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.
- 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)
- Music (1983, Unsung Music, UN11)
- Avant Garage (1983, Jayrem, JAY733)
Wellington based rock four-piece formed in 2002 by ex-Canvas front-man Michael Carpinter. Basically a power-pop garage-rock band in the traditional sense, and not a million miles from Carpinters’ former band.
- Michael Carpinter (Guitar/Vocals, 2002 – 2010)
- Craig Mason (2002 – 2010)
- Ben Litchfield (2002 – 2010)
- Ollie Gordon (Bass/Vocals)
- Jasper De Roos (Drums)
- Richard Orr
- Steve Small
- Nick Major (Guitar/Vocals, 2004 – 2010)
- Shade of Brown EP (2004, Globalroutesmusic, FP046)
- As For Now (2005, Flaming Pearl Records, FP049)
- 5th Degree (2010, LTPS Music)
- Drama Queen (Hark Records, HK0001)
Improvised electronic music from Aucklanders Paul Winstanley, John Kennedy, Marc Chesterman, with Clinton Williams of Omit adding contributions to their self-titled CD release.
- Paul Winstanley (Effects/Bass/Turntables, 1999 – 2006)
- John Kennedy (Drum Machine/Percussion, 1999 – 2006)
- Marc Chesterman (Sampler, 1999 – 2006)
- Clinton Williams (1999 – 2006)
- Live Space 23.7.00 CDr (2000, Is Land, Is L LS)
- Live Beaut Muse 19.11.99 CDr (2000, Is Land, Is L LBM)
- St Columba 26.5.00 CDr Promo (2000, Is Land, Is L STC)
- Audible 3 (2003, Audible 3, AUD3-001)
- Baby Planet Nuclei (2006, Audible 3, AUD3-002)
80’s synth-pop group with an album and a single on major-label WEA in 1983. Bassist Warwick Keay also appeared on recordings by Flight X-7, The Knobz, whilst drummer Edie Olsen has been on recordings by The Instigators, Dance Exponents, and even The Bilders.
- Warwick Keay (Bass, 1983)
- Michael Morris (Keyboards, 1983)
- Eddie Olsen (Drums, 1983)
- Carey Peterson (Vocals, 1983)
- Damien Saunders (Guitar, 1983)
- Rhythmic Tendencies (1983, WEA, WALKA001)
- I Wasn’t Thinking 7″ Single (1983, WEA, WALK001)
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.
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
- 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.
- 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)