The Pickups

Biography

Long-running Christchurch trio (originally a duo under the name the Twin Towers… then the Distractions, finally settling on the Pickups in October 2003) fronted by William Daymond, with Isaac Mawson and Jared Kelly.

A fixture of the Christchurch and then Wellington live scenes for the best part of a decade before releasing their aptly titled debut/retrospective ‘Finally… The Pickups’ in 2010. Mawson’s then-girlfriend Bri Yaakoup (later of Frase + Bri) played keyboards for a period in 2005-2006

Taking elements of classic Flying Nun acts like the Chills and the Clean, psychedelic West Coast pop-rock and the free-wheeling fun of the Monkees and the Beach Boys as their primary inspirations.

Daymond and Mawson both moved to Wellington – Daymond is a member of both the Axemen and Terror of the Deep, whilst Jared Kelly has been a member of Palace of Wisdom and Coal.

Members

  • William Daymond (Guitar/Vocals, 2002-2010)
  • Isaac Mawson (Drums, 2002-2010)
  • Jared Kelly (Bass, 2004-2010)
  • Bri Yaakoup (Keyboards, 2005-2006)

Discography

  • Finally… The Pickups (2010 Worship the Owl 001)

Links

The Palace Of Wisdom

Biography

The Palace of Wisdom originated in 1999 when well established Christchurch rock’n’roller Ben Johnstone (Guitar/Backing Vocals – Hi-Tone Destroyers, The Incisions) got together with intimidating vocalist Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell, adding hooky guitar riffs to O’Connell’s hurricane force vocals. The resulting recording was released as part of the No Thanks To New Zealand On Air compilation in 2000. Matt Alien (Hi-Tone Destroyers, Black Panthers, Space Dust, Slavetrader) joined on drums, with the line-up complete by English bassist Ian Lloyd.

With Lloyd’s departure in late 2000, ALC5 (yet another Hi-Tone Destroyers member) joined the group on Bass, however after a year with the group he was also replaced, this time by the legendary Mick Elborado (Scorched Earth Policy, The Terminals, Gas, The Axemen, Drowning Is Easy etc), who became a mainstay in the group and is responsible for the bands huge, over-driven bass sound on the excellent Pills EP.

The group then started to rotated through a number of drummers with Nick Harte (The Incisions, Shocking Pinks, Black Albino, CM Ensemble, The Urinators) in February 2002, Tim MacDonald (The Incisions, Shocking Pinks) in March 2003, Simon Nunn (Steffan Van Soest Hit-Machine, The Undercurrents, Kate in the Lemon Tree, Weaponized, Hi-Tone Destroyers etc) in December 2003, and then Chris Andrews (a million lights, Mysterioball, Idols of Eve, Pop Hits City, O’Lovely) in November 2004.

This line-up was the longest of the group, though recordings from this era (which lasted almost 4 years) are limited to Stuck In The Suck. After a disastrous recording session at Christchurch’s MAINZ, and other internal issues – Mick Elborado left the group. Jared Kelly (The Pickups, Blue Moon) then joined in May 2008, with Andrews and Kelly switching instruments after their first practice.

2008 was a particularly important year for the group, recording the Common Threads EP with the lineup of O’Connell (Vocals), Johnstone (Guitar), Andrews (Bass) And Kelly (Drums) Before Stink Magnetic‘s Aiden Moody (Bad Evil, Grand Chancellors) joined as a 2nd guitarist, moving down from Palmerston North. This was an important change for the group as in late 2009 founding guitarist Ben Johnstone left to raise a family in Canada, and Moody took over his lead guitar duties.

Both Kelly and Andrews left for other towns in 2010, however Ox enlisted the help of drummer Michael Summerfield (The Undercurrents, Cowboy Machine), before Andrews rejoined in early 2011 on bass guitar. The group played the very last show at historic Lyttelton venue El Santo Porteno, just 2 days before the February 2011 earthquake. This disrupted the progress the group had been making, with guitarist Moody moving on to form surf group The Grand Chancellors.

The group resurfaced in early 2012 with Jared Kelly once again playing drums (replacing a departing Summerfield), with John Harris (Lonely Harris Club, Doctors, BnP) quickly establishing himself as their latest guitarist. Summerfield would eventually find himself back in the group after a hilarious stage moment at the (now bull-dozed) New Brighton Tavern which saw Kelly replaced mid-set by multi-instrumentalist Rhett Copland, and this line-up played quite a few shows over the next couple years.

Which Palace’s recorded output completely stagnant Ox formed a new group with guitarist Dave Branton named The Ruling Elite, which eventually picked up Andrews (switching to 2nd guitar). Eventually both groups began utilizing talented free-form drummer Rory ‘IRD’ Dalley – with the new group quickly writing and recording a whole swag of new recorded output, whilst Palace remains a tight live-act-only type of group.

Over the course of the last 15 years the group has played a string of high-profile support slots, including The Chills, The Datsuns and of particular note – US group Dead Moon, who the group cover (‘Unknown Passage’) and are of particular importance to vocalist O’Connell with their never-say-die attitude to Rock’n’Roll. The Palace of Wisdom’s set is augmented by a number of re-interpreted covers, often quite removed from the originals, or obscure in their origin – this includes The Great Unwashed‘s ‘Born in the Wrong Time’ (as ‘Sending Him Away’), and Joy Division’s ‘Sound of Music’.

 

Members

  • Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell (Vocals, 1999-)
  • Ben Johnstone (Guitar, 1999-2009)
  • Matt ‘Alien’ Johnstone (Guitar, 1999-2002)
  • Ian Lloyd (Bass, 1999)
  • Alan ‘ALC5’ Cameron (Bass, 2000-2001)
  • Mick Elborado (Bass, 2001-2007)
  • Nick ‘Harte’ Hodgson (Drums, 2002-2003)
  • Tim MacDonald (Drums, 2003)
  • Simon Nunn (Drums, 2003-2004)
  • Chris Andrews (Drums/Bass, 2004-2010, 2011-)
  • Jared Kelly (Bass/Drums, 2008-2010, 2012)
  • Rhett Copland (Drums, 2012)
  • Aiden Moody (Guitar, 2008-2010)
  • Michael Summerfield (Drums, 2010-2012)
  • John Harris (Guitar, 2010-)
  • Rory Dalley (Drums, 2015-)

Discography

  • The ‘P’ EP [2001 Self-Released]
  • Candy Pants [2002 Self-Released]
  • Pills EP [2003 Self-Released]
  • Stuck In The Suck [2006 Self-Released]
  • Burnside EP [2008 Self-Released]
  • Common Threads EP [2009 Self-Released]

    Links

  • MySpace
  • BandCamp
  • Facebook
  • LastFM
  • Photo’s on Flickr

Psych Tigers

Originally the solo recording alias of teenage frontman Sam Perry (Vox/Guitar), now a live band also consisting of Matt Gunn (Bass, also of Ipswich), Steven Marr (Guitar, Ipswich and Miniatures) and Todd Williamson (Drums). Perry’s recordings have made a splash since first appearing in mid 2011 – very colored, stylistic sounds from such a young musician, showing a lot of variation and a spazzy, exciting approach to making music.

The Group is now trying their hand at establishing themselves in the Christchurch live scene; with both Marr and Gunn also quite prolific in local Post-Punk 3-piece Ipswich.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Glitter [May 2011 self-released]
  • Crystal Methods single [June 2011 self-released]
  • Baptism (Crystal Castle remix) [July 2011 self-released]
  • Psych Tigers EP [November 2011 self-released]
  • Wake-Up single [December 2011 self-released]

See-Also

Piha Rescue

Most likely defunct 3-piece surf-guitar covers group from Christchurch. Formed some time around late 2009 by Che Walden (guitar, also of Miniatures), Ben Dodd (bass, Lonely Harris Club, Bits and Pieces) and Alice Connelly (drums), who left for Wellington in early 2012. The group became quite popular at venues such as the pre-earthquake central city favourite Goodbye Blue Monday and Lyttleton surf-guitar-haven El Santo Porteno for their rough and ready, well-recognizable surf-guitar classics.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Misirlou [April 2010 self-released]
  • Live at El Santo [July 2010 self-released]
  • Shakin’ and Stompin’ (MAINZ Legit) [August 2010 self-released]
  • Happy Days! [October 2011 self-released]

See-Also

palace at 4am

palace at 4am is an up and coming dunedin four-piece fronted by singer/guitarist emma milburn, along with arc life sound-man supremo thomas bell (bass – also currently in david kilgour‘s heavy eights), gregg cairns (percussion) and lesley paris (ex-look blue go purple / flying nun label-head – drums).

we named palace at 4am from the alberto giacometti sculpture of that name. i kind of like the links with the futurist/surrealist art movements and, with music, the whole space/time thing…” “…so some of my lyrics come from this and, in the case of my song the palace at 4am, there’s a direct quote from giacometti’s comment on his sculpturern- emma milburn; taken from nzepc’s interview.

milburn also composes for the intrueing palo/ona, who released their debut album star of the sea in 1999, with palace at 4am’s debut expected sometime in 2004.
discography
picks in bold

  • palace at 4am [to be released in 2004]

pacific heights

as a jazz-trained electronic musician, devin abrams first appeared as a saxophonist and front-man for the popular live drum’n’bass outfit shapeshifter, releasing solo material through local start-up fabel recordings in the early 00s. jazz-textured electronica, rnhigh on style and low on content – not really my cup of tea.
discography
picks in bold

  • pacific heights ep [2002 fabel recordings frrcd01]
  • frozen fears [2003 fabel recordings]

pig out

live electro-house-rave band founded as a side-project by house of dolls‘ marie celeste (keyboards) and kit clayton (vocals, drum programming); with the original intent of being joined by the enigmatic nick harte (shocking pinks) – though he essentially exists as a part time member. soon pig out had an identical lineup to the dolls with bassist frase and drummer kris soon joining; though eventually frase left both groups to vocals on his expanding frase+bri project.

pig out live at happy, filmed by neonsleep

pig out songs are essentially long rambling jams based around marie’s synth and huge percussionary involvement, though with kris now on drums this has taken a more polished, complete feeling. the group quickly grew in popularity across the country, being a fore-runner in the rave-rivivalism scene that emerged in 2006. hugely fun and tongue-n-cheek; the group are hard at work getting their debut ‘club poems’ ready for release on pinacolada records.
July 2007 saw the group embark to Europe, playing the Midi festival on the French Riviera, along with further shows in France, England, and Continental Europe.

discography
picks in bold

  • Club Poems [2006 Pinacolada]

p-bass expressway

studio-based five piece funk outfit formed in christchurch by nava thomas (aka confucious / soul providah) and ariel white, and featuring contributions from erstwhile members in melbourne and all over the globe, the band did play locally in the late 90s, reforming with the release of their debut album in early 2004.
their recordings and live show encompass performances from many of christchurch’s dub, funk and electronic regulars – but in my opinion they have quite propelled themselves beyond the soul-jazz-lite level to credible dirty-funk yet (with their album sounding far too clean and focused to really groove).
discography
picks in bold

  • express funk[2004 heavy weight soul HWSP01]

pieters, kim

articulate bassist / guitarist from such bands as rain, flies inside the sun etc. has performed in various free-form works with the likes of bruce russell and peter stapleton.
discography
picks in bold

picnic boys

kevin smith (guitar / vocals – who later went on to find fame as an actor in the likes of hercules before he died tragically in the early 2000s) released a series of tapes, often with pat faigan (drums – aka duane zarakov – later of spacedust) and steve watson (bass / violin / synth) – initially as the picnic boys on their own tv eye label. the fourth tape in this series was a split album from legacy of ears (steve watson) and hyphen-smythe (kevin) who in combination released material on a later album as the hyphen-ears.
discography
picks in bold

  • split cassette [1982 w/ rythm doktor tv eye TV-Eye001]
  • here comes the jungle cassette [1982 tv eye TV-Eye002]
  • crumbs, it’s a pterodactyl! cassette [1982 tv eye TV-Eye003]