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Swamp Thing - Swamp Thing Live @ Churchill Tavern, Christchurch 18/08/13

19 Aug 2013 // A review by Chris Chick

50 people certainly became fans of Swamp Thing, if they had not already been fans. The biggest travesty of this memorable evening is the fact that these two master musicians are not playing to larger crowds, and in my mind taking somewhere like the USA by storm with their blues, rockabilly, bluegrass, and rock vibe. I’ve seen injustices, especially when you are an Englishman having to watch your nation piss in their own pot for so many years, but these chaps deserve so much better.

They opened the set with what is slowly becoming one of my favourite songs by Swamp Thing The Reckoning what hit me straight away, apart from the fact they are rather large and imposing in the flesh, was the moody lighting on the stage which really setup the proceeding emotions that this band is able to garnish. The opening song was very emphatic; I was mesmerised by their presence and the production of a two man band. The drummer Michael Barker, is in my mind the quintessential musician, the man has more talent in his left stick, then I have in my whole body and in my soon to be wife..

They did a great job getting the crowd involved by handing out different instruments to one of their songs which got a good reaction. In all the boys did interact well with the crowd, unlike some artists who will just play their music, take the money, and leave. At least they were up front with why they were talking between songs and being on the ball.. They wanted our money J

Personally I marked out for a Mr Brittas mention whilst a story was being told. The only downside that I could find with this gig, and I want to be clear, this gig was very, very good, was the fact that the lead singer ‘Swamp Bro’ was being drowned out by the zealous drumming. It was a bad point from my own selfish point of view because I think his voice is simply majestic.

All in all this was a fantastic experience, stupendous musicians, a plethora of musical genres for everyone’s taste.  At one point a monza, and a glockenspiel made an appearance, much to my delight. A great band with a great future, long live the swamp bro and his sweaty swamp smell.

Song List:

The Reckoning
Stalker Song
Bumping & Grinding
Come With Me
Hand in a Hole

(There was more but I missed a few of the song titles unfortunately)


About Swamp Thing

They're the two left in the juke joint when the hurricane's about to make landfall, when the revelers have gone home, sweat-soaked and exhausted. The bulbs are blown out, the floor's full of glass, but two men are honor bound to keep playing, pouring their sweat into the parched earth like libation. In the best traditions of two man blues and roots, Swamp Thing is a duo that you know are playing to stay alive.

A former member of The John Butler Trio, Michael Barker (drums/ percussion/ KeyBass/Vocals) formed the two man blues/roots duo Swamp Thing with Grant Haua vocals/guitar in 2010.

These two unique musicians share a wealth of experience to craft blues- flavoured music with a deep groove and soulful spook. Their first studio album Balladeer was recorded at Roundhead studios in may 2011 and their second album Primordium recorded at Barker's studio Twisty Pole in 2012 was released in January 2013.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Swamp Thing


Let's Get Live
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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