New Zealand indie band makes their way to The Orange Peel


Frances Carter

A photo captured by Frances Carter of the Australian band.

Jernigan Neighbors, [email protected], Arts & Features Editor

Most known for their amplifying shows and indie rock sound, the New Zealand band, The Beths, will be traveling to Asheville for the first time to rock the Orange Peel on March 6. 

The Beths are ecstatic to be on their mostly sold out second tour in the US. The group recently released their third album “Expert in a Dying Field” in September 2022 which will be featured on the tour’s setlist. 

The band’s vivacious singer and rhythm guitarist Elizabeth Stokes said the band composed “Expert in a Dying Field” post-covid. The band was conscious of wanting to play something that would be both enjoyable to play live and translate to the audience. 

“We really love it,” Stokes said. “We really see ourselves as a live band that feels like a part of our identity is playing the shows and playing as a group and playing together and feeling like a part of a team.”

The band members consist of Elizabeth Stokes, bassist Benjamin Sinclair, guitarist Jonathan Pearce and drummer Tristan Deck. Singer-songwriter Sidney Gish will be accompanying this group as the tour’s opener. 

“The word I would use to describe her is a swear word,” Stokes jokes. “I love her songwriting and playing. I am really excited to have her on the tour.” 

The New Zealand band connected in jazz school and through playing local gigs in their adolescent years. The group formed The Beths in 2014. 

“Around graduation, I was like ‘Ugh, I haven’t been in a rock band yet’, and I started writing songs,” Stokes said. 

The band is excited to be back on the road, touring and playing for a sea of smiling faces from city to city. 

“We have really lovely audiences,” Stokes said. “People are very friendly, polite and sweet.” 

The band kicked off the start of their tour in Portland, Oregon on Feb. 16 with their set in Asheville following not too far behind. Stokes said the start of their tour so far is going incredibly well. 

This is the band’s first bus tour which is a large transition for the group compared to touring in a van. 

“It’s weird, kind of hard living. Everyone is in a small space,” Stokes said. “It’s kind of fun to find your own efficiencies.” 

Stokes said the band loves to play their hometown, Auckland, and appreciate seeing their family and friends in the audience. 

The band’s singer said the band keeps their bubbles quite small, so it is nice to see friends on the road and coming to their shows. 

“We’ve got people who know all the words back before we had even released any stuff. That is really special,” the Auckland singer said. 

Stokes said the enthusiasm that radiates through American audience’s tends to be very inclusive and warm. The singer said they notice different ambiences from different crowds around the US. 

“I notice differences between the west coast kind of vibe and the east coast,” Stokes said. “There’s something about the Midwest. We tend to click very well.” 

Stokes said the tour consists of songs from the new record paired with a mixture of their older projects from past albums. 

“When we had one album we could play through pretty much every song on the album, and now there are three so there’s so many more songs,” Stokes said. 

Stokes said what inspires her to be a more skilled guitarist is working on projects with the band that are slightly out of their element or a tad too hard. 

“I am this close to tripping over, and everything falling apart,” Stokes said. “Being close to the edge like that is quite fun for me.”