Superette

Dave Mulcahy’s first post-jEan Paul Sartre Experience band was the unfortunately short-lived superette, who sprung up in Auckland in 1993. With Mulcahy taking guitar and vocal duties, he pulled together Ben Howe (Bass) and Greta Anderson (Drums/Backing Vox) to record the rough, thematically scary, but thoroughly charming Rosepig EP. From here the band became known as one of the better live pop-rock acts around New Zealand, and where one of the defining bands (along with the 3Ds) that turned me on to New Zealand bands.

They expanded the tracks on their earlier release to the fully-fledge debut Tiger in 1995, which still remains one of my very favourite albums – mainly due to the fact that over the twelve stellar tracks, not a single song drags. Over the common theme of murder, and the psycho-analysis of well-known murderers, the album retains a dynamic pop hook. Tiger carefully flows between the more up-beat earlier numbers (such as ‘Touch Me’ and album high-light, the Anderson-penned ‘Saskatchewan’), through to the album closing slower numbers (notably ‘Funny Weather’ and the charismatic ‘Waves’, which made a big impact on the Topless Woman Talk About Their Lives movie-score), without ever missing a beat.

Sadly after touring the album for the best part of a year, Mulcahy decided to move on to his own pressing solo career, leaving Ben And Greta (the moniker they took from that point on) to soldier on for themselves. Since Mulcahy left, Ben And Greta released the charming single ‘Creep Around The House’ (with Howe on vocal duties), but the duo seems to be more interested in their other pursuits. Ben Howe has gone on to form the Arch Hill record label, which released ‘Creep Around The House’, Mulcahy’s solo debut Oddy Knocky, as well as the debut from Ben’s new band Fang, entitled The Origin Of The Species.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Rosepig Cd Ep [1995 Flying Nun Fn326]
  • ‘Killer Clown’/’Disappear’ 7″ Single [1995 Flying Nun Fn326]
  • Tiger [1996 Flying Nun Fn352]
  • ‘Touch Me’/’Catacombs’/’Cheezel’/’Saskatchewan’ Cd Single [1995 Flying Nun Fn362]
  • ‘Touch Me’/’Anything’ 7″ Single [1995 Flying Nun Fn362]

See-Also

Bachelorette

Biography

Wonderful home-brewed recordings from Annabelle Alpers – the now Auckland-based guitarist, keyboardist and singer-songwriter formerly of the supremely under-recognized Christchurch troop Hawaii Five-0.

Her debut EP ‘The End Of Things’ is full of memorable, catchy pop gems – smothered in quirky electronic textures, and featuring a guest appearance by none-other than Mick Elborado (Scorched Earth Policy etc), plus former Fang drummer Andrea Holmes.

In 2006 Alpers produced her 2nd release (and full length debut) ‘Isolation Loops‘, leaving Arch Hill to form her own Electroplate Recordings and touring with former Mestar bassist Stefanimal for the albums release.

After further success with ‘My Electric Family’ and a self-titled 3rd album – both co-released on US label Drag City, Alpers retired the Bachelorette alias in 2011 – creating a Kickstarter project for new album ‘Remote’ performing under her own name for the 1st time.

Members

  • Annabelle Alpers (Vocals/Guitar/Bass/Piano/Keyboards/Sequencing, 2004 – 2013)

Discography

  • The End Of Things EP (2005, Arch Hill, AHR015)
  • Isolation Loops (2006, Electroplate Recordings, ERP001)
  • My Electric Family (2009, Particle Tracks, PT003)
  • Do The Circuit 7″ Single (2009, Drag City, DC423)
  • Bachelorette (2011, Particle Tracks, PT005)
  • Blanket CD Single (2011, Souterrain Transmissions, SOU024PSINGLE)

Links

 

Bailter Space

Biography

Starting life as the Gordons, Bailter Space were one of the most abrasive aggressive and (primarily) loudest bands to ever emerge out of Christchurch and the Flying Nun scene of the early 80s. Comprised of Alister Parker on guitar/vox, John Halvorsen on bass and Brent Mclachlan on drums, the Gordons were the sonic exploration end of the dunedin sound, creating tremendous walls of weedback and distortion, never seen before on the New Zealand scene. Parker’s deadpan monotone growl was the icing on the cake in these early albums, and the Gordons were reasonably successful as a local act before disintegrating in 1986, releasing two solid albums on Flying Nun.

Parker formed Bailter Space in 1987 (initially as Nelsh Bailter Space), retaining his role from the Gordons years, but bringing in the Clean‘s Hamish Kilgour on lead guitar, the Pin Group‘s Ross Humphries on bass and Glenda Bills on drums. This line-up never seemed to settle though, with Kilgour switching to drums, Humphries and Bills leaving the group to make way for original Gordons bass player John Halvorsen to resume the bass playing role. This line-up recorded their stunning, ear-bashing debut Tanker, but once Kilgour had rejoined the Clean full time again in time for 1989’s Modern Rock, Brent Mclachlan was brought back in to complete the original Gordons line-up.

Through out the 90s, Bailter Space continued to release brilliant, dense rock albums, cultivating their wall-of-sound to the point of My Bloody Valentine comparisons, but Bailter Space were always more aggressive and indeed louder than their Irish cousins. After several impressive North American tours, Matador signed the band for American distribution, releasing the 4 song ep The Aim to a burgeoning US audience. The positive feedback that Vortura and Wammo (their mid 90s classics) receieved led to the band relocating to New York.

After adapting to a looser, more ‘Indie’ sound with 97s Capsul, the band then set about a less hectic schedule, gradually developing their sound at a more relaxed pace, taking several years between Capsul and Solar.3, even after the more considerable amount of press these albums receieved. In 2004 the (newly coporatized) Flying Nun / Festival Mushroom Group issued a best-of compilation compiling the history of Bailter Space. Though put together and designed by the band themselves and contains many classic character-defining Bailter Space songs, the compilation skimps on any band info or details along with some of the more direct and obvious compilation choices, leaving their albums (particularly Tanker and Wammo) much better starting points for the band.

After a lengthy hiatus whilst the members were living in various cities in New Zealand and the United States, Bailter Space re-emerged in 2012 with new recordings on the Arch Hill label – previewing tracks on-line before the new albums eventual release in August 2012 – some 14 years since Solar.3 was released!

Members

  • Alister Parker (Guitar/Vocals/Bass, 1987 -)
  • Hamish Kilgour (Guitar/Drums, 1987 – 1989)
  • Ross Humphries (Bass, 1987)
  • Glenda Bills (Drums, 1987)
  • John Halvorsen (Bass, 1987 – )
  • Brent Mclachlan (Drums, 1987 – 1989)
  • Todd Lindner (Bass, 2012)

Discography

  • Nelsh Bailter Space EP (1987, Flying Nun Records, FN094)
  • New Man 7″ Single (1987, Flying Nun Records, FN096)
  • Grader Spader 12″ Single (1988, Flying Nun Records, FN106)
  • Tanker (1988, Flying Nun Records, FN107 / FNE31)
  • Thermos (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN142 / FNE32)
  • The Aim Ep (1992, Flying Nun Records, FN232)
  • Shine 7″ Single (1992, Clawfist)
  • Robot World (1993, Flying Nun Records, FN259)
  • B.E.I.P. EP (1993, Flying Nun Records, FN284)
  • Vortura (1994, Flying Nun Records, FN295)
  • Splat EP (1995, Flying Nun Records)
  • Retro CD Single (1995, Flying Nun Records)
  • Wammo (1995, Flying Nun Records)
  • Capsule (1997, Flying Nun Records/Turnbuckle, FN375/TB005)
  • Capsule 7″ Single (1997, Turnbuckle)
  • Solar.3 (1998, Wildside/Turnbuckle, TB017)
  • Photon EP (1998, Turnbuckle)
  • Bailter Space Compilation (2004, Flying Nun Records)
  • Strobosphere (2012, Arch Hill Records/Fire Records, AHR052)
  • Trinine (2013, Arch Hill Records/Fire Records, AHR056)

Links

 

Ben and Greta

Biography

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.

Members

  • Ben Howe (Guitar/Vocals)
  • Greta Anderson (Drums/Vocals)

Discography

Links

 

Fang

Biography

Ben Howe formed Fang after Superette broke up while simultaneously recording material with fellow Superette chum Greta Anderson (as Ben and Greta).

An eclectic 3-piece with songs from all three members; Howe, kiwi music veteran Sonya Waters and Andrea Holmes.

Their debut featured a couple of very catchy singles, but was written and produced in a somewhat haphazard fashion, making for an uneven album.

Touring with the likes of guitarist Francis Hunt (The Stereo Bus) and violinist Bronwyn Robertson, they became quite a sturdy live outfit in the early 00’s, though Holmes left the band around this time.

Unfortunately their follow-up Somewhere Out There wasn’t much of an improvement, as it lacked songs with the hook of their earlier singles.

2004 saw the band with another new line-up, along with a new album (Swim Up Stream) due out before the end of the year.

New members Tom Clark (guitar) and Brignall Wood (drums) complete the new line-up, still based around the core unit of Waters and Howe.

Members

  • Ben Howe (Bass/Vocals, 1999 – 2005)
  • Sonya Waters (Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals, 1999 – 2005)
  • Andrea Holmes (Drums, 1999 – 2003)
  • Francis Hunt (Guitar, 2001 – 2002)
  • Steve Reay (Guitar, 2002)
  • Bronwyn Robertson (Violin, 2003 – 2005)
  • Tom Clark (Guitar, 2003 – 2005)
  • Brignall Wood (Drums, 2003 – 2005)

Discography

  • Employee Of The Month EP [1999 Arch Hill AHR002]
  • The Origin Of The Species [2000 Arch Hill AHR004]
  • Somewhere Out There [2002 Arch Hill AHR008]
  • Swim Up Stream [2004 Arch Hill AHR012]

Links

 

Lanky

jim laing’s post-jean-paul sartre experience band featuring a line-up chock-full of flying nun compatriots – robert key (expendables, sombretones), noel ward (strangeloves, and now david kilgour and the heavy eights), and tony de raad (hallelujah picassos).
shiney pop with slinky melody’s and nice guitar work.. they showed a lot of promise on their debut, brought on ben howe’s then-fledgling arch hill label. since the albums release though, the band have all but dissapeared from the radar.
discography
picks in bold

David Mulcahy

As A Member Of Jean-Paul Sartre Experience, Mulcahy Was Only Part Of A 3-Pronged Song-Writing Troupe, Responsible For A Terrific Body Of Songs Over Their 10 Year Life Span. In The Mid 90s, After The JPSE Boys Had Gone Their Seperate Ways, Mulcahy Changed Focus To Superette – Creating An Almost Perfect, Dark Materpiece With Their Sole Lp Tiger.

Unfortunately Superette Were Short-Lived, And Mulcahy Retreated To Work On His Own Solo Material. Oddy Knocky Was An Uneven Attempt At Releaving Some Of The Huge Body Of Songs He Had Written Without Releasing, The Occassional Pop Gem Hidden In Generally Pretty Dire By-The-Number Rockers.

In 2004 Mulcahy Resurfaced In Christchurch (Were He Had Moved Several Years Earlier) With New Band Eskimo, And Started Recording Songs With Eskimo Bassist (And Failsafe Label-Head) Rob Mayes And Drummer (Ex-YFC) Michael Daly.

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also