Bond Street Bridge began in 2008 as the solo project of multi-instrumentalist and songsmith Sam Prebble, and since then the act has evolved into a dynamic collective including some of the most exciting musicians in the Auckland underground. Sam has become a fixture of the Auckland alternative folk scene, playing mandolin, fiddle and guitar with The Broken Heartbreakers, Reb Fountain's Bandits, and the Nina McSweeney Band, as well as appearing as a guest with artists as diverse as An Emerald City, Matt Langley, and Tim Guy, and recently co-founding the Wine Cellar Strings. In between recording and extensive touring, he drives a mobile library in West Auckland.
In mid-2011 Bond Street Bridge released his second album Spring Summer Awesome Winter, on Monkey Records in partnership with An Emerald City’s Banished From The Universe label, following up 2008’s critically lauded debut The Mapmakers' Art. Since the release of the first album, Prebble has toured extensively around New Zealand, Australia and Europe. The albums and the live show have impressed audiences, promoters, and critics alike, with Phil Reed describing The Mapmaker’s Art as 'one of the finest collections of homegrown music to cross this desk in a while' in Real Groove magazine. Graham Reid of elsewhere.co.nz included it in his best of 2008 list, and North And South reviewer Simon Sweetman described SSAW as ‘one of my favourites of this year.’
In 2010, Bond Street Bridge escaped the New Zealand winter and spent three months touring extensively through Europe and the UK. Along the way he played several shows with labelmate Tim Guy, and spent three months as the stand-in violinist for Berlin-based NZ psychedelic ensemble An Emerald City supporting such international heavyweights as Black Mountain and The Black Angels. Further international touring is planned for 2013.
In 2012 Prebble expanded the Bond Street lineup, recruiting musicians from Auckland’s thriving underground alt-folk scene. Ivy Rossiter (Luckless, Lindon Puffin) joined the band on vocals and percussion, Dylan Storey on lead guitar and Brendan Turner on upright bass. This has allowed Bond Street Bridge to move beyond the solo show based on live loops and tape echoes and produce an even more layered and subtle sound featuring rich vocal harmonies, jangling guitars, strings and percussion. The eclectic and powerful live set has seen Bond Street Bridge invited to open for a wide range of international artists, including The Books, The Willard Grant Conspiracy, Mt Eerie and Don McGlashan.
The summer of 2012/13 sees Bond Street Bridge touring New Zealand with the high-concept and critically-acclaimed show ‘The Explorer’s Club: Antarctica,’ a multi-media set including spoken-word storytelling and all-original songs dealing with the trials and tribulations of early Antarctic explorers Scott and Shackleton. The show was described in the Domion Post as 'a perfect evening of music,' and has played to sold-out houses at the Auckland, and Wellington Fringe Festivals, and in bar-rooms, theatres and community halls all over the country.
"Prebble, now filling a role as guitar-slinging, violin-flailing hipster/jive-talking raconteur, creates the journey for the audience.
There is a devotion to the performance that is remarkable - we're simply lucky to have someone like him; creating songs that mean something, that share interesting history, that interpret lost artefacts - and showing some sense of exploration himself, Prebble deftly demonstrates that he knows his way, time and again, to the heart of a jangly-pop song, to the soul and core of folk music.
Animations accompany the story-songs, spoken-word introductions were delivered with a near-shamanistic fervour, and it is not always the case - hardly ever in fact - that you leave a performance feeling privileged to have been there.
It felt like most of the audience had some version of this; such was the connection, to the stories, to the presentation and - of course - to the music.
A perfect evening of music." The Domion Post on the Explorers Club: Antarctica show in the Wellington Fringe Festival.
"Drums stand in for the sound of guns and the rasp of a bow across the strings of a violin produces a cold, harsh wind. All these effects place you in that space so completely that a hot, sultry night in Auckland can feel like the frozen wastes of the Antarctic.
Prebble manages to marry loss and desolation with toe tapping songs. Beautiful, sad and utterly mesmerising. You will go away a richer person for having seen this... don't miss it." Gather and Hunt.co.nz on the Explorers Club: Antarctica show in the Auckland Fringe Festival
“Hypnotic, exciting, enticing. Beautifully crafted, intriguing and wise. This is one of my favourite albums of the year” Simon Sweetman, North and South On Spring Summer Awesome Winter (Oct 2011)
"Instrumentally lush, vocally intimate, and warm in tone, [Spring Summer Awesome Winter] succeeds in that almost impossible task of making you want to listen over and again." New Zealand Musicain magazine on Spring Summer Awesome Winter
“Beautiful… there is a real substance to the tracks – well crafted using vintage equipment.” Wallace Chapman on SSAW
"Strange and Beautiful... Evocative musical landscapes stretch back in time to where myth and history meet." Otago Daily Times on Mapmaker's Art
"Lush soundscapes... A delightful world of alt-folk, electronic, semi-filmic, world-influenced pop that is full of wry lyrics and observations." NZ musician magazine on the Mapmaker's Art
"Prebble's contribution shouldn't be ignored. Playing mandolin and 12-string guitar, he brings both an intricacy and delicacy to arrangements, tickling the senses with his accomplished musicianship." - Otago Daily Times, on the Broken Heartbreakers album 'Wintersun"