time be­tween Welling­ton and Grey­town, knows Taranaki well, hav­ing spent his first 10 years in Ma­hoe, where his fa­ther worked at the cheese fac­tory. One of his songs, Taranaki, is an ode to the re­gion he still loves, with the old fash­ioned waltz a pic­ture of early days. He says not much has changed dur­ing the band’s years to­gether.

“We are true to our orig­i­nal sound but song wise its evolved a bit, but the sound has re­mained the same.”

■ The War­ratahs play Eltham Town Hall, Stan­ners St, Eltham, on Septem­ber 29. Pre-sale tick­ets from i-Site and Eltham Li­brary for $40 or door sales $45. Doors open at

6.30pm and sup­per pro­vided.

The War­ratahs.

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