Bob and The Bats on show

Last updated 07:48 11/10/2010

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Mayor Bob Parker is tipped to turn into a bat.

Band Together - the Concert for Canterbury is a free concert in North Hagley later this month which promoter Paul Ellis and Opshop frontman Jason Kerrison hope could attract up to 120,000, making it one of the country's largest free concerts.

Rumours are circulating that Parker will join one of his favourite Christchurch groups, The Bats, on stage to belt out a few of his favourite numbers.

Paul Kean, bass player of The Bats and also a member of the Events Team of the Christchurch City Council, said he doubted Parker would actually sing.

"Nothing is confirmed," Kean said. "But he did ask for the chords to North By North. He'd be more likely to play rhythm guitar. From what I hear he had a lot to do with getting us on the bill. Jordan Luck is also a fan of ours - he always sings Claudine to us when we see him. Again, nothing is confirmed."

Kean says he hopes the event is streamed live because he has requests from fans "around the world" hoping to tune in.

It is likely mayoress Joanna Nicholls-Parker will be there to support Parker should he decide to perform.

"The mayoress often calls me Batman when I see her in the elevator," Kean said.

Band Together is billed as a special gift to the people of Canterbury from the country's artists. It will be held on October 23 from 11am-8pm.

Prime Minister John Key has indicated he will attend.

But while most Christchurch musicians appreciate the sentiment behind the event, some are viewing it with caution, claiming that although it is billed as a benefit concert for Christchurch, only three of the 33 acts are Christchurch-based musicians - high school band A'preeshiate, The Bats and The Eastern.

After the launch, at an Auckland-based advertising agency, many on Facebook were referring to the concert as Auckland Band Together.

Jason Gunn and Simon Barnett will MC the event, which will be broadcast live on television and radio. The live-to-air will feature the "big names" as opposed to highlighting talents of musicians living in Christchurch, critics say.

Kerrison, who started Opshop in Christchurch as GST (Goldfish Shopping Trolley), says he wants the day to have a "family focus" and it is a way for Canterbury to come together to have fun in the wake of the September 4 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

A raft of sponsors, including The Press, have stepped up to help Ellis and Kerrison and it "won't cost Canterbury a cent".

Money left over from sponsorship will be paid into the Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Appeal.

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Canterbury via Geraldine stalwarts The Exponents are re- forming for the event, and their song, Christchurch (In Cashel Street I Wait), is the theme song of the concert.

A live CD of the event is planned for release.

WHO'S PLAYING

* Full lineup:

Anika Moa, A'preeshiate (Pacifica Beats), The Babysitters Club, Barry Saunders, The Bats, Bic Runga, Che Fu, Clap Clap Riot, Dane Rumble, Dave Dobbyn, Dinah Lee, DJCXL, Dukes, The Eastern, Evermore, The Exponents, The Feelers, Ivy Lies, Julia Deans, J Williams, K. One, King Kapisi, Lindon Puffin, Maitreya, Dame Malvina Major, Midnight Youth, Minuit, Nathan King, Opshop, Ray Columbus, Swarm dance crew, Te Kotahitanga Kapa Haka, Vince Harder.

- The Press

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