They’ve torn up the Bible and eaten the dogs – Auckland alt-folk outfit Bond Street Bridge present tales of courage, endurance and Edwardian pluck in their multimedia song cycle ‘The Explorer’s Club: Antarctica’, touring throughout New Zealand in February.
Inspired by the incredible stories of Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, songwriter Sam Prebble has recruited a band of seasoned folk musicians from the Auckland underground and produced a series of stirring vignettes drawn from the diaries and letters of these stalwart adventurers. Tales of shipwreck, frostbite, and stiff-upper-lip survival in the snow are presented in a combination of spoken-word storytelling and original folk songs, along with projected illustrations by Auckland artist Emily Cater and heritage photographs from the expeditions themselves. Performances range from ethereal to foot-stomping; arrangements run the gamut from delicate vocal harmonies to dramatic percussive explosions.
At 20 shows across the country from the far North to the far South, Bond Street Bridge's The Explorers Club tour has grown to be almost as tremendous as those expeditions the songs tell tale of. Indie-rock act Luckless joins the monumental excursion, with songwriter Ivy Rossiter leaving her band behind to perform solitary and stripped back. Armed only with stomp boxes, loop pedals and a vintage guitar, Luckless swells with distortion and shimmers with light, aching and reveling all at once. Brendan Turner, bass player for Bond Street Bridge and blues-songwriter in his own right, will also join the line-up to support in several locations.
Bond Street Bridge presents a show that will take listeners on a journey – from heartbreak to ice-melt, from triumph to defeat. With the groundbreaking Explorer’s Club cycle, audiences can expect to be transported back to a time when the ice was unforgiving, the pole was untouched, and if the worst came to the worst, one could always eat the dogs.
Saturday 2 February – St Peter’s Hall, Paekakariki
Sunday 3 February – Playhouse, Nelson
Monday 4 February – Barrytown Hall, Barrytown, with Mount Eerie
Wednesday 6 February – Blue Ice Café, Franz Josef
Thursday 7 February – Grainstore Gallery, Oamaru
Friday 8 February – Waitati Hall, Waitati
Saturday 9 February – Chick’s Hotel, Port Chalmers, with Matt Langley
Sunday 10 February – Botanic Gardens, Christchurch
Tuesday 12 February – Fiordland Cinema, Te Anau
Wednesday 13 February – Blue Duck Café, Milford
Thursday 14 February – Arrowtown, venue TBC
Friday 15 February – Wunderbar, Lyttelton
Saturday 16 February – Wellington Fringe Festival, The Moorings, with Rosy Tin Teacaddy
Saturday 22 February & Saturday 1 March – Auckland Fringe Festival, The Wine Cellar
Thursday 21 March – Dunedin Fringe Festival, Festival Club, Dunedin
Friday 22 March – Nor’Wester, Amberley
Saturday 23 March – Dharma Bums Club, Wairau Valley