Weird old Christchurch hard/sludge rock act who put out a few releases in the mid to late 90s. Made up of prominent poster artist Rock Hardman (aka Rob Haakman – vocals), Martin Henderson (aka Brother Love – guitar), Dave Clarke (who now performs as Dragstrip – guitar), and Ken Mexted (aka Ken E Bear – drums), with Steve Pikelet, Mike Brassell (aka the late-great Mike Hex of Squirm), George ‘Wade’ Churton (aka Gene Pool Belmondo of the McGoohans) and Alan Clark taking up the revolving bass player role.
In Nov 94 they embarked on the ‘Naked and Hairy’ tour that would take them from Dunedin to Auckland via the West Coast. Shows were poorly attended in the lower South Island, and their show at the Bonsai Pizzeria in Greymouth, though played to a packed venue, incited a bout of window smashing in the local population that closed the Bonsai as a venue for bands and left the Apes with nowhere (with the exception of Gonks harvest parties) to play on the Coast. Future tours (may 95, august 95, and march 96) concentrated on Wellington, Palmerston North, and Auckland as the audiences that the Apes attracted in these centers were larger and more receptive than in their hometown, where a few sloppy performances had affected their reputation. It was this relative success that would lead to their decision move to Wellington in 1997; A move that would be their ultimate undoing – Dave Clark
Ape Management were a crucial player in the strong mid-90’s underground Christchurch scene, often sharing bills with the likes of Loves Ugly Children, and organizing and promoting gigs around town. bassist Brassell was a central figure in Christchurch, running the Noseflute label, and planning many events out of his Hexcentral abode / practice space. As a band, Ape Management were as loose as it could get, a raunchy rock’n’roll outfit with a noisy bent and brilliantly lurid visual style.
David Clark and Gene Pool Belmondo opted to stay behind in Christchurch when the three remaining members relocated to wellington in early 1997. (Clark had recently had a baby, and Belmondo was in the process of writing his history of NZ Punk, ‘Have you checked the children?’). Upon arrival to Wellington the Apes recruited Alan Clark, formerly of Celtic act Banshee Reel
, as bass player/manager and played as a 4-piece. Things in capital city, however, did not go as planned and when David moved to wellington in February 1998 to rejoin the band he found there was no band left to join – Dave Clark
Picks In Bold
- Big Hair 7″ EP [1995 Homebacon]
- Simply The Beast [1995 Homebacon]