This was the first weekend we finally had a chance to really enjoy what Wellington has to offer and hang out with some new friends and co-workers. Friday night we were invited to see some live music at a local pub (Southern Cross) with a co-worker of mine. She and her husband had moved to New Zealand ~17 years ago very similar to us – no jobs, no home and knew no one – so understood what it was like to be in a new city alone.

We enjoyed a few drinks, swapping stories before the band came on. Her friend was the drummer so they usually made an effort to come out when they were in town playing. The band was a 15 person ensemble called the Balkanistas that comprised of 4 trombone players, 3 drummers (of various sorts), 2 accordions, 2 trumpeters, a violinist, a tuba player, a maracas’ girls and a singers/tambourine player. It was quite the diverse group who played a variety of genres but had a very gypsy/Mexican flare with a hint of Russian. I can’t really explain it well, so here’s a short clip of one of their songs.

It was a very different genre but we both thoroughly enjoyed the music. Every song had a great beat to it and the crowd was pretty into it as they swayed and danced to the music. They even finished off their set with a Led Zeplin track Kashmir. Jordan had flashbacks all night of his highschool band days where he played 1st trumpet, reminiscing his shining moments. It was a great first night out in downtown Wellington and I look forward to many more!