Leper Ballet

Biography

Christchurch 4-piece with a heavy Birthday Party flavor comprised of Mark E Smith-channeling vocalist Janus Currie, Nick Cave look-a-like guitarist Herbert Palmer, drummer Kris Taylor and bass-playing Karate enthusiast Rush Jopson.

These guys exploded onto the local scene in late 2004, claiming an unlucky 3rd place in the annual RDU Round Up band competition at the Dux de Lux behind excellent wall-of-sound propagators Happy Palace in 2nd and under-performing victors Chickenyard, before anybody had ever heard of them.

Somehow they managed to emerge fully-formed, with a tight and effective rhythm section, some killer guitar and top notch off-kilter vocal spasms (say Mark E Smith meets a kiwi accent). I wrote a length piece on them for A Low Hum back in 2005.

Basically the band started when some friends of ours came to NZ after living in Europe for a few years and decided to put on a country gig.

Stupidly drunk last Christmas, Janus and I said we were in a band and we would play, so we had 2 weeks to write a few songs and perform them.

At first we had a different drummer but he was shit so Kris joined and after playing a bit, Rush (who used to be in another band called Spankdirt) asked if we wanted a bass player. So the full band has only really been together for a few months.

– Herbert Palmer

The group spent a couple of years garnishing a loyal local following before the various members splintered off to different cities – on a couple of occasions Chris Andrews (i.e. me) filled in for Jopson on bass whilst he was overseas.

Their last shows were fund-raising events that packed out both Creation and Wunderbar – terrific events and a testament to the popularity the group had built in such a short time.

The group made a couple of reunion appearances at Wunderbar and Goodbye Blue Monday in 2009.

Members

  • Janus Currie (Vocals, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
  • Herbert Palmer (Guitar / Accordion, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
  • Kris Taylor (Drums, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
  • Rush Jopson (Bass, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
  • Chris Andrews (Bass, 2005)

Discography

  • Soft Machine (2004, Self-Released)

Links

 

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