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Eb to flow at Aratoi

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

Country-infused New Zealand folk band Eb & Sparrow will be bringing music to the artistic mix at Aratoi Museum of Art and History this Sunday.

A feast of warm melodies and impassioned ballads are on the agenda for Wairarapa music lovers from the five-piece band, who will be playing a matinee performance with Wairarapa musician Barry Saunders of the Warratahs.

Eb & Sparrow singer-songwriter, Ebony Lamb, said she was “really looking forward” to the Aratoi gig, as it would be her second performance at the venue.

“Being at Aratoi is very cool, the place is very special and we’ll be surrounded by art,” she said.

The performance is to be held in the Wesley Wing of Aratoi, which Lamb says makes for some breath-taking acoustics due to the structure of the building which was formerly a church.

Though the band has not played in Wairarapa for about a year, Lamb said she frequently visited the area as it reminded her of her childhood in Hawke’s Bay.

She said she was planning to move “out rural” in Wairarapa one day.

“I go over the hill to Wairarapa quite regularly because it gives me this really beautiful familiar feeling, and so I’m hoping to be a local someday – that is on my to-do list.”
Lamb said she was inspired to write the song “Hungry Little Town” when she was driving through Wairarapa after a late night gig.

“Hungry Little Town” was part of their critically acclaimed album Sun/Son which was released in August 2015.

The album earned them a finalist position for both Album and Song at the NZ Country Music Awards, and a touring legacy from Keri Keri to Stewart Island.

“The song about Wairarapa is completely country but meant with so much sincerity,” she said.

“The tagline is, ‘and my thoughts are of you’.”

Though Eb & Sparrow’s music generally falls into the country genre, Lamb said the sound of the band was more accurately a versatile mix of country, folk, indie, and old time soul.

“We’re not just a country band. It’s quite important that people know that.

“Our sound is really just the sound of New Zealand.

“That’s what country is to us.”


Tickets to the Eb & Sparrow and Barry Saunders matinee performance at Aratoi this Sunday are available from the band’s website, www.ebandsparrow.co.nz. Doors open at 4pm, Barry Saunders will play at 4.30pm, and Eb & Sparrow will play from 5pm until 6.30pm. Adults $20/young teenagers $10.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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