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

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

Breathe

Biography

Wellington pop band, originally formed as a high school band.

The group produced two albums, ‘Pop Life’ (1997), and the somewhat lesser ‘Don’t Stop The Revolution’ (2000).

Now distancing themselves from Breathe, 3 of the ex-members have reformed under the name Dead End Beat.

Members

  • Andrew Tilby (Vocals/Guitar, 1995 – 2000)
  • Pet Johnson (Bass, 1995 – 2000)
  • Richard Small (Guitar/Vocals, 1995 – 2000)
  • Steve Gallagher (Keyboards, 1995 – 2000)
  • Guy Fisher (Drums, 1995 – 2000)

Discography

  • Dive Tower 7″ Lathe-Cut (Self-Released)
  • Things Like These EP (1995, Prototype Publications, PP1001)
  • Smiley Hands EP (1996, Wildside)
  • Pop Life (1998, Felix Records, 74321 571462)
  • Don’t Stop The Revolution (2000, Columbia, 498447.2)

Links

dimmer

Biography

Dynamic, flowing rock with electronic influences and dark musical overtones. basically the one-man project of former Doublehappys / Straightjacket Fits frontman Shayne Carter, Dimmer spent the best part of 5 years living off the expectations that their solitary debut EP Crystalator produced (as well as Carters’ impeccable previous track record).

In 2001, the catalyst of this seclusion was finally released – I Believe You Are A Star – and its a stunner.

Carter followed up in 2004 with You’ve Got To Hear The Music, expanding his sound with an all-star list of contributors (some even in the pop field) and toured the album with Ned Ngatae on guitar, Mike Hall (Pluto/Sola Rosa) on bass, Andy Morton on keys, Willy Scott (King Kapisi / Sola Rosa) on drums, and Anika Moa on backing vocals.

Other guests on the album include, SJD who added production wizardry on ‘case’, Graeme Downes of the Verlaines, who arranged and conducted strings on ‘Only One That Matters’, Nick Roughan and Andy ‘Submariner’ Morton kept things appropriately phat in the beat and production department, while Dimmer tickman and animated video genius, Gary Sullivan, added his own trademark sly touch. Anika Moa appears on a number of tracks bringing a new dimension to Carter’s voice, and teams up on ‘Happening’ with Bic Runga with a spine-tingling effect.

From Festival Mushroom’s promotional blurb

Members

  • Shayne Carter (Vocals/Guitar/Bass, 1995 -)
  • Peter Jefferies (Drums, 1995)
  • Lou Allison (Bass, 1995)
  • Gary Sullivan (Drums, 1999 – 2009)
  • Nick Roughan (Guitar/Bass/Drum Programming, 2001 – 2006?)
  • Andy Morton (Keyboards/Drum Programming, 2001 – 2006?)
  • Ned Ngatae (Guitar, 2003?)
  • Anika Moa (Vocals, 2004)
  • Bic Runga (Vocals, 2004)
  • James Duncan (Guitar/Bass/Keyboards, 2009)
  • Kelly Steven (Bass/Flute/Vocals, 2009)
  • Dino Karlis (Drums/Percussion, 2009)
  • Michael Prain (Drums, 2009)

Discography

  • Crystalator ‎(7″) (1995, Sub Pop/Flying Nun Records, SP326/FN310)
  • Don’t Make Me Buy Out Your Silence Single (1996, Flying Nun Records)
  • Evolution Single (1999, Columbia, 668560)
  • I Believe You Are A Star ‎(2001, Columbia, 5024222000)
  • Getting What You Give Mini-Album (2003, Columbia)
  • You’ve Got To Hear The Music (2004, Festival Mushroom Records)
  • There My Dear (2006, Warner Music)
  • Degrees Of Existence ‎(2009, Warner Music, 5186551402)

Links