The Chaps: A Bluegrass and Swing Influenced Quartet from Dunedin, 25 November 2018


The finale concert to celebrate the Folk Club’s 50th anniversary weekend, we welcome The Chaps from Dunedin acknowledging the long supportive association that exists between the Folk Clubs in Christchurch and Dunedin.

Since 1989 this quartet has been wowing audiences across New Zealand and Europe. In a musical style variously described and as hornless jazz, banjoless bluegrass and drumless rock, they have entertained with their brand of quirky humour and vocal and instrumental prowess since their inception.

The Back Story
From their first performance, an improvised house concert at a Boxing Day party, they were an instant hit with family and friends and word-of-mouth soon took care of the rest. Each well-known musician’s in their own right, there was considerable anticipation as to how this ensemble of diverse talents would develop.

‘Quirky’ was the inescapable label that followed them around. They never set out to be a humorous act but sometimes four half-wits add up to a wit. Their choice of repertoire was initially quite experimental as was the range of instruments, including forays into accordions and electric guitars. Eventually they settled on a fairly standard string band line up and concentrated on building their unique repertoire.

All four were accomplished songwriters and soon these songs began fill the set list. Marcus Turner (guitar, fiddle, mandolin) was already a major celebrity in the folk world having written notable songs both poignant and humorous – many of which had been covered and recorded by other artists (including legendary Irish musician Andy Irvine). His songs went a long way to defining The Chaps eclectic style.

Over the years they played two tours of Europe and the UK and every major New Zealand folk festival at least twice. They recorded three great albums, the most recent being a finalist in the 2013 Tui Awards for Best Folk Album. In more recent years their performances were fewer, but always memorable.

Then in February 2016, just shy of his sixtieth birthday, Marcus suddenly and unexpectedly died.

The Chaps are first and foremost a close friendship, as their 26 years together would attest. To say they were devastated is to not quite capture the intense sense of loss they still feel. After some months reflection, the three remaining Chaps decided to keep playing and to keep Marcus’ legacy alive as much as possible. They recruited fiddle player Anna Bowen – a long-time friend of the band and one who has played with them collectively and individually in other line-ups.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from the Cowboy Lounge: The Chaps! They ride again.

For further details:
The Chaps Website 

25 November 2018 Members $10; Non-members $15 and Students $5 with ID 

Doors open 7.00pm Performance starts at 7.30pm, you will get a seat if you arrive close to 7.00 pm.

VENUE: Irish Society Hall, 29 Domain Terrace, Spreydon The hall is situated up the long driveway, directly next to Domain Park, and there is plenty of well-lit off-street parking.

DOOR SALES CASH ONLY: Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake available during the break, also bar facilities for cold refreshments throughout the night. Eftpos available for purchases only, no cash-out facility. Please remember to bring your current Folk Club membership card as this is required for new club licensing.