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

a million lights

Biography

The first (documented) recording alias of Chris Andrews – I.E. the creator of this website. In 2004 I compiled a 4-song EP of original recordings and got them pressed in the very limited capacity of 20 copies through Peter King, down in Mt. Somers (in a single day!, June 24th 2004), each with a unique cover and hand-numbered. The music contained within varies between low-key melodic tremblings on the a side, to caustic, but carefully controlled feedback-entrenched drones and shards of sound (extract with the help of cubase’s many distortion tools – from a bass guitar) on the b of an 8″ lathe-cut.

This highly limited 8″ lathe comes to us from the beautiful islands of New Zealand, a place known for it’s exquisite experimental music. These four short compositions by Chris Andrews heavily feature bass as a predominant instrument. Their minimalistic structures and instrumentation give the four tracks on “a million lights” an open-air feeling. It’s like soaring through the night sky, breathing ice cold air into your lungs. i love how sparse these pieces are. Both “Build 2” and “Thumping Around” show off a sense of melody. While these tracks are all instrumental, these two have a catchiness to them that will lodge itself firmly inside your skull
Brad Rose; Foxy Digitalis

This EP is actually an archival release, constructed from some of the most thematically aligned instrumental pieces in my recording archives, which date back to around 2000. playing primarily bass guitar, but also a little keyboard and rudimentary drumming, the ep is a work of studio-production, and differs quite markedly from my live band, the diana mckay led post-punk 4-piece Idols Of Eve.

The piece de resistance of “a million lights” is the opening to side b, “Error 404.” With shades of Roy Montgomery and Windy and Carl, this spacey guitar drone is mesmerizing. A heavy low-end gives this track depth, and Andrews’ melodic tendencies shine through again. It ascends and descends through the clouds like a soaring bird. It’s an excellent track and deserves repeated listens. He closes the album with “Rebel,” which is reminiscent of the previous track. It’s like a more stripped down, heavily processed version of it. It’s a solid ending to a very solid release. I hope to hear more of Andrews’ material in the future
Brad Rose; Foxy Digitalis

On January 14th, 2005 I made my live solo debut at the ‘Southern Oscillations’ festival at Castle Hill, Central Canterbury. I performed a 40 minute set comprised of material from my simultaneously released debut full-length cd-r, coming on after kRkRkRk artist / co-founder K-Mz Robinson (of NoTV / TMA-1).

The performance went well, playing to a small crowd on the opening night of the festival, drawing a good response and prompting a make-shift encore. Significant about the live performance was that I’ve now taken to playing guitar in a live capacity, just 3 weeks after purchasing my first (non-bass) guitar. using my PC for backing and live processing, the guitar is used primarily to spike the live sound with a higher register wave of sound, which can rise and fall between quite aggressive shards of noise to glacial waves.

After a single gig as a duo (with James Musgrave of A Flight To Blackout – we performed as 2 million lights) and a CD-r album release in 2006, plus a few further live solo performances, a million lights went on the back burner around 2007.

Still performing with Palace of Wisdom, I joined new ‘DIY Pop’ group The Ruling Elite in 2015, picking up guitar again for the first time since the solo performances. With free-form drummer Rory Dalley (otherwise known as IRD), I got the opportunity again to perform in an improvised manner – filling in for Dave Imlay in Dalley’s instrumental duo No Exit for a show at Space Academy in mid 2017, this lead to further performances with Dalley during The Ruling Elite‘s North Island tour in August 2017 (using the group name No No Exit).

Members

  • Chris Andrews (Bass/Guitar/Vocals/Production, 2004 – 2006)
  • James Musgrave (Keyboards, 2006)

Discography

  • a million lights EP [2004 Self-Released]
  • Album [2005 Self-Released]

Links

 

Idols of Eve

4-piece post-punk outfit from christchurch who have been active since the early 00s, based around diana mckay’s vocals and rythm guitar, with jason tamihana-bryce shimmering lead guitar having a big impact on their angular sound. though adrienne ross has been their drummer since year dot, they’ve cycled through a number of bass players, settling on myself, chris andrews in early 2003. 2003 was a productive year for the band, settling into a more regular gigging routine, along with studio time preparing the debut release.
in 2004, the band have reshaped again due to the departure of ross, now replaced by julie behind the thrown, though once again the band was to have problems with finding a steady drummer, as julie has now relocated to the west coast (though still holds the spot for now). in mid 2004, i released my own solo recordings as a million lights.
discography
picks in bold

  • no major releases as of yetrn

Leper Ballet

Biography

Christchurch 4-piece with a heavy Birthday Party flavor comprised of Mark E Smith-channeling vocalist Janus Currie, Nick Cave look-a-like guitarist Herbert Palmer, drummer Kris Taylor and bass-playing Karate enthusiast Rush Jopson.

These guys exploded onto the local scene in late 2004, claiming an unlucky 3rd place in the annual RDU Round Up band competition at the Dux de Lux behind excellent wall-of-sound propagators Happy Palace in 2nd and under-performing victors Chickenyard, before anybody had ever heard of them.

Somehow they managed to emerge fully-formed, with a tight and effective rhythm section, some killer guitar and top notch off-kilter vocal spasms (say Mark E Smith meets a kiwi accent). I wrote a length piece on them for A Low Hum back in 2005.

Basically the band started when some friends of ours came to NZ after living in Europe for a few years and decided to put on a country gig.

Stupidly drunk last Christmas, Janus and I said we were in a band and we would play, so we had 2 weeks to write a few songs and perform them.

At first we had a different drummer but he was shit so Kris joined and after playing a bit, Rush (who used to be in another band called Spankdirt) asked if we wanted a bass player. So the full band has only really been together for a few months.

– Herbert Palmer

The group spent a couple of years garnishing a loyal local following before the various members splintered off to different cities – on a couple of occasions Chris Andrews (i.e. me) filled in for Jopson on bass whilst he was overseas.

Their last shows were fund-raising events that packed out both Creation and Wunderbar – terrific events and a testament to the popularity the group had built in such a short time.

The group made a couple of reunion appearances at Wunderbar and Goodbye Blue Monday in 2009.

Members

  • Janus Currie (Vocals, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
  • Herbert Palmer (Guitar / Accordion, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
  • Kris Taylor (Drums, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
  • Rush Jopson (Bass, 2004 – 2005, 2009)
  • Chris Andrews (Bass, 2005)

Discography

  • Soft Machine (2004, Self-Released)

Links

 

Mysterioball

Now defunct old christchurch punk band from the late 90s / early 00s based around core members kyle denovan on guitar and vocals, and myself (chris andrews) on bass and accompaning vocals. Starting with just the duo and playing to a small crowd at the green room, mysterioball had the loosest of punk asthetics, finishing their debut performance (which was actually part of a christchurch arts festival gig, coming on after a play!) with a swag of Springstein covers. All very fun, the group soon expanded to include denovan’s fellow flux capicitor member joe 90, an an estwhile drummer named Terry ‘the grieval deviant’.

After an unsuccessful party performance, Joe was dropped, and Mysterioball acquired themselves a saxophonist by the name of ‘Big’ Thom, who had achieved a touch of national celebrity thanks to an unhealthy little party trick. Thom had won a local bars how low will you go competition by performing a strange little routine that involved stapling his penis and testicle’s to a large wooden cross, dangling the cross between his legs, then setting the item on fire.. Not exactly something for squemish. The band played on, creating a number of badly recorded home-demo’s and playing to fair crowds at either the jetset lounge or (their favourite) the provincial, never really growing past their amateur approach, but always playing with a lot of energy and fun.

The summer of 2000 brought about a migration north for Thom and Terry – and without support Chris and Kyle disbanded the group, which by now had accumulated some 15 original songs, and went their seperate ways. Denovan later resurfaced with a handful of like-minded groups, even playing mysterioball songs with the rocking whores, whilst i went on to join Idols of Eve in 2003. Though Thom resurfaced in 2001 to play drums with Super-Yacht – a coloborative one-off performance alongside Denovan, myself, and the Idols‘ Diana McKaye and Jason Tamahana-Bryce, he soon disappeared again.

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also