Gig of the Week: Soulsystem

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Hot Christchurch reggae/blues band Soulsystem feared they’d be playing to an audience of two men and a dog last time they hit Queenstown.

The night before the trio made their debut here in April, they discovered all the posters they’d sent to the resort to plug the show had gone AWOL.

It meant there wasn’t an ad to be found for the gig at Dux de Lux anywhere in town and they thought they’d be performing in a near-empty venue.

“The day before we were due to drive down, all the promo stuff I’d sent out weeks earlier arrived back in Christchurch because I’d sent it to the wrong PO Box,” bassist/vocalist Jeremy London says.

“When we got to Queens­town there was nothing to say we were even on and we had a mad rush about the place sticking posters up for that night’s gig.

“Fortunately it turned out to be a really good show regardless.

“There was a full bar, we got a great response and got invited back to play during Winter Festival.”

Soulsystem return to the Dux on Saturday.

And there’s a steady buzz spreading across New Zealand about their music after their DIY debut EP Rise picked up some healthy radio airplay.

They’ve also been getting to a wider audience, courtesy of support gigs with some of NZ’s best-known bands like Tahuna Breaks, Salmonella Dub and Katchafire.

Not bad going for a group that’s been operating barely 18 months.

“Our EP started out as just a demo but we upgraded it into a CD,” London explains. “We designed the sleeve and artwork ourselves, pressed it up and put it out as a calling card for our music.

“We never intended it as a CD to be sold to make money and we’ve given loads of copies away.

“It has certainly done its job and got us a good bit of attention and got our sound out there.”

Soulsystem intend to keep expanding their live following and start gigging in the North Island.

But top of their to-do list is getting back into the studio to record some more tracks.

“The stuff on Rise was done very early on, when we first got together,” says London. “Although we are pleased with it, we’ve come up with some music that’s a lot more energetic and it’s about time we got that side of us out there too.”