bored games

before dimmer, before straitjacket fits, before even the doublehappys, shayne carter was in a flying nun-type punk band called bored games, who opened for the likes of the clean and toy love before the lads had even left high school.

the conduit was the pistols doing pretty vacant on tv some time in 1978. a blast of white light – so exoctic, primitive and powerful – it blew me away. lesley [paris – later to become a member of look blue go purple, and at one time even head up flying nun] informed me that her neighbour, robin siatanga, had a tape of the entire never mind the bollocks album and we”d pass it amongst ourselves like this chalice of purse gold. i can still remember the cassette. white with thin gold stripes. at home i”d listen to it on headphones, cranked up beyond distortion, the music like an avalance in my ears. that”s when i began writing songs. –shayne carter

at the age of 15, carter [the ever-vocal frontman] formed bored games with kaikorai high school buddies wayne elsey (guitar) and jeff harford (drums) drafted in logan park high schoolers fraser batts (guitar – brother of jeff, making his name in the same) and jonathan moore.

that was the beginning really. two tribes from opposite sides of the city interlocked, bringing together the 20 or so kids who made up the town”s original young punk scene. by this point the enemy had left for auckland – along with the original clean – and assumed a shape of mythic proportions. –shayne carter

bored games started forming songs and ideas, lesley helping out as their primary supportor, and the band indulging in such influences as “the buzzcocks, the saints, the stooges, the ramones, the damned and the pistols. ak79 came out and we loved the scavengers tracks and would later cover proud scum”s ”i am a rabbit”…”, and listened intently to bootleg”s of the enemy, provided by (records records owner) roi colbert.

going from making their debut at kaikorai high school talent quest to supporting heroes toy love (and even upstaging them by playing ”pull down the shades” in the more primal, slow 10 version the enemy used to play), things quickly fell into place – the band playing community halls to armies of dunedin youngsters, though violence somewhat curtiled this option and being too young for pubs the started to run out of options. a possible support slot with lip service fell through:

…mr. batts said no. we didn”t bother telling lip service we weren”t turning up because they were from auckland and besides they looked old. we thought they were probably fakes. the knobz came and played a lunchtime concert at school. the covered the members” solidarity confinement and dedicated it to bored games but we were unmoved. we thought the knobz were fakes as well. afterwards my next door neighbour would plaster “knobz wank dogz” posters all over the city. –shayne carter

by 1980 the band had started thinking about recording, with a back catelogue of some 20 originals to work with. mike chunn overlooked the group, taking on the young dance exponents instead. wayne elsey grew tired, leaving to form the stones and was replaced by terry moore, and the band won the 1980 kvhs talent quest on second attempt. in 1981 the band slid away, half the members resurfacing in martin phillips re-christened sequel to the same – the chills.

the group would (with the birth of flying nun, later in 1981) record the who killed colonel mustard ep (which included the brilliant ”joy 90 – unmistakeably the bands signature song) posthumously a year after their break-up, and carter would go on to re-unite with his school chums in the doublehappys. the ep is now tragically hard to find, but the boys material is easily obtained on the ”..but i can write songs ok” compilation on yellow-eye records.

[quotes from shayne carter taken with permission from ”mysterex: kiwi punk and beyond #3”]


picks in bold

  • who killed colonel mustard ep [1982 flying nun LUDO001]

recommended songs

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  • joe 90
  • happy endings
  • bridesmaid

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