Ritchie Venus (real name: Michael Braithwaite) is a bit of an oddity in the Christchurch scene. A quiet, timid man in conversation, he’s been creating music since the first wave of New Zealand rock’n’roll way back in the 1950s – idolizing our original superstar Johnny Devlin.
Yet, unlike a number of other kiwi musicians, he languished in obscurity, even in his own home town – being known more for his Elvis impersonations (which he has done regularly for quite some time at Lyttleton’s brilliant Wunderbar) than his original music, yet has released a number of albums, full of his own original rock’n’roll classics. In the mid 90s and poignant documentary and the Renderers brilliant cover of his live favorite original Forbidden Planet led to a bit more exposure, but Venus still remained a relatively unknown character.
Discography (picks in bold)
- ‘Bleeding Heart’/’Josephine’ 7″ single [1981 Flying Nun FN008]
- Rebel Blood [1987 Onset/Offset PRA2387]
- You Can’t Fight It [1989 Onset/Offset RV008]
- Rockin’ to the Grave [1989 Onset/Offset]
- The Ballad of Ritchie Venus [2000 Onset/Offset RV11]
- Sunrise [2002 Onset/Offset]