Ex-pats The Julie Dolphin (a successive British pop outfit that even managed tours with Oasis throughout the 1990’s) split in the early 2000’s, with founding kiwi duo Brett Adams (himself an ex-Mocker) and Dianne Swan (Everything That Flies, When the cats away) returning to New Zealand shores.
Swan and Adams formed the Bads as a recording duo – utilizing additional musicians to fill in the rhythm section for their live performances, and were eventually picked up by Stephen McCarthys’ fledgling South Recordings label, with an album to be released in early 2005.
Batrider were one of the brightest stars to come out of Wellington in the early 2000’s. A four-piece led by guitarist/vocalist Sarah Chadwick, the strength in the group lies in their gritty vocals and guitarist Julia Rouse’s excellent rhythmic riffs, countered by the strong rhythm section of bassist/talented illustrator Toby Morris and shuffling drummer Tara Wilcox.
The group toured New Zealand extensively with the early A Low Hum shows.
with the release of the groups debut LP ‘They said your hideous’ the group made the relocation to Melbourne, taking up residency on the other side of the ditch.
Eventually vocalist Chadwick would go solo recording under her full name Sarah Mary Chadwick, whilst Rouse would form Twerps.
Fashionable Wellington-based post-punk from the early 1980’s that featured Caroline Easther (The Chills, Verlaines, Spines etc), but formed by British ex-pat brothers Nino and Dan Birch.
Initially formed as a studio-based outfit in august 1980, and heavily indebted to the sound of the Cure, the Birch brothers had been around the Terrace scene for a while, playing in both the Westown Quintet and The Mixers.
Beat Rhythm Fashion eventually started playing live in 1981, taking their place in a vibrant and expanding scene.
They survived a bit longer than many of the formlative Wellington punk outfits featured on ****, releasing several singles packaged in distinctive 2-color sleeves and were recorded as part of the 4-band live album Wellingtonzone, that marked the debut of the soon-to-be-huge Mockers. The band had more of a pop-friendly new-wave edge than their harder-edge contemporaries, but saw little exposure outside Wellington.
In 2007 Rob Mayes of Failsafe Records finally released Bring Real Freedom – a collection of songs culled from out of print vinyl releases, live recordings and unreleased material as part of his ongoing reissue series.
The group received some retrospective exposure in 2017 thanks to Salmonella Dub – The Christchurch dub group were due to be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, however they declined involvement after their pick of Beat Rhythm Fashion (as an influencing group) were deemed too obscure.
A fine and surprisingly accessible collaborative band that featured the usually challenging Peter Wright (Guitar) and Dave Khan (Keyboards), with the ever-propulsive drumming of Rustle Covini.
The band lasted throughout 2002 and 2003 before Wright relocated to London, though Khan’s Fostex VF16 Digital 16-track records live on, as the group released a self-titled double-album on both Khans’ kRkRkRk and Wright’s Apoplexy labels in 2004, and subsequently a digital release entitled ‘First to the Sun’ in 2013.
The Belle Motions were a fine pop blast, strongly melodic and guitar led.
They didn’t make much of an impact locally but I remember enjoying the chiming guitar tones and melodies of this band. The band played with guitars handmade by Scott, and Wilson played an eight stringed Hagstrum, which featured a higher octave string next to each of the normal strings.
Ollie Scott is a world authority on Buster Keaton and has written a definitive book on him.
Essentially the rhythm section of a post-breakup Superette.
They released charming single ‘Creep Around The House’ on ‘Introducing…’ – a compilation compiled of artists associated with Howe’s then-fledgling Arch Hill label (which he’d set up with sound engineer Ed Case to release music that had been recorded in Case’s Arch Hill Studio).
Unfortunately it wasn’t long before the duo faded from view – with Howe spending his most of his time with Fang – a group he’d formed with his partner Sonya Waters.
Anderson later resurfaced with The Pencils – a make-shift project based around her own song-writing and a variety of all-star contributors and made a similar appearance on the 2nd Arch Hill label compilation.