Harry Harrison

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Harry Harrison Collection


Harry Harrison  —  

Ian Petrie Harrison, grew up in a satellite town of Glasgow called East Kilbride.  This town was clean and fresh and new, but the little boy, then six, and his younger sister weren't there long enough to know it would become the most successful and populous of modern towns on Glasgow's urban fringe.  Before Ian had earned the now-familiar nickname of Harry and was properly aware of his surroundings and his Scottishness, his father – who had seen Australia and New Zealand as a merchant seaman – packed up the family and they emigrated to Australia.  Sydney’s blue skies, temperate climate and the positivity and promise of the country would displace memories of their former chilly northern lives.  From the mid-1980s, when the now "Harry" Harrison moved to Christchurch to take up music-teaching posts at Christ's and St Andrew's Colleges, the scene has been through some radical changes, from both without and within.  From Harry's perspective, as the '90s unfolded, he started to see that it was getting a bit easier for original bands to find a venue to play at.  He was starting to change directions musically - still doing a bit of music with Danny Wilson from Sneaky Feet.  He then left and joined the Blue Swing Quartet and started playing jazz.  He was into more of the venues such as Mainstreet Café, The Club, Café Bleu and some places in Cashel Mall that for a time had the European styling.  He then played at Coyotes on the Strip and the Civic on Manchester Street.  There seemed to be plenty of variety in the pre-quake decade with places like Fat Eddie’s and Poplar Lane.


Harry Harrison at The Dux De Lux circa 1986

Soul Agents

Harry Harrison circa 2011


Big changes started to occur in the 2000s, and Harry was no longer with Danny Wilson.  He started to play in funk bands with horns, doing classic Janes Brownish funk covers.  One band was called Dirty Harry,which started as an original band called Oval Office, playing a lot of instrumentals, and Harry used to sing, but eventually, Oval Office got a lead singer whose name was Sacha Vee.  Things were thriving in the 2000s, and then the quakes happened in 2010-11 and everybody's world fell apart.  All the venues came down or were closed indefinitely.  Financially Harry was okay, because he was working at Ara Technical Institute and had some private teaching.  The disastrous quake of 22 February 2011, left a huge void, but a renewed music scene rose up through the ruins and the Lyttelton push was right at the vanguard, with Adam McGrath of The Eastern and his muso pals spreading out into the community, portside and over the hills.  Harry feels that Christchurch has such a rich and diverse music culture - it's quite amazing.


Harry Harrison and Inside Out

Harry Harrison - Choice Cuts

Harry Harrison - A Sense Of Place

Harry Harrison and Inside Out - Hokey Pokey


Sneaky Feet circa 2008
Danny Wilson, Rob Carpenter, Harry Harrison and Wayne Allen

Blue Swing Quartet circa 1995
Harry Harrison, Fiona Pears, Keith Petch and Mike Kime

King Tubbs circa 2020
Justine Snelgrove and Harry Harrison