Wellington City Libraries

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The Eighth Note: The Wellington City Shake-’em-On-Downers

‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

Today’s guest is Rob from The Wellington City Shake-‘Em-On-Downers.

Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
Hello! We’re The Wellington City Shake-’em-On-Downers. We play early Swing, and New Orleans Jazz for the people! We’re heavily influenced by the likes of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Batchet, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band to name a few. We write a lot of our own material and inject our own sound into our music to keep it fresh – ya gotta love it when it’s fresh.

What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
We’re finishing up recording our third album at the moment which we hope will be finished up within the next few months – we’re pretty excited to get it out as it consists of a lot of tunes we’ve been writing over the past year and a bit – stay tuned and keep ya ears peeled and your dancing shoes ready!

Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
You can find us on Facebook, Bandcamp, Youtube, and our twitter handle is @Shakeemondown. If you ever feel the desire to email us, our address Shakeemondown@gmail.com, or you’re welcome to come to our gigs and throw insults at us. We love a bit of banter between songs. It’s the only thing we can do well.

What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
Hmmm, that’s quite a challenging question as we are a 7 piece and all had different childhoods…and some of us still have the mental age of children. So I’ll answer that by telling you what we have been listening to on tour in the van most recently: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Charles Mingus, Lee Morgan, Thundercat, A Tribe Called Quest, and many more odd bits of music we’ve come across and want to share with each other.

Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
Does Taylor Swift count as a Wellington Musician? If so, then we’d like to work with her. But in all seriousness there are heaps we’d love to work with, and so many that we have had on stage with us before. The music scene in Wellington is pretty tight-knit and we love it and the community that we are a part of.

What’s your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
All of them. All the time. Rogue and Vagabond is always a party, and we always get a good turnout at The Southern Cross. But everywhere we play is always an awesome experience.

In your songwriting or composing (or the band’s songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
Somebody writes a tune, brings it in, then we ruin it. We play it and turn it upside down and completely destroy it and somehow it comes out as this living, breathing, beast of a song that goes off when we play it and people for some bizarre reason end up enjoying it. We’ll never understand why that is, but it works.

Where/when is your next gig?
Our next one is on the 11th of March at Havana! Come along. It’ll be rad.
Otherwise, follow us on Facebook as we have gigs every couple of weeks or so around the city, and occasional around the rest of the country. We’d love to see you there. We sometimes do half time oranges. Just looking out for ya!

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