The Palace Of Wisdom

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), Johnson (Guitar), Andrews (Bass) And Kelly (Drums) Before Stink Magnetic‘s Bad Evil 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 Aiden Moody (Bad Evil, Grand Chancellors) 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.

Of the course of the last 13 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’.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • 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]

See-Also

Doctors

Doctors is the original material of Rhett Robert Elliot Copland, a prolific Christchurch guitarist who has been in a number of local groups (The Stash and covers group The Free and Easy). In 2008 Copland formed a live band to perform his material, including several musicians from local act the Lonely Harris Club (mostly a Brian Jonestown Massacre tribute act) – which Copland is also a one-time member.

Though the same handful of musicians would also appear in the original group Bits and Pieces (aka BnP), Doctors had a more slick, guitar-orientated sound and the group released a huge collection of recordings in just a short time-period.

However Copland grew frustrated with the lineup and disbanded the group in early 2012. Members have included: Rhett Copland (Neurology), Matt Sime (Psychology), John Harris (Gastroenterology), Hollan Brabet (Psychiatry), Laura Anne North (Gynecology), Jamie Stratton (Rheumatology) and Ben Dodd (Radiology).

I canned it because I was sick of working with bloody idiots who refused to learn arrangements and cancelled shows for kiwi quarter acre paradise 21st and yard glass sessions.
– Rhett Copland

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Old Meds [October 2009 self-released]
  • By Aeroplane [December 2009 self-released]
  • Save no one [November 2010 self-released]
  • Old, new and forgotten stuff [February 2011 self-released]
  • Domestic [August 2011 self-released]
  • Your a fucking pussy [October 2011 self-released]
  • ‘A’ [November 2011 self-released]
  • Back to rural violence [December 2011 self-released]
  • Happy Birthday Alice! Digital Single [March 2012 self-released]

See-Also

BnP

Formerly known as Bits and Pieces; BnP make Anarchic punky noise that grab you by the jugular. They burst forth out of Christchurch thanks to the rise of 2nd release ‘Welcome to Mediocrity’ which made some waves in critical publications around the country in early 2012. Comprised of Stephen Nouwens (Vocals), Ben Dodd (Bass), John Harris (Guitar / Backing Vocals), ‘The Ghost Of’ Jamie Stratton (Guitar) and Rhett Copland (Drums), all of which have spent some time in the likes of Doctors, the Lonely Harris Club etc.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • I’m in you [June 2011 self-released]
  • Welcome to Mediocrity [February 2012 self-released]
  • Maybe she’s born with it (single) [April 2012 self-released]

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

Grand Spectacular: Sandfly Bay, Doctors, Ipswich

Titled Grand Spectacular, Thom’s leaving party at Kreation was certainly an endeavor – 25 bands in one venue over the course of a day. I managed to catch a couple sessions, with my new local fav’s Ipswich playing a chaotic and short set, an appearance from a preppy wannabe gangster-rapper, a new-look instrumental Sandfly Bay (veeeerry slick) and I finally managed to catch Doctors live too, after being a fan of their recorded work for some time.

Doctors at Kreation
Doctors at Kreation

I got a whole heap of photos, so I put a larger-than-normal photoset up here.

Familia Moja Benefit

Some of the very best Christchurch acts have selflessly agreed to throw a party for all yous cats in support of an orphanage in Mang’u, Kenya.

Kicking the night off will be the fabulous WILL ROUD (of Coate)
http://arroestheband.bandcamp.com/

Insatiable MIKEY SUMMERFIELD (of The Undercurrents)

Followed by some dream-pop/shoegaze-tastic hits from MINIATURES
http://miniatures.bandcamp.com/

Brian Feary’s own MAGIC EYE
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Eye/127450200606834

Playing songs from their new “Domestic” ep. DOCTORS
http://doctors.bandcamp.com/

The power-pop-punk ecstasy of THE TRANSISTORS.
http://transistors.bandcamp.com/album/shortwave

In keeping with The Brewery’s ethos entry will be FREE. However there will be koha jars on the bar of which 100% will go to building a new self-sustaining housing facility for the inhabitants of Familia Moja Childrens Home. Donations of even the smallest amount are greatly appreciated.

Come have a party and feel good about supporting some cute-as-beans kids.

Do check out the bandcamp pages if you have not previously, there is some really great material available for free or very cheap.

More information on this great cause, details on how to come along to help build the new orphanage and other events we’re running in support of Familia Moja can be found at:

http://www.familiamoja.org/

http://www.facebook.com/familiamoja

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=175224729202871

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-us-help-these-guys-In-Kenya/183872858333765

Huge thanks to Brian Feary for the poster design.

BandCamp: Doctors

Doctors - Save no oneRhett Robert Elliott Copland is n a few bands around Christchurch, but Doctors seems to be the band that he’s currently making the most waves with – his own solo material in the vein of classic jangle-pop song-writing drenched in My Bloody Valentine style bendy guitar fuzz.

Lovely Stuff! Check out the BandCamp link or sample this debut EP with the stream below: