Dux de Lux

Also known as: Llanmaes, Canterbury College Student Association

Location: 41 Hereford Street, Central Christchurch

Current Status: In Repair

Active as a live music venue: 1978 – February 2011

Bar Manager: Ross Herrick

Bookings:

Website:

Capacity: –

Long-running Christchurch live-music venue based out of the Christchurch Art Center as part of a multi-use building, along with a vegetarian restaurant and an upstairs bar / private venue and office spaces.

The Dux was notable on a few fronts:

Live shows at the Dux were almost always free, a tradition they kept going through-out the venues 30 year history. The Dux was actually a very good spot to see up and coming music acts too – due to connections to student radio station RDU (now a private enterprise), regular ‘Battle of the Bands’ nights played out, with heavily biased judges promoting those groups that fit in to the current indie / underground trends.

Due to the Dux’s restaurant connection the pub food on offer was always terrific – the best nacho’s and wedges in town for many a year. This also coincided with excellent international food stall offers during the weekend, as the Art Center’s food trucks were just a few meters away from the Dux’s outdoor seating. A 3rd crown in their culinary jewel was the excellent locally brewed beverages on tap –  the Dux’s own Ginger Tom alcoholic ginger beer was a particular favorite.

The venue itself was always bustling – due to the combination of free entry, close-proximity to a healthy, bustling market located within a tourist attraction in its own right (the Art Center complex), and the venues word-of-mouth reputation with young international travelers. Booking agent / bar manager Ross Herrick was top notch and made setting up shows there a breeze; the Dux always had great advertising, and the likes of gear setup and soundcheck were always a breeze.

Fairly small and L-Shaped, it was fairly easy to make the place look packed out – though it had a reasonable maximum capacity (due to there being 3 easily accessible exits), which often led to people hanging out the doors on warm evenings. A prime spot for watching bands was sitting to each side of the stage under the windows that ran the length of the venue, or up front on the (usually freshly cleaned) carpet in front of the stage.

The PA was reasonably powerful and had great sound both from the audience and the stage – large main speakers that hung from the ceiling each side of the stage, plus a trio of feedback wedges up front and beside the drum-riser. The sound-desk was located next to the bar opposite the stage, and made for easy communication during sets – it was also convenient when trying to get drinks to the band! Also notable was the lighting system – full colour gels flanked each side of the stage, giving the room excellent ambiance and made for terrific live music photos.

A variety of bands played the main venue over the years, from young and unremembered to some of New Zealand more notable acts – with quite a few international groups over the years too. When the 2nd large earthquake struck in February 2011, the Dux de Lux was one of the most iconic parts of Christchurch that was lost. Though 2 bars (and a restaurant) using the Dux name have sprung up in recent years, none has come close to the feeling of the original.

History

1872: Canterbury College (which would eventually eventually become Canterbury University) is formed, with premise bounded by Worcester, Rolleston, Hereford and Montreal Streets.

1883: The Dux De Lux’s building is constructed as a private residence for John Lewis, given the Welsh name Llanmaes.

1894: Canterbury University Students Association is formed.

1921: The Students Association set aside a tea-room within Llanmaes.

1926: The Students Association purchase Llanmaes – the last privately owned building within the block, and over the next few years the site is redeveloped in a Gothic style and extended, eventually opening as the Student Union in 1929.

1954: A fire damaged much of the interior, over the next two years the site was repaired with a dining room and 3 meeting rooms added.

1978: Canterbury University is now permanently at their larger Riccarton campus, and the Dux de Lux is born as a bar, live music venue and restaurant.

2010/2011: Two major earthquakes cause significant damage, closing the Dux de Lux and the Art Center in its entirety.

Contact Details

  • Dux De Lux
  • 41 Hereford Street, Central Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Closed Permanently

Links

Darkroom’s 1st Birthday

Brown Leaves
Brown Leaves

The dynamic duo of T’Nealle Joie (Bang! Bang! Eche!) and Jasper Bryant-Greene (who ran the Gold Sounds record label, releasing T54’s first recordings) saw a hole in the Christchurch Music and entertainment market after the earthquakes of February 2011. With virtually no live music venues in the city and very little night-life to speak of, the pair leased ‘The Archive’, a multi-use venue on St Asaph Street, initially with a warehouse all-ages event that featured the Transistors, Bang! Bang! Eche! and Valdera. After a refit the Archive would go on to encompass the venerable Galaxy Records, a studio for the RDU radio station, the art space Room 4, and perhaps most importantly, the Darkroom.

Transistors
Transistors

Back in October 2011 the new bar opened with the experimental sounds of US sound artist C Spencer Yeh and a very special sell out show from Christchurch’s own Bachelorette. Over the course of the last year the venue has not only grown in reputation as Christchurch’s finest local venue for independent music, but also in stature, with additional seating area, a huge array of drinks and an ever-increasing clientele. Saturday marked the Darkroom’s 1st birthday, and as a tribute to the early history of the venue, the same key groups were present to celebrate.

Brown Leaves are a rebirth of prior group Valdera, featuring the same duo of James Musgrave (guitar, vocals and pedals) and Matt Scobie (drums), though in a punkier, more straight-forward style. These days Musgrave seems more comfortable as a front-man and the duo ripped through a short set of sharp, jagged rock numbers with gusto.

Bang! Bang! Eche!
Bang! Bang! Eche!

Speaking of gusto – the Transistors have recently returned from the United States, touring alongside Japanese Rock n Roll icons Guitar Wolf. Lead singer James Harding was a live-wire, bouncing around the stage but still hitting ever mark in their blistering, non-stop show. The trio showed the well-honed chops of a group that’s spent months on the road together, not stopping for a breath during their opening handful of songs.

Lastly Bang! Bang! Eche! took to the stage, building up the tempo of their performance as the night came to a close. With Joie and Charlie Ryder exchanging bass, guitar and keyboard parts, vocalist Zach Doney triggering electronic effects and climbing around the audience, and drummer James Sullivan as energetic as ever behind the kit – it’s hard not to have fun at a Bang! Bang! Eche! show. What a great way to cap a terrific 1s year as a venue.

You can see more photos from this show here.

BandCamp: BnP – Welcome to Mediocrity

BnP
BnP

Ok so I was a bit slow on the release of this… BnP’s TERRIFIC 2nd album was released a few days ago and I only just got around to listening to it… but then I listened to it again straight through, and now I’m gonna listen to it again. It’s one of THOSE albums… not the type to sneak up on you, but a real shock to the system the second it comes on.

BnP
BnP

Snarky punk, shouting, clever guitar bits, all sorts of cool attitude and cleverness, totally my kind of record. There’s a reason these guys have some truly committed fans, they bring out a lot in people, and I for one am not the kind of person that likes to sit on the fence about things.

Go and check it out before somebody does a dick move like deleting everything…

[wp_bandcamp_player type=”album” id=”2151303744″ size=”grande3″ bg_color=”#FFFFFF” link_color=”#4285BB”]

 

Fauxhound

Downbeat chiptune’s from ex-Christchurch resident Jos van Beek, currently residing in Auckland. Jos has been pretty heavily involved in making Chiptune music more visible in New Zealand (particularly Christchurch), playing a renegade slot at Camp A Low Hum, supporting touring Chiptune artists like cTrix and collaborating with Bang! Bang! Eche! vocalist Zach Donney.

2011 was particularly productive, with his debut self-titled EP, the single ‘Door to Door’ and 2nd EP ‘he lives forever so that we may sing’ (released by net-label ‘pxl-bot’) all appearing in quick succession.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Fauxhound [June 2011 self-released]
  • Door to Door single [September 2011 self-released]
  • he lives forever so that we may sing [November 2011 pxl-bot]

See-Also

The Dance Asthmatics

Christchurch-based 4-piece mixing up a bit of Dunedin-jangle with punk attitude and some level of funky/dancey type rhythm. Fronted by Stephen Nouwens (Bits and Pieces) with the very handy Brian Feary (Magic Eye etc) on the drums, Joe Sampson (T-54 etc) on guitar and Ben Odering on bass.

Formed in 2010, with an initial demo ep on BandCamp, which they followed up with the ‘Goddammfuck’ ep in 2011.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Homebake demos ep [2010 self-released]
  • Goddammfuck ep [2011 self-released]

See-Also

Southern Amp 2008

Got some pretty good photos from Christchurch’s flapship festival; Southern Amp. Of course Die! Die! Die! were spectacular, the crowd was good and things seemed to run pretty smoothly. Oh and the Tiger Tones were totally on this time around; their seldom heard ‘Be Your Star’ being a real highlight.


Click Here for the photoset.

The Sitting Room

Relaxed and professional audio production and post-production studio.

Websites

Contact Details

  • 021 251 1976 [Ben Edwards – Label Contact]

Postal Address

  • The Sitting Room Ltd
  • PO BOX 22 647
  • Christchurch 8142

Equipment List

Hardware:

  • Pro tools 7.3 – 18 channels simultaneous
  • BLA modded 002 rack – ‘tweakhead mod’ (www.blacklionaudio.com)
  • Buzz audio SSA dual mono mic pre amp
  • (w/ sowter output transformer option)
  • Vintage Soundcraft 200b console
  • 2 x BLA modded Bellari MP105 tube mic pre
  • Vintage Ampex mic pre
  • HHB radius 50 tube mic pre/comp
  • 2 x Pultec MB1 Tube Pre clone – Ekadek (www.ekadek.com)
  • BLA modded PR8E 8 Channel mic pre amp (Great River mic pre clone)
  • 2 x FMR audio
  • C compressors
  • SM pro PR8E Passive Summing mixer
  • Various analog delay, reverb and echo units
  • Sony 2 track tape mastering machine
  • Individual headphone monitoring x 6
  • KRK V6 ii monitors with matching KRK sub
  • Tascam 2 channel HD field recorder

Amps, Guitars and Other Instruments:

  • 1962 Fender Pro amp brown face
  • 1965 Fender Princton black face
  • 1960’s Jansen Bassman 50
  • 1960’s Holden Tube Graphic 100 watt
  • Orange AD 30 guitar amp
  • Various guitar cabinets of different sizes and ages.
  • EKO Rhythm maker
  • Vintage Yamaha synth/organ
  • 1974 Fender Stratocaster
  • 1974 Ibanez Sratocaster
  • Rickenbacker 330 12 string electric
  • 1976 Ibanez Jazz bass
  • Roland TD6 Drum brain with simmons pads
  • Vintage 70’s Premier Drum kit\r\n
  • Taye maple Drum kit (24inch kick)
  • Various cymbals
  • far too many effects pedals to list
  • 1970 Terada Jumbo acoustic
  • Simon and Patrick 9/10 Dreadnought Acoustic
  • Access to many more professional instruments and accessories just let us know your requirements.

Mics:

  • 2 x Oktava modded Mk219’s
  • Oktava modded MKL 2500 valve mic (www.oktavamod.com)
  • Rode NTK valve mic
  • Shure sm 57 x 3
  • Shure sm 57a
  • Vintage Beyer Soundstar
  • Vintage Senheisser Md419
  • Vintage Grundig Ribbon Mic
  • 2 x Custom ribbon mics (w/ Lundhal output transfomers)
  • Senheisser 421
  • Senheisser E609
  • Audix D6
  • Audix D4 x 2
  • Audix D2 x 2
  • Audix D1
  • Audix UEM-81
  • Beyerdynamic M380
  • EV ND/468
  • Modded v69 valve mic (w/Peluso capsule)
  • Whirlwind passive DIs x 2
  • Rode NTG2 mid length shot gun

A Flight To Blackout

Excellent instrumentalist trio from the garden city formed by Matt Craw (Guitar), James Musgrave (Bass), and Jared Kelly (Drums) in early 2005. Taking cues from a variety of informed directions, the group were prolific features of the local live scene, and attached themselves to both r18 and all-age crowds with varying success. Playing an involved instrumental sound heavy on dynamics, the group enlisted ex-Substandard bassist Gareth Heta as a 2nd guitarist for a short period before reverting back to their original configuration. However, this was soon broken when Kelly left to play with the Pickups full-time, so Cam Walker was recruited to carry on where Jared left off.

Throughout later 2005 and early 2006 the group had a strong association with fellow garden city instrumentalists Coal, with Walker sitting at the throne for both groups for a period – however this was halted by problems with the tendons in Walker’s wrist, which caused him a great deal of pain during a show with the touring groups Jakob and American outfit No Funeral.

After losing Walker, Craw and Musgrave added Thomas Lambert (synth/guitar – aka i.Ryoko) in order to create a fuller sound than the rock trio lineup. Through him they found a great replacement drummer in Adam Jack, who picked up the groove of the songs quickly and added his own heavy hitting style. At this time, Gareth Heta again showed an interest in being part of the band, so he was recruited on guitar (and bass when James swaps to guitar). These changes have lead to further creativity within the group, with new songs eventuating at the start of 2007 (including for the first time, a song with vocals provided by Musgrave).

More live shows followed, a highlight being a gig with the Enright House, Pandora’s Bucket, and Wellingtonians Donatello. Towards the end of 2007, A Flight To Blackout entered the RDU Roundup band competition without any expectations of success, and came away with 2nd place, pipped by the more RDU-friendly (but by no means lesser) Bang! Bang! Eche!

As seemed to be the rule by now, Jack left the group at the end of 2007 to travel to Canada, and Lambert left for Wellington. This allowed the remaining members to focus on the tracking of their debut release, which is currently being mixed and produced by Thomas for release on his and partner Matt Faisander’s ‘Sonorous Circle’ label before the end of 2008.

In early 2008 Hayden Williams and Josh Black (both also of Neil Robinson) made fine replacements on drums and synth respectively, their first show with the band being the farewell/fundraiser of friends The O’Lovelys.

Discography (Picks In Bold)

  • No Releases

See-Also