andrew brough was the unwanted third wheel of the straightjacket fits. he had never been in a ‘rock’ band before the fits, but had established a reputation (as the frontman from the relatively unknown the orange) for being a solid guitarist with a great sense for melody and ryhthm. while this initially fit in well with shayne carter and the fits chaotic, ackingly beautiful early albums, it became quickly apparent that their was pressure in the group to release brough. carters a very dominant front-person, and with the dismissal of brough (they issued a press release that stated ‘yah!, no more slow songs!’) the fits went on to rock harder than they ever had, before finally self-combusting.
brough however, had found himself in a rather profitable posistion – the exposure the fits gave him, along with his classic fits swan song ‘down in splendour’ being declared something of a down-trodden, whimsical masterpiece — had led to the prospect of a promising solo career.
though he did put together a band (with bassist tristan mason and drummer karl buckley), bike was absolutely a vehicle for his own soothing, cheerful and sunny solo material. automatically gaining television interest with debut singles ‘old and blue’ and the majestic ‘save my life’, brough set about creating possibly the most consistantly gorgeous album in new zealand pop history.
take in the sun was eventually released in 1997, including the early singles as well as new highlights ‘circus kids’ and ‘take in the sun’ into a solid, aptly titled debut. the album gleems with a light layer of guitar feedback and brough’s hushed vocals – barely slipping into 2nd gear throughout the entire album, its no wonder the album has become something of a regular as television backing music. the pop melodies shine, the keyboard and guitar sends shivers down your spine. it’s not clear whether brough will continue the bike name, but i look forward to any future releases he see’s fit to release.
picks in bold
- ‘save my life’/’old and blue’ 7″ single [1996 flying nun FN369]
- ‘save my life’/’old and blue’/’undone’/’don’t cry’ cd single [1996 flying nun FN369]
- ‘circus kids’/’messed around’/’in the dark’ cd single [1997 flying nun FN390]
- take in the sun[1997 flying nun FN401]
download from mp3.co.nz
- old and bluern
- take in the sunrn
- save my lifern