Shaking off the quake


Christchurch funksters Oval Office can’t wait to get out of their stricken hometown to let off some steam in Queenstown. 

The acclaimed eight-piece band’s earthquake fundraising show at Dux de Lux on Saturday night will be their first gig since the big shake on February 22. 

“The musical community in Christchurch is quietly suffering as we have lost a lot of venues and events,” bassist Richie Pickard says. “A lot of musicians have also been forced to travel out of town to find work or have stopped playing altogether. 

“We jumped at the chance to come down to Queenstown because as well as helping to raise some money for a good cause, it’ll be nice to be in a place that’s functioning normally and where you aren’t being woken at night by aftershocks.” 

Comprising some of New Zealand’s most in-demand session musos, Oval Office personnel have backed a raft of big names such as Dave Dobbyn, Diana Krall and Midge Marsden. 

Singer Sacha Vee – who studies music therapy in Wellington – is also making waves on the solo front. 

But the devastating quake has left the group with another tricky problem – the master tapes for their second album are still locked away in a building in Christchurch’s no-go zone. 

“The studio we were using is out of bounds so we haven’t been able to get our tapes back yet or get on with any more recording sessions,” Pickard says. “We are presuming the tapes will be okay but we are now looking at putting out an EP in July instead of an album as the disruptions mean it’s unlikely we’ll get everything finished.” 

Catch Oval Office at Dux de Lux on Saturday from 9pm. Entry is by donation to quake relief charity