Working Men’s Club, Reefton, West Coast South Island

20/10/2015 - 20/10/2015

The Cellar Door, 143 Centennial Avenue, Alexandra

22/10/2015 - 22/10/2015

Old Lodge Theatre, 11 Revell St, Hokitika, West Coast South Island

21/10/2015 - 21/10/2015


Production Details

Adam McGrath’s band The Eastern was a huge hit on its first tour with Arts On Tour NZ a couple of years ago. Now Adam is doing it solo “…folk singin’, hope buildin’, yarn spinnin’ and roof raisin’….”

Larger than life and with a repertoire ranging from bluegrass to the blues via folk, rock and folk/ rock plus sharing his own hard headed “truth telling” stories, Adam, either on his own or with The Eastern, has opened for Fleetwood Mac, Steve Earle, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jimmy Barnes, and many many more. He’s performed all over New Zealand, Australia, and the US and is remembered for his morale raising community work not long after the Canterbury earthquakes: (His song ‘Hope and Wire’ became the inspiration and theme song for filmmaker Gaylene Preston’s TV3 drama series detailing life in post-earthquake Christchurch.) 

Adam has been nominated for a number of music awards and has been described as “a national treasure” (Radio NZ), “NZ’s toughest minded songwriter” (Graham Reid, NZ Herald) and “The Truth” (Barry Saunders, The Warratahs). Expect a high energy performance. 


Friday 2 October 8pm Mapua 
The Playhouse Theatre
$20 Book: The Playhouse Theatre 

Saturday 3 October 8.30pm Onekaka 
The Mussel Inn

Sunday 4 October 8pm Wellington 
Resonator House Concert 

Wednesday 7 October 7pm Opotiki 
De Luxe Theatre 
Adults $22, Child and over 65s $10 
Tickets are available at the Travel Shop, or phone Ann or Dot 
07 315 5193

Thursday 8 October 7pm Tauranga 
Tauranga Art Gallery 
General Public $25, Friends of the Gallery and Students $20 
Book: Tauranga Art Gallery

Saturday 10 October 8pm Rotorua 
Te Runanga Tea House 
Government Gardens 
$30 Book:  

Sunday 11 October 5pm Raumati 
Social Club 
34 Poplar Ave, Raumati South 
$15 Book: Raumati Social Club 

Tuesday 13 October 7:30pm Christchurch 
Gloucester Room, Isaac Theatre Royal 
Adults $26 Concessions $24 (Booking fees apply) 
Book: 0800 TICKETEK 

Friday 16 October 8pm Balcairn
Mike Greer Concert Series
Balcairn Public Hall
$25 (inc supper)
Book: Sally Mac’s Amberley, Sefton garage, Stan’s 7 Day Pharmacy Rangiora 

Sunday 18 October Akaroa 
Madeira Hotel

Tuesday 20 October 8pm Reefton
Working Men’s Club
Adults $20, Students $10, Family $50
Door sales 03 phone 03 732 8542 or 03 732 8111 

Wednesday 21 October 7.30pm Hokitika 
Old Lodge Theatre, 11 Revell St
$20, Students $13 
Book: Hokitika Regent Theatre

Thurs 22 October 7.30pm Alexandra 
The Cellar Door 
Adults $20, Seniors $15, Child $10 
Book: i-Site Alexandra 

Friday 23 October 9:30pm Queenstown 
The Sherwood 
554/558 Frankton Rd 
$12 pre sales / $15 on the door Book: 

Saturday 24 October 8pm Bannockburn 
Bannockburn Hall 

Monday 26 October 8pm Stewart Island  

About Arts On Tour New Zealand

Arts On Tour New Zealand (AOTNZ) organises tours of outstanding New Zealand performers to rural and smaller centres in New Zealand. The trust receives funding from Creative New Zealand, support from Interislander, and liaises with local arts councils, repertory theatres and community groups to bring the best of musical and other talent to country districts. The AOTNZ programme is environmentally sustainable – artists travel to their audiences rather than the other way around. 

Theatre , Spoken word , Solo , Musical ,

Sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious, always interesting

Review by Helen Bollinger 21st Oct 2015

At his solo Arts on Tour performance at the Workingmen’s Club, Adam McGrath performs for two and a half hours straight. He gives the punters the choice of a break but they just want more, NOW.  

Adam is a consummate musician and entertainer: a poet, a story-teller, a song-writer. He sings from the heart. His voice and presence (6’3”) is large, he is engaging and relaxed. The audience is right there with him from the start and the repartee flows both ways. There’s lots of laughter. Punters dance in their chairs.

Each one of Adam’s songs is given a context and is set up with a story; sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious, always interesting. ‘The Stepping Razor’ evolves from a riotous West Coast rugby league adventure. ‘Sam and Adam’s Song’ is inspired by the passing of a fellow muso and the sometimes-confused nature of life on the road. ‘Talking Americana Cowboy Yeeha Blues’ is an ironic take on making a living from country music while staying true to your own culture. As Adam says, “I’d rather sing about the State Highway than the Lost Highway.”

Adam’s original songs are drawn from the New Zealand landscape and experience. He takes his song-writing seriously and tries to write every day. “The words come first from the things that fill me. I try and do a good job.”

He says, “It’s easy to get caught up in the sound and aesthetic of traditional country music but I try to avoid the classic country tropes and just tell New Zealand stories.” Strong images from ‘Talking Yeeha Blues’ illustrate his point: the metaphors trapped in the Southern Alps; stories locked in our local river mouths; earthquakes; the dismantling of the state housing system; snow falling in Arthurs Pass and how pretty the lights look over Lyttleton.

Adam’s fellow band-members ‘The Eastern’ are back in Christchurch catching their breath while Adam tours this high-energy show. He’s travelling light with some lights, a couple of sweet-sounding guitars and a harmonica all packed into a flash van driven by himself.  

He says he loves touring, and it shows. “I want to make you dance, make you drink, make you think. I’ve got heart stuff and foot stuff and head stuff. Every show is different. I love to go everywhere, see everything, live close to the wind, I wouldn’t trade it for anything…”

Adam McGrath is shaping up to be a national treasure. Don’t miss his shows.


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