The Eastern are a string band that roars like a punk band, that swings like a gospel band, that drinks like a country band, that works like a bar band, that hopes like folk singers, and sings love songs like union songs, and writes union songs like love songs, and wants to slow dance and stand on tables, all at the same time. Whether roaring as their big six-piece string band or swinging the loud lonesome sound as a three piece and averaging over 200 shows a year, The Eastern can hold it down in all settings for all comers.
Having delivered up four albums (‘The Eastern’, ‘Arrows’, ‘Hope & Wire’ and ‘The Territory’), three EPs, and of course the aforementioned 1000 plus shows, The Eastern have garnered a reputation as NZ’s hardest working band. They gather converts and friends wherever they or their records land. In 2020, after a brief spell catching their breath, and with lead writers McGrath and Shanks carving out some solo work, The Eastern are back in the ring and the swing, punching above their weight as ever, shaking hands and cracking stages as they’ve always done, building things for the right reasons always and ever after from the grassroots up. A people’s band playing people songs as honest and as furiously as they can.
‘No Depression’ magazine noted they were “One of the best modern roots acts, from any country”. Both Radio NZ and the NZ Herald described them as “National Treasures” and The Heralds Graham Reid called singer Adam McGrath “NZ’s toughest minded songwriter”. NZ country legend Barry Saunders simply called them “The Truth.”