Barnard’s Star


Wonderful now-defunct 4-piece shoe-gazers out of the garden city that put out 2 7″ Lathe Cut EPs, and a stunning 6-track album that turned out to be their parting recording some 2 years later.

Barnard’s Star live shot, from

Comparisons could be drawn to My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and “Nowhere era Ride – but Barnard’s Star took a decidedly more ethereal approach – distilling the shoe-gazer sound to a fine pulsing tone, which was quite a spectacle live.

Poster for Venus Cafe show with Le Mot Cafe, from

Playing coffee houses and small gigs in sporadic fashion, they became quite the cult act – especially due to their apparent lack of recorded material, so when they broke up in 2002 – their recordings became as scarce as the musicians themselves.

First EP, image from

Winstanley has gone on to form the Undercurrents and now has involvement with the Creation venue and art-space, whilst bass player Helen Greenfield and guitarist Nick Guy went into seclusion, eventually performing (so far a single gig!) material as Helen and Nick with a synth-drone focus.

2nd EP, image from

Finally their drummer Tyrone Thorn (who replaced original drummer Fraser and also handled some drum programming and sampling duties on the EP) moved to Sydney, forming electro outfit Swingingtastybag.

Barnard’s Star [1999]


  • Marcus Winstanley (Guitar, 1996 – 2002)
  • Helen Greenfield (Bass, 1996 – 2002)
  • Nick Guy (Guitar, 1996 – 2002)
  • Tyrone Thorn (Drums and Programming, 199? – 2002)
  • Frazer Talbot (Drums, 1996 – 199?)


  • ‘Miasma’/’Object #6’ 7″ lathe-cut [1998 Beat Atlas]
  • ‘Miasma (Helena)’/’nebula’ 7″ lathe-cut [1998 Beat Atlas]
  • Barnard’s Star [1999 Beat Atlas BEAT009]



Formerly known as Bits and Pieces; BnP make Anarchic punky noise that grab you by the jugular. They burst forth out of Christchurch thanks to the rise of 2nd release ‘Welcome to Mediocrity’ which made some waves in critical publications around the country in early 2012. Comprised of Stephen Nouwens (Vocals), Ben Dodd (Bass), John Harris (Guitar / Backing Vocals), ‘The Ghost Of’ Jamie Stratton (Guitar) and Rhett Copland (Drums), all of which have spent some time in the likes of Doctors, the Lonely Harris Club etc.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • I’m in you [June 2011 self-released]
  • Welcome to Mediocrity [February 2012 self-released]
  • Maybe she’s born with it (single) [April 2012 self-released]



wonderful home-brewed recordings from annabelle alpers – the now auckland-based guitarist, keyboardist and singer-songwriter formerly of the supremely under-recognized christchurch troop hawaii five-0.
her debut ep the end of things is full of memorable, catchy pop gems – smothered in quirky electronic textures, and featuring a guest appearance by none-other than mick elborado (scorched earth policy etc), plus former fang drummer andrea holmes.
in 2006 annabelle produced her 2nd release (and full length debut) ‘isolation loops’, leaving arch hill to form her own electroplate recordings and touring with cross-gender musician ‘stefanimal’ for the albums release.
picks in bold


Starting life as the Gordons, Bailterspace were one of the most abrassive aggressive and (primarily) loudest bands to ever emerge out of Christchurch and the Flying Nun scene of the early 80s. Comprised of Alister Parker on guitar/vox, John Halvorsen on bass and Brent Mclachlan on drums, the Gordons were the sonic exploration end of the dunedin sound, creating tremendous walls of weedback and distortion, never seen before on the New Zealand scene. Parker’s deadpan monotone growl was the icing on the cake in these early albums, and the Gordons were reasonably successful as a local act before disintegrating in 1986, releasing two solid albums on Flying Nun.

Parker formed Bailterspace in 1987 (initially as Nelsh Bailter Space), retaining his role from the Gordons years, but bringing in the Clean‘s Hamish Kilgour on lead guitar, the Pin Group‘s Ross Humphries on bass and Glenda Bills on drums. This line-up never seemed to settle though, with Kilgour switching to drums, Humphries and Bills leaving the group to make way for original Gordons bass player John Halvorsen to resume the bass playing role. This line-up recorded their stunning, ear-bashing debut Tanker, but once Kilgour had rejoined the Clean full time again in time for 1989’s Modern Rock, Brent Mclachlan was brought back in to complete the original Gordons line-up.

Through out the 90s, Bailterspace continued to release brilliant, dense rock albums, cultivating their wall-of-sound to the point of My Bloody Valentine comparisons, but Bailter Space were always more aggressive and indeed louder than their Irish cousins. After several impressive North American tours, Matador signed the band for American distribution, releasing the 4 song ep The Aim to a burgeoning US audience. The positive feedback that Vortura and Wammo (their mid 90s classics) receieved led to the band relocating to New York.

After adapting to a looser, more ‘Indie’ sound with 97s Capsul, the band then set about a less hectic schedule, gradually developing their sound at a more relaxed pace, taking several years between Capsul and Solar.3, even after the more considerable amount of press these albums receieved. In 2004 the (newly coporatized) Flying Nun / Festival Mushroom Group issued a best-of compilation compiling the history of Bailterspace. Though put together and designed by the band themselves and contains many classic character-defining Bailterspace songs, the compilation skimps on any band info or details along with some of the more direct and obvious compilation choices, leaving their albums (particularly Tanker and Wammo) much better starting points for the band.

After a lengthy hiatus whilst the members were living in various cities in New Zealand and the United States, Bailterspace re-emerged in 2012 with new recordings on the Arch Hill label – previewing tracks on-line before the new albums eventual release in August 2012 – some 14 years since Solar.3 was released!

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Nelsh Bailter Space EP [1987 Flying Nun Fn094]
  • ‘New Man’/’In A City Wardrobe’ 7″ Single [1987 Flying Nun Fn096]
  • ‘Grader Spader’/’The Escalator Song’/’N.B.S.’ 12″ Single [1988 Flying Nun Fn106]
  • Tanker [1988 Flying Nun Fn107 / Fne31]
  • Thermos [1990 Flying Nun Fn142 / Fne32]
  • The Aim Ep [1992 Flying Nun / Clawfist Fn232]
  • ‘Shine’/’Unseen’ 7″ Single [1992 Clawfist]
  • Robot World [1993 Flying Nun Fn259]
  • B.E.I.P. EP [1993 Flying Nun Fn284]
  • Vortura [1994 Flying Nun / Matador Fn295]
  • Splat EP [1995 Flying Nun]
  • Retro CD Single [1995 Flying Nun]
  • Wammo [1995 Flying Nun / Matador]
  • Capsule [1997 Turnbuckle]
  • Capsule 7″ Single [1997 Turnbuckle]
  • Solar.3 [1998 Turnbuckle]
  • Photon EP [1998 Turnbuckle]
  • Bailterspace Compilation [2004 Flying Nun]
  • Strobosphere [2012 Arch Hill]


Cameron Bain

one-half of the oft-referenced, seldom heard constant pain, cameron bain recently released a triple 7″ release on stella corkery’s / alan holt’s pink air label.
picks in bold

  • blues triple 7″ lathe-cut ep [pink air pink air 006] rn


auckland hard-core / skate-punk outfit featuring ben lythberg (drums), mike hall (vox – later of pluto and shayne carters’ crica 2004 dimmer funk-band), rhys williams (gat), dean cameron (bass). balance formed the elevenfiftyseven record label as an effort to raise the profile of auckland hardcore, organising tours and promoting bands at any given opportunity.
picks in bold

ballon d-essai

[profile thanks to Rob Mayes]
christchurch based 5 piece. released 2 eps on flying nun records (both of which included comic books), and the band recorded a bunch of other material plus a live show at the hillsborough tavern and much of this appeared on thefailsaferecords release ‘r.i.p.’, another track was also included on the 1984 accident compilation.
the band consisted of mark rastrick on vocals (last heard of as a resident of sydney), scott wilkinson – drums ( now a graphic designer, animator type) matt campbell – bass (now an illustrator in new york) steven macintyre – bass/guitar (went on to join all fall down) and lindsay davis – guitar. lindsay left the band after the first ep and was replaced by lyndon frasier (lyndon and the liars).
the band were relatively entertaining live, doing the art school thing with props and performance. they were interesting for a while in their use of 2 bass guitars and the peter hook melody lines from that sort of line up. they eventually started to write more traditional songs and lost the edge they originally had from being completely crap at playing their instruments.
picks in bold


picks in bold

banshee reel

gavin duncan, andrew moen, allan clark, julia deans, chris o’connell and tony coughlan. a country-tinged pre-cursor to deans’ popular fur patrol who self-released a couple of albums in the mid 90s.
picks in bold

  • culture vulture [199? BAN001]
  • an orchestrated litany of lies [1995 BAN002]

Backdoor Blues Band

Dunedin group from the mid 80s featuring vocalist Ted Clarke.
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