November is a busy month in Christchurch. As spring heats up into summer, the country comes to town for the annual A&P Show and the town lights up with all sorts of entertainment and events. From the glamour of the races to the bang of Guy Fawkes, Christchurch in mid-spring is a happening place and you will be able to set out from your Christchurch accommodation on all manner of adventures. Here are a few suggestions to get you going.
Whatever your taste in music, the month of November is chock full of live acts. Kicking things off with a snarl and a roar, seminal UK punk band The Members play The Dux Live on November 7th. The band line-up includes original Members members JC Carroll and Chris Payne along with Rat Scabies, formerly of The Dammed, on drums.
Toning things down a little, The Warratahs play the Naval Point Yacht Club, Lyttleton on November 14th. With their trademark alt-country-rock sound, this New Zealand band has been around for thirty years and with five albums to their name, they are bound to play a song or two that you will know. On the same evening, but at The Dux Live, California-based Kiwi crooner Greg Johnson will perform songs from his ten-album catalogue. Johnson’s blend of sweet melodies, cunning lyrical devices, strong voice and virtuoso musicianship will make this a great night out. For a trip down musical memory lane, legendary New Zealand rockers Dragon return to the city as part of their Acoustic Church Tour. With songs such as April Sun in Cuba, Are You Old Enough and Rain, Dragon are an integral part of New Zealand’s musical history. They will be playing at St. Michael’s and All Angels church, Oxford Terrace, on November 21st at 8pm. Fans of Country Music haven’t been left out either. With a career spanning more than forty years, American country singer Charley Pride comes to the CBS Canterbury Arena on November 29th. With single sales second only to Elvis Presley, Charley Pride has sold 70 million albums and continues to release new music every year. His Forty Years of Pride Tour, which sees him return to New Zealand for the first time in seventeen years, will feature such greats as Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’, Kaw Liga, and the evergreen Mississippi Cotton Pickin’ Delta Town. Yee Haawww!!
Richard O’Brien’s The Tran in Black
The creator of the famous and much-loved Rocky Horror Show, New Zealander Richard O’Brien, is back in Christchurch for a one-off, one-man show to raise funds for the rebuilding of the Isaac Theatre Royal, which was damaged almost beyond repair in the February 2011 earthquake. The theatre is now being rebuilt (it is planned to re-open the theatre in 2014) but a substantial amount of money still needs to be raised in order to complete the restoration. Dubbed an “All Hallows Frock ‘n’ Roll show” The Tran in Black, which will be held at the Aurora Centre, Burnside High School on Friday, November 1st, will feature Mr O’Brien alone on stage “nattering away, picking up a guitar and hopefully entertaining everybody with stories and songs. Of course, no performance by Richard O’Brien would be complete without at least one song from the Rocky Horror Show. “ It would be perverse if I were not to sing The Time Warp, again,” Mr O’Brien says. “People would feel slightly cheated, wouldn’t they? Break out the fishnets and come dressed delightfully – let’s have a party.”
Guy Fawkes Night
“Don’t you Remember, the Fifth of November. ‘Twas Gunpowder Treason Day.” So went the 18th century nursery rhyme. November 5th is a date familiar to all students of history as the day that the dastardly Guy Fawkes was arrested whilst trying to blow up the British Houses of Parliament. This year, the annual fireworks display commemorating this event is going to have a James Bond theme to it. The Treetech Guy Fawkes Firework Spectacular will go off with a bang (so to speak) at 9pm on November 5th at the New Brighton Pier. The firework display will be choreographed to the music from fifty years of James Bond movies. Bring along a portable radio tuned to The Breeze (94.5FM) and you can listen while the sky falls to songs by everyone from Adele to Shirley Bassey.
Boulder Bay Classic
This ten kilometre off-road trail run, to be held on Sunday November 3rd, has been organized by the Sumner Running Club and captures some for the superb coastal scenery around the Godley Head area of Lyttleton Harbour. The run begins on the grassy park beside the beach at Taylor’s Mistake, a short drive over the hill from Sumner. Following a newly refurbished path, the run winds around the base of the peninsular, past the historic Boulder Bank settlement, then up onto Godley Head itself. There are old gun emplacements and other historic places to see along the way as the run descends back to the finish at Taylor’s Mistake. To enter the event, visit www.boulderbayclassic.com