Bic Runga

Formerly Christchurch and now Paris based vocalist with a delicate folky pop-rock sound. Possibly New Zealand’s most popular vocalist (outside of opera-teen Hayley Westernra), Runga started out playing acoustic ballads as Love Soup with now Heavy Jones Trio vocalist/guitarist Kelly Hogan, and quickly garnished attention thanks to the Smoke-Free Rock-Quest, and a string of popular and minimal videos on the fledgling Cry TV regional music channel (now defunct).

Runga has since gone from strength to strength, signing with Columbia Records, touring the world and scoring some high-profile soundtrack slots in the United States, and breaking the 100,000 record sales barrier for second album Beautiful Collision. Though I prefer Runga’s initial, low-key and under-produced singles, she has retained an aura and understated grace through-out her career.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Drive Ep [1995 Epic 483666.2]

  • Drive [1997 Columbia 488580.2]

  • Drive [1997 Columbia 488580.2]

  • Together In Concert: Live Album [2000 W/ Dave Dobbyn, Tim Finn Epic 5011402000]

  • Beautiful Collision [2002 Columbia 5084032000]

  • Live In Concert With The Christchurch Symphony [2003 Columbia 5148132000]

Awards Etc
Rianz Awards 1995


  • Most Promising Female Vocalist Of The Year: Bic Runga


Apra Silver Scroll 1996

  • Song Writing Award: ‘Drive’


Rianz Awards 1996

  • Top Female Vocalist Of The Year: Bic Runga


Rianz Awards 1997

  • Single Of The Year: Sway

  • Album Of The Year: Drive

  • Top Female Vocalist Of The Year: Bic Runga

  • Songwriter Of The Year: Bic Rungarn

  • Sound Engineer Of The Year: Simon Sheridan


Rianz Awards 1998

  • International Achievement: Bic Runga


Rianz Awards 1999

  • International Achievement: Bic Runga

See-Also

Scribe

Back in the early 00s, Scribe was a Christchurch lad, struggling to make his name on the local hip-hop scene. Tied to student radio station RDU and their various hip-hop shows and events along with buddy and Christchurch turntablism long-stayer Ali. When Ali formed the annual hip-hop summit out of Aranui and New Brighton, Scribe (along with the likes of Verse 2 and Shee-Lah-Roc) stood out as pivotal figures in the local, quickly expanding scene.

With the relocation of the hip-hop scene to Auckland in 2001, Ali and Scribe developed stronger ties with North Island crews – and over the course of the next few months tracks (‘Scribe 2001’, ‘Synchronise Thoughts’) starter appearing from rising DJ (and then C4 music-tv presenter) P-Money featuring Scribe. Pretty soon Scribe had his own record deal with Dirty records – a spin-off from Universal music specifically aimed to capture the exploding New Zealand hip-hop scene.

Over the course of later 2003 and in to 2004, Scribe became the biggest hip-hop act in New Zealand history, with a series of top-selling singles, punctuated by Not Many, an infectious vocal-remix of a track originally intended as just an intro that started a bit of a phenomenom, with the phrase ‘Not Many / If Any’ probably going down as the most memorable lyric of the past decade in New Zealand music. Scribes platinum-selling ascension was still rising in later 2004 with a successful venture to Australia, and an APRA song-writer of the year (collaboratively with P-Money) for ‘Not Many’.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • The Crusader [2003 Dirty 337432]
  • ‘Stand Up’ Cd Single [2003 Dirty]
  • ‘Not Many (The Remix)’ 12″ [2003 Dirty]

Awards Etc
APRA Awards 2004


  • Silver Scroll: Scribe And P-Money – ‘Not Many’

See-Also

Chris Knox

Biography

I’ve had a hard time starting this profile.

A man who’s done so much for New Zealand (underground) music that it wouldn’t really be the same without him – Knox was responsible for so many changes in the way we think about music here in New Zealand.

In The Enemy he proved that New Zealand underground music was indeed a viable and precious quantity, absolutely illuminating the Dunedin punk scene that had sprung up around his quirky (and utterly convicted) troop.

When The Enemy became Toy Love they located and conquered Auckland, but were ripped apart by the complacency and vindictiveness of the big-label music scene (and apathetic Aussie crowds) in Australia.

Knox and his fellow burned band-mates returned with a new outlook on the kiwi music way of life. He saw that creation is far more important than clarity, and with a few simple steps (purchasing a four-track recorder, a chance encounter with Christchurch music-enthusiast Roger Shephard) set about defining the ‘Lo-Fi’ (a term yet later sunned) revolution of early 80’s Dunedin.

Knox then set about forming the utterly eclectic and thoroughly low-tech Tall Dwarfs with his fellow former Toy Love buddy, guitarist Alec Bathgate – the whimsy to his destructive element and a high quality song-writer in his own right.

The Tall Dwarfs remained highly productive and totally engaging throughout the 80’s, forming a cult of quirky, dark songs with bizarre narratives and eclectic touches (tape-loops and sound-manipulation became common-place early on), but in the later 80’s, Knox started working on his own solo material (as well as continuing to record and produce a number of his compatriot artists on Flying Nun).

‘Not Given Lightly’ could be called the apex of Knox’s career – his most commercial success and his most oft referred and covered ‘classic’ song, it’s also well-documented as his very first love song (and some would point out that his wife Barbara had certainly deserved one by the time of its release..).

So into the 90’s Knox stride as an icon of the New Zealand music scene, alternating between The Tall Dwarfs and his own solo albums, just as his journalistic side was starting to bloom.

Come the mid 2000’s and Knox is involved at all levels of New Zealand music. He is an acknowledged historic figure in the New Zealand scene (even winning a Silver Scroll for the heart-wrenching ‘My Only Friend’ in 2000), a valued journalistic resource, an archivist and historian, and yet is still finding new avenues to expand his musical vocabulary, releasing a new recording as Friend in 2003 that explores a new, hi-tech alley.

Knox’s life took an unfortunate turn in June 2009 when he suffered a deliberating stroke that left him unable to speak (or sing). After a long period of recovery and with huge support from the local music industry, Knox struggled own despite his own limitations, recording new material (without actually vocalizing words) with Auckland pop-punk trio Rackets under the name Knoxious.

Awards

RIANZ Awards 1994

  • Cover Design of the Year

APRA Silver Scrolls 2000

  • Song Writing for ‘My Only Friend’

Discography

  • Chris Knox Ego Gratifaction Album – Songs For Cleaning Guppies (1982, Flying Nun Records, FN Me001)
  • Seizure (1989, Flying Nun Records, FN125 / FNE30)
  • ‘Not Given Lightly’/’Guppiplus’ 12″ Ep (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN127)
  • ‘Not Given Lightly’/’Face Of Fashion’/’Love Song (Part 1)’ 7″ Single (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN152)
  • ‘Not Given Lightly’/’Face Of Fashion’/’Love Song (Part 1)’ 12″ Single (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN153)
  • Song For 1990 10″ Ep (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN155)
  • Croaker (1991, Flying Nun Records, FN165)
  • Polyphoto, Duck-Shaped Pain & “Gum” (1991, Flying Nun Records, FN249)
  • ‘Under The Influence’/’Stasis’ 7″ Single (1991, Flying Nun Records, FN266)
  • Not Given Lightly Ep (1993, Communion, COMM26-2)
  • Meat (1993 Communion Comm 28-2)
  • Song Of Me And You (1995, Flying Nun Records, FN313)
  • ‘One Fell Swoop’/’Giving Her Away’/’S.O.S.’/’Shrapnel’/’Mother’ Cd Single (1995, Flying Nun Records, FN316)
  • ‘One Fell Swoop’/’Mother’ 7″ Single (1995, Flying Nun Records, FN316)
  • Songs From 1990 Ep (1996, Caroline, CAR7528)
  • Nunfest ’96 Etched 7″ Disc (1996, Flying Nun Records, FN372)
  • Yes!! (1997, Flying Nun Records, FN400)
  • Almost (1998, Dark Beloved Cloud)
  • Beat (2000, Flying Nun Records, FN444)
  • Inaccuracies & Omissions (As Friend, 2003, Flying Nun Records, FN470)
  • Chris Knox and the Nothing (As Chris Knox and the Nothing, 2005, A Major Label)
  • A Warm Gun (As The Nothing, 2008, A Major Label, AMAJ001)

Links

The Mutton Birds

Biography

Probably Don McGlashan’s most famous song-writing vehicle, the Mutton Birds achieved considerable success in the 1990’s, with a number of successful singles, albums and even award recognition.

Originally an Auckland-based trio comprised of McGlashan (pulling double-duty with the theatrical group The Front Lawn), Six Volts guitarist David Long and drummer Ross Burge – who was also playing double duty in Dribbling Darts.

After adding (Burge’s Dribbling Darts band-mate) bassist Alan Gregg in 1992 the group released their self-titled debut, which tasted immediate success, particularly on the back of their cover of the Wayne Mason / Fourmyula classic ‘Nature‘.

Further albums followed in the mid-90s, with further success coming at the hands of their first number 1 single – ‘The Heater‘, plus perennial favorite ‘Anchor Me‘ from 1994’s Salty. Another cover – this time Blue Oyster Cults’ classic ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper‘ was used on the soundtrack to Peter Jacksons’ film ‘The Frighteners‘, further increasing their profile, particularly outside of New Zealand and Australia.

Towards the end of the 1990’s both Long and Gregg moved on, British guitarist Chris Sheehan, bassist Tony Fisher and another ex-Dribbling Dart – Matthew Bannister (most notably of Sneaky Feelings) filling the line-up as the decade came to a close.

Though essentially disbanding around 2002, with McGlashan going on to record under his own name (solo debut Warm Hand surfaced in 2006), the group have re-united for subsequent tours in 2012 and later.

Members

  • Don McGlashan (Vocals / Guitar / Euphonium, 1991 – 2002, 2011 -)
  • David Long (Guitar, 1991 – 1997)
  • Ross Burge (Drums, 1991 – 2002, 2011 -)
  • Alan Gregg (Bass, 1992 – 1999)
  • Chris Sheehan (Guitar, 1997 – 2002, 2011 -)
  • Tony Fisher (Bass, 1999 – 2002, 2011 -)
  • Matthew Bannister (Guitar, 2000 – 2002, 2011 -)

Discography

  • The Mutton Birds [1992 Bag Bag1003]
  • The Heater Ep [1994 Virgin 8770192]
  • Salty [1994 Virgin 8394882]
  • Box Of Birds [Compilation 1994 Virgin 4710572]
  • Nature [1995 Virgin]
  • Envy Of Angels [1997 Virgin 8425842]
  • Rain, Steam and Speed [1999 Virgin]
  • Flock: The Best Of.. [Compilation 2002 Virgin]

Awards

RIANZ Awards 1992

  • Single Of The Year: Nature
  • Album Of The Year: The Mutton Birds
  • Top Group Of The Year: The Mutton Birds

APRA Silver Scroll 1994

  • Song Writing Award: You Oughta Be In Love

Links