The Vibraslaps

sarni darragh, clare o’leary, dianne civil and gina cole. all girl post-punky outfit who put out an ep on flying nun way back in 1985. a very rough and ready recording – though not without some (and i emphasize ‘some’) charm.
discography
picks in bold

Victor Dimisich Band

Stephen Cogle, Alan Meek, Tony O’Grady, Peter Stapleton and (for the later period) Mary Heney – most of whom also formed Scorched Earth Policy with Brian Crook (em>The Renderers, Bible Black, Bathysphere) and eventually made their mark with the legendary Terminals. The Victor Dimisich Band’s recordings (an original Flying Nun EP and the extremely lo-fi live document Mekong Delta Blues – a cassette only Xpressway release) are highly collectable and very hard to find (despite being reissued with bonus tracks in 1997 on the Medication label), and show Cogle and Stapleton just developing their dark and morbid style (after spending time with Bill Direen‘s many bands).

Contemporaries to Christchurch’s Pin Group and the early rattlings of Bill Direen‘s Bilders, in fitting with the “Christchurch sound” at the time they favored something of a denser and darker than their southern Dunedin neighbours, expressed through a bleak vision and Velvet Underground inspired abandon.
Dan Vallor: Taken from Popwatch #9

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Native Waiter 7″ EP [1982 Flying Nun]
  • Victor Dimisich Band 12″ Ep[1983 Flying Nun Fnvd001]
  • The Mekong Delta Blues Cassette [1988 Xpressway Xway08]
  • Native Waiter 7″ EP [Reissue Crawlspace Space005] Rn
  • My Name Is K [Compilation Medication Med002]

See-Also

Vacuum Blue Ladder

The Vacuum Blue Ladder formed when Bill Direen joined Stephen Cogle (Bass / Vocals) and Peter Stapleton (Drums / Lyrics), who were also making music as the duo Victor Dimisich Band – a group that would later release an EP on Flying Nun, and can be seen as the starting point for the more recognized Terminals, plus Stapleton and Cogle’s many variations. However – the Vacuum were quite different from these future groups, as Direen was an important creative force in the group who added his own color to their sound and songwriting.

The members took advantage of their connections to the album importing business, encompassing inspiration from the most obscure (in New Zealand’s mid 70s environment) corners with the likes of the Velvet Underground and West Coast U.S. psychedalic artists the 13th Floor Elevators (along with the staple Nuggets bands)… the very best in gritty, noisy and creative garage rock.

Like before we were in Vacuum we had a backyard band sort of thing. We used to play in this room down the back of my parents’ house. A woman called Theresa played guitar with us and we wrote songs. The ones we did with the Vacuum, most of the songs were written by Bill, which was a source of conflict eventually, and so we took our songs and did them with the Victor Dimisich Band
Peter Stapleton

Guitarist / Vocalist Theresa Mcquire joined and left in 1976, making way for Direen to front the band, and soon Peter Fryer had joined on violin. The combination of Direen and guitarist Allen Meek created a rift in the band, with Cogle and Stapleton restricted to the side-lines.

…They got pretty close. Peter and I would come along (to practise), and Bill and Allen would’ve spent a long time working things out. In the end, it sort of goes, that I got fired, by Bill. ‘Cause I didn’t mix with him. I remember.. Peter meeting me over the christmas period, we sort of had a christmas break, and he said oh, Bill wants me to tell you that you’re out (laughs). And I said oh, that’s fine, it suited me. And I was replaced by Segovia
Stephen Cogle: taken from Have You Checked The Children?

Jon ‘Segovia’ Markie (soon to make his name with the Axemen and later Shaft) joined Direen, Meek and drummer Malcolm Grant (the Bats) on bass to complete the final line-up of the Vacuum in 1979. The band eventually dissolved in the very early 1980s, but resurfaced with the short-lived Kaza Portico – Segovia in the mostly-covers outfit the Volkswagons, and later in Ritchie Venus‘s Blue Beetles.

Direen eventually took the shortened Vacuum as the name for his theater group, and continues to write, act and perform to this day.

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also

Vague Secrets

Greg Bates, John Chrisstoffels (The Terminals, Paul Girl and Logan Paul. Featuring the talents of local Christchurch scene stalward Chrisstoffels, Vague Screts only put out a single self-titled album in 1985 before fracturing into other projects.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Vague Secrets [1985 Radar Records Rdr101]

See-Also

Valdera

Valdera is many things: A region in Tuscany; an art deco apartment block on Peterborough st; and the solo moniker of James Musgrave, under which he explores the medium of guitar and voice. Valdera songs embody the reflection, solitude, and frozen hope of a southern winter, and the joy and fulfilled promise of spring. Summer and autumn… not so much.

The first version of Valdera was a two piece consisting of James Musgrave on acoustic guitar and Bri Yaakoup (Frase and Bri) on piano. Early recordings on James’ computer attest to the band being formed in late 2004, which seems like a long time ago now. They intended to make quiet and pretty music, as a reaction to the very loud style of their previous band, where they were joined by mutual friend Fraser Austin (Frase and Bri, Secrets).

However, this duo didn’t last long. James forgot about quiet music and went off to form A Flight To Blackout, and Bri linked up with Fraser again to form Frase and Bri. But James never stopped playing acoustic guitar. He continued to write songs, singing softly to himself in various freezing flats across Christchurch City, and slowly gaining the confidence necessary to do so in front of other humans.

Before live performance however, he spent long hours teaching himself to record the best of the songs that he had so far written, again in various freezing flats across Christchurch. Eventually, in a modest room on Nicholls st around 2006, James was finally happy with the sound of the recordings. Unfortunately, after hearing them over and over ad naseum, by this time he was also completely sick of the songs themselves – so he left them to sit idle on his hard drive.

Fast forward to 2008, and James decided that the only way he was going to play live was by forcing himself. Therefore, the first Valdera show was booked, and on 01.06.08 he supported A Flight To Blackout and I.Ryoko at the Christchurch Media Club. The songs ranged from ones written in 2004 to the present, and were completely acoustic and unaccompanied.

Since then Valdera has branched out into the world of electricity, with about 50% of the currently played songs involving electric guitar, programmed drums, and synth all plugged into a loop station with vocals on top. Sometimes the Valdera setlist is acoustic, sometimes electric, and sometimes a mix of both.

Now, several years later, the finishing touches are being put on the Nicholls st recordings, and will be released as a 4 song EP before the end of 2008.
This extended bio was brought to you by the letter A, the colour white, and a completely shameless use of the third person. Thank you.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • 145 [November 2008 self-released]
  • Terminus [September 2009 self-released]
  • All Past and All Future [January 2010 self-released]
  • Early Earth [May 2010 self-released]
  • Remnants [November 2010 self-released]

See-Also

Valve

Valve’s E Minor is a lovely slice of Dunedin pop from a fresh-faced band of scene-survivors. Comprised of Paul Winders (The Verlaines), Kiri Winders (My Deviant Daughter) and Jeff Harford (Bored Games, Doublehappys).

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also

Vapor and the Trails

…A five piece instigated by guitarists Alan Parke and Leigh Perry with vocalist Ian Whitehead. Other members were soon added to fill out the sound; Dick Cotterill (Bass) and Karl Swanson (Drums).

The band’s early sets were composed overwhelmingly og 1960s pop/r’n’b covers, stripped-down and cranked up…although there was some genuinely punk material culled from imported albums (the Ramones first and second, three or four selections from the Heartbreakers “L.A.M.F”), The Trails (and to a greater degree the Detroit Hemroids) might best been seen as an allegory to the back-to-basics ‘Pub Rock’ popular in London in pre-punk years. In their efforts to find somewhere to practise, Parke found the Mollet St Market. Mollet St had been a hippie-style craft market for years, run by a collective; Parke saw an opportunity to turn the practise-room area into a performance club…

Mollett Street became Christchurch’s centre of underground music activity in the late 70s, with many bands forming and performing in various different styles – often incorporating the new punk element into their sound.

– From Wade Churtons’ Glam, Punk and Scorched Earth Policy

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also

Venetic

Wellington-based jangle rock outfit comprised of Wayne Stuart Mccallum (Guitar / Vocals / Song-Writing), Johann Croton (Guitar / Vocals) and Joey Esposito (Bass / Harmonica). Though their debut is mostly acoustic-based lo-fi, the follow-up explores more diverse and wordly influences with a more eclectic and electric approach.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Darkness, Sweetness And Light [2004 Self-Released]
  • Ambient Headroom [2004 Self-Released]

See-Also

The Verlaines

Graeme Downes’ long-standing song-writing vehicle, and one-hell of a brilliant, literate band at that. With the classic line-up of Downes on guitar and vocals, Alan Haig on drums and Jane Dodd on bass, the Verlaines released excellent singles such as ’10 O’Clock In The Afternoon’ from the EP of the same name, and of course their signature tune ‘Death And The Maiden’, which stands as one of the true kiwi classics.

Intricate, visionary song-writing and dynamic, unusual instrumentation (Downes approached composition from a more angular classical perspective, yet their songs could still Rock), along with a high quality thresh-hold mean that pretty much all Verlaines releases have strong, discernable qualities and are well worth getting hold of. They survive several line-up changes under Downes’ lead, and continued to make albums right up to 00s, re-uniting in 2003 for a short NZ tour.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Dunedin Double quadruple EP [1982 W/ Sneaky Feelings, The Stones, The Chills Flying Nun DUN1/2]
  • ‘Death And The Maiden’/’C.D. Jimmy Jazz And Me’ 7″ Single [1983 Flying Nun FN014]
  • Ten O’Clock In The Afternoon 12″ Ep [1984 Flying Nun FN022]
  • Hallelujah All The Way Home [1985 Flying Nun FN040]

  • ‘Doomsday’ single [1985 Flying Nun]
  • Bird Dog [1987 Flying Nun FN077]
  • Juvenilia [1987 Flying Nun FNCOMP02]
  • Some Disenchanted Evening [1989 Flying Nun FN129]

  • ‘The Funniest Thing’ single [1985 Flying Nun]
  • Ready To Fly [1991 Slash C30718]
  • Way Out Where [1993 Slash D31032]
  • Over the Moon [1996 Columbia 486880.2]
  • You’re Just Too Obscure For Me [2003 Flying Nun FNCD476]
  • Pot Boiler [2007 Flying Nun FNCD501]
  • Corporate Moronic [2009 Dunedinmusic.com]

See-Also

Vocoder

Wellington based 3-piece indie-pop / rock’n’roll outfit who formed in 2001 and have since released a handful of singles and eps on the start-up Rock-O-Tronic label and Melbourne label Popboomerang. They get ‘new-wave’ thrown at them as a stylistic leaning thanks to their keyboards, and their songs are doused with power-punk guitar-fuzz, with the occasional Wire cover thrown in for good measure.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Collapsed Stars Cd EP [2004 Popboomerang Pb012]
  • ‘Collapsed Stars’ / ‘Falko (Redux)’ / ‘Ex Lion Tamer (Live)’ 3″ Cd Single [2003 Rock-O-Tronic Rock! 3004]
  • ’66’ / ‘An Alternative’ (Demo) / ‘While I Cry’ 3″ Cd Single [2003 Rock-O-Tronic Rock! 3002]
  • Sweethearts Of The Radio Ep [2002 Rock-O-Tronic Rock! 5001]

See-Also