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


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


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 the Failsafe records release ‘R.I.P.’, another track was also included on the 1984 accident compilation.

Lindsay left the band after the first EP and was replaced by Lyndon Frasier (Lyndon and the Liars). Steven McIntyre went on to join All Fall Down.

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.

– Rob Mayes


  • Mark Rastrick (vocals, 1981 – 1986?)
  • Scott Wilkinson (drums, 1981 – 1986?)
  • Matt Campbell (bass, 1981 – 1986?)
  • Steven McIntyre (bass/guitar, 1981 – 1986?)
  • Lindsay Davis (guitar, 1981?)
  • Lyndon Frasier (guitar, 1982? – 1986?)





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.
music videos

Backyard Burial

lower-hutt death-metal / grind-core from mike (drums), ryan (guitar), matt (vocals), jason (bass), alex (guitar) with a handful of self-produced recordings and some international support slots under their belt since forming in the late 1990s (after a myriard of lineup changes).
picks in bold

  • deviance in society [1999 self-released]
  • the $2 pe-ep [2001 self-released]
  • repeat offender [2002 self-released]
  • hedonistic cravings [2005 self-released]

music videos



Short-lived Wellington hard-rock 3-piece comprised of Head Like A Hole‘s Tom Watson and Nigel Reagan, and bolstered by Craig Terris. Put out a 7″ EP on Andrew Tolley’s excellent Kato label.

Terris and Watson went on to form Cassette.


  • Tom Watson (Guitar)
  • Nigel Reagan (Guitar)
  • Craig Terris (Drums/Bass/Vocals)


  • Live From Russia 7″ EP [1997, Kato KATO10]