Jesters holding court


The River Jesters’ summer agenda involves touring the country and hoping some “odd” businessman picks them (and their music) up and flies them round the world.

Band member Tom Batchelor says, mid-laugh: “Dreams are free, right?”

While in the process of making it big, the Dunedin band is hitting up Queenstown tonight for the second show of their two-month-long tour.

Batchelor says the crowd can expect a very high-energy party show.

“We will be going absolutely nuts.”

Just as amped about the gig as he is Queenstown, Batchelor says: “It’s gonna be awesome, we always have such a great time in Queenstown.”

The River Jesters’ music is a blues/pop/rock combination of mainly original songs, with a few covers they like to put their own spin on.

Batchelor makes up a quarter of the band on vocals/rhythm guitar, accompanied by Sam McKean on bass guitar/vocals, Michael Morris on lead guitar/vocals and Antonio Mercuri on drums.

The music comes from combined inspiration within the band.

Batchelor says it’s interesting putting everyone together and seeing what happens.

In the last two weeks the band has pumped out 10 new original songs, which they can’t wait to play.

The band has just finished writing what Batchelor describes as a “weird” song, made up of film titles from American actor, comedian and writer, Bill Murray.

Although The River Jesters have been together for two years, touring New Zealand three times, the band name came about four years ago in Morris’ old basement. Batchelor remembers the decision.

“He [Morris] and I just buzzed out in there and thought it was a good wee band name.”

Vinyl Underground will be hosting the band. There’s no charge for entry.

“We try and do free shows as much as possible, ya know, to get cats out.”

The River Jesters play Vinyl Underground, 10.30 tonight, January 7, Free entry.