Avant Garage

Biography

Bizarre and theatrical jazz / art-rock performance group. Released an album and a self-titled EP in 1983 after receiving a Council Creative grant.

A jazzy-cum-classical nine-person ensemble with clarinets, cello, tuba and bassoon (in addition to guitar, bass and drums), New Zealand’s determinedly oddball Avant Garage sounds like something Zappa might have done in his Dada orchestral phase.
The music is generally pleasant (despite occasional skewed digressions, as on the instrumental “Funky Cockroach”); it’s the lyrics and vocals on songs like “Garage Sale” and “Mr Granite” that give this its modern, boundary-breaking character. Intelligent, esoteric and fascinating.
– Ira Robbins: Taken from Trouserpress.com

Members

  • Ivan Zagni (Guitar, 1983)
  • Mike Laen (Guitar/Vocals, 1983)
  • Pamela Gray (Cello/Vocals, 1983)
  • Wayne Laird (Percussion/Tuba, 1983)
  • Mark McEwan (Bassoon, 1983)
  • Prasala (Flute/Sax, 1983)
  • Peter Scholes (Clarinet/Bass/Saxophone/Tablas/Vocals, 1983)
  • Ben Staples (Percusssion/Vocals, 1983)
  • Tim Mahon (Bass/Vocals, 1983)

Discography

  • Music (1983, Unsung Music, UN11)
  • Avant Garage (1983, Jayrem, JAY733)

Links

 

Aviatour

Biography

Christchurch all-girl pop-rock outfit from the mid 2000’s.

Very chirpy and upbeat, they’re a welcome change to the male-dominated bravado of Christchurch live acts, and seem to have a good grasp of melody and dynamics.

Members

Discography

Links

 

Avotor

Biography

Auckland based 2-piece electronic instrumental Band (i.e. they play live electronic instrumentation with no computers).

The group formed in Grey Lynn in 1998, with Bev taking up drum machines and a sampler and Hamish using loops to compliment his past as a punk drummer (rock’n’roll is still a big element of their music).

Former Meterman drummer Jasper De Roos took over the live drumming role on their 2003 release ‘Billion’, put out on Kog side-label Midium, and they have toured with the likes of Jakob.

Members

  • Bev Painter (Drum Machine/Sampler, 1998 -)
  • Hamish Walker (Loops, 1998 -)
  • Jasper De Roos (Drums, 2003)

Discography

  • Looming (1999, Kog Transmissions)
  • Illooming Maxi Single (2001, Kog Transmissions)
  • Wait and See 7″ (2002, Self-Released)
  • Billion (2003, Midium Records, MID008)
  • Selected Tracks CDr Sampler (2004, Midium Records)
  • Nothing But Surrender 7″ Single (2005, Midium Records, MID011)
  • Freezeover 8″ Lathe (Self–Released)

Links

 

Awsum

Biography

Another alias of the prodigious Di Smith of the International Telepaths, most commonly known as Lucy Lurex and Lady Die.

In this configuration smith plays a very strange Casio keyboard with its own built in tape-deck unit for backing tracks – an odd one-woman show.

Members

  • Diane Smith (Keyboards/Vocals)

Discography

Links

 

The Axel Grinders

Biography

The infamous Axel Grinders – a terrific Christchurch noise-punk / garage beat combo from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s formed by John ‘Segovia’ Markie, Pat ‘Duane Zarakov’ Faigan, and Martin ‘Brother Love’ Henderson, with Celia Patel (aka Celia Mancini, at that stage performing as Celia Pavlova) completing their early line-up.

The Axel Grinders started out by doing covers. They even covered “We Care A Lot” (Faith No More). They played hard-charging skate punk. They pretended they were shit hot skateboarders but none of them could actually skate. (laughs) They took action shots of themselves skating. It was pretty funny.

– Steve McCabe from an interview with Ryan Leach

Celia left the group some time in 1989 (she later said in an interview with Ryan Leach that she was kicked out for ‘being too Iggy’), the group would go on to record their signature tune ‘Apparatus of Love’ with Celia’s Stepford 5 band-mate Reta La Quesne stepping in as their new vocalist, releasing the single alongside the noisy B-Side ‘Don’t hurry, be sappy’ for the US Dionysus imprint.

Several lo-fi cassettes were produced by the group, though it took over 25 years for the full length release ‘Kill Them Twice!’ surfaced on streaming services, though no physical copies were produced prior to Patel’s passing in 2017.

Members

  • John Markie (Guitar/Vocals, 1988 – 1990)
  • Pat Faigan (Drums, 1988 – 1990)
  • Phil Prescott (Bass, 1988)
  • Martin Henderson (Bass, 1988 – 1990)
  • Celia Patel (Vocals, 1988 – 1989)
  • Reta La Quesne (Vocals/Guitar, 1989 – 1990)

Discography

  • Come Together Cassette (1989, Sourpuss Recordings, AXEL001)
  • The Trip/1989 Cassette (1989, Sourpuss Recordings, AXEL002)
  • Too Cool Cassette (1990, Sourpuss Recordings, AXEL003)
  • Etheric K.O. Cassette (1990, Sourpuss Recordings, AXEL004)
  • Apparatus of Love (1990, Dionysus Records, ID074517)
  • It’s in the bag Cassette (199?, Sourpuss Recordings)
  • The Trip Cassette (1993 Reissue, Homebacon)
  • Kill Them Twice! (2014, Imperial)

Links

The Ashvins

Biography

a Palmerston North rock band from the mid 90’s.

Had a couple EPs, then ran out of momentum, their collected material released on the posthumous self-titled album on Spotty Dog Records.

Members

  • Luke Badger (Guitar/Vocals, 1995)
  • Paul Hirst (Bass/Vocals, 1995?)
  • Chris McNicholl (Drums/Vocals, 1995?)

Discography

Links

 

The Axemen

Biography

A well-known, yet thoroughly underground troop that often swelled in numbers (sometimes up to as many as 10 members in the mid 1980’s). The group have been known for their artistic endeavors as well as their music – with drummer Stuart Page (aka Stu Kawowski) a renowned film-maker and photographer.

Barely out of Cashmere High School, Steve McCabe played alongside Bob Cardy (aka Bob Brannigan – later to form the legendary Shaft up in Auckland) in a variety of pre-cursor bands, before Page jumped on stage at one of their shows. This was the birth of The Axemen, and the core line-up of all the groups earliest recordings.

The group released three albums on Flying Nun Records in the mid to late 1980’s – guitarist Dragan Stojanovic joining the line-up in time for 1989’s Derry Legend. Several releases on their own Sleek Bott imprint followed – following a very make-shift, punk approach to recording, their albums were often of-the-moment pieces…

The story of [Big Cheap Motel] is: Bob and myself went down to check out the Christchurch botanic gardens, the scene of the local council/”Big M” milk drink-sponsored “Summertime” concert-in-the-park series of free outdoor events, only to find the park plastered with billboard-sized posters of skimpily-clad young ladies advertising the sponsors wares.
We immediately proceeded home and wrote the enclosed set of ‘protest’ songs about the travesty, which were performed at the event, to the mild annoyance of the council & the sponsors.
– Taken from Mayday: The Little Stevie McCabe / Axemen / Sleek Bott webpage

Members

  • Steve McCabe (Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals, 1983 – )
  • Bob Brannigan (Guitar/Vocals, 1983 – 2011)
  • Stuart Page (Drums/Vocals/Trumpet, 1983 – )
  • Dragan Stojanovic (Guitar/Vocals/Mandolin/Bass, 1989 -)
  • William Daymond (Bass/Guitar/Keyboards/Drums, 2011 -)
  • Mick Elborado (Guitar/Bass/Vocals, 1991)
  • Paul Lee (Saxophone/Vocals, 1991)
  • B. B. Ryan (Bass/Guitar/Vocals, 1991)
  • Pete Rees (Vocals, 1991)
  • Arthur Sheep (Saxophone, 1991)
  • Shorty Hamilton (Drums, 1991)
  • Jessica Walker (Violin, 1991)

Note: This is an abridged list of musicians listed on The Axemen’s various recordings – see the groups Wikipedia page for an extended roll-call.

Discography

  • Big Cheap Motel (1983, Sleek Bott)
  • Three Virgins Three Versions Three Visions (1986, Flying Nun Records, FN049)
  • Derry Legends (1987, Flying Nun Records, FN120)
  • Ak87 (W/ The Shit Pop Boyz 1987, Sleek Bott)
  • Scary! (W/ The Sleek Bott Gang 1989, Sleek Bott)
  • Peter Wang Pud (1991, Flying Nun Fn204)
  • Dirty Den Sessions (1991, Sleek Bott)
  • Recliner Rocker (1992, Sleek Bott #921)
  • Three Rooms (An Elton John Tribute Album) (1992, Sleek Bott)
  • Across The Universe In 27879 Days Ep (1992, Sleek Bott)
  • The Axemen Singles Collection (Compilation 1998, Sleek Bott)
  • Nutsack 7″ Single (2011,
  • Sac Tap Nut Jam (2013, Spacecase Records, SCR006)

Links