The Naenae Express is rolling into town to help christen new bar Lucky.

The Auckland band makes a detour from its current national tour in support of Two Cartoon to play at the opening evening of the new Whanganui bar behind Riverside.

Following 2014's single Sea Anemone, The Naenae Express released its debut EP in December, a month when it also got to open for The Chills.

"That was unexpected but really rewarding," guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Scott Kendall said. "All the older Chills fans seemed to like us."


The band's name will be ringing a bell in the ear of cricket geeks and yes, Kendall named it after 43-test match quick Ewen Chatfield.

"I was just talking to someone about Ewen Chatfield and they said that was probably a good band name."

Cricket gear is stowed away among music gear on tour , for backyard cricket at a moment's notice.

"The rest of them are warming to it slowly."

The Naenae Express recorded the EP at various stages last year. "I'd already written all the songs, but we didn't really know how to play them as a band."

The music centres around Kendall's Jansen guitar. "It's pretty tape machine-orientated, a lot of emphasis on my guitar, just really turn that up and you get this unique sound.

"Most of it was (recorded) on tape, then the machine blew up and we had to do the rest on computer."

After Saturday's gig the band hopes to stay on in Whanganui for a few days to work on new material.