Categories
h artists

High Dependency Unit

dunedin sonic 3-piece (tristian dingermans, dino karlins and neil phillips) in the mold of a louder, younger mogwai, born out of metal influence and small-town frustration, their startling sophmoric higher ep [1997] was given the remix treatment sound after release, resulting in the expanded and thoroughly dynamic higher++ album the following year, singalling a new change in focus.
what happened is that the bands sparse, thundering tones were processed and reformed by local producers to a more melodic and soothing end, in particular Soundproof’s remix of ‘lull’ becoming something of a hit, an intense epic of a song that fluctuates with great beauty and shimmering gleam. this trend continued with the diverse follow-up cross-channel multi-tap, which even caught the ear of veteran us producer steve albini, who took the band under his wing for 2001s us debut fireworks.
discography
picks in bold

recommended songs
download from mp3.co.nz

  • lull (soundproof remix)rn
  • the shark and the pilot fishrn
Categories
Interviews

Into The Void [March 2005]

When a band’s been around a scene a long time, they start to develop a certain aura about them. Into The Void were always something of a notable band, with a vested interest in the local music and art scenes, they rose to national attention in the late 1980’s, released an unrepresentative debut album, then returned to the Christchurch underground.

An Into The Void show is an experience. Over the course of their lengthy existence, the void have crafted sturdy, rhythm driven songs that can explode with tremendous shards of guitar and machine-gun drumming, based on an atmospheric mix of heavy, repetitive bass-guitar and scratchy, scattered gramophone projections and often fronted by a frantic, free-roaming showman of a vocalist.

Approaching twenty years on the live scene and 10 years since their last line-up change, i spoke with newest member, bassist Dave Imlay and gramophone operator / sound manipulator Paul Sutherland, shortly after the release of their 2nd album from their practice space in central Christchurch.

Paul: Jason [Greig] and Mark [Whyte] went to art school together, and they bought a guitar together and they used to come up here. I don’t know what they did

Dave: They must have taken turns [laughs].

Paul: They called themselves the Deaf Mutants. I think at that stage Hamish Kilgour’s drum-kit was up here, as Bailter Space practiced at this space, back when they were called Nelsh Bailter Space (1986-7 maybe). And then at one stage i ended up doing something with them, playing electric recorder or something. At that stage Jason was playing guitar; somehow Ronnie [Van Hout] turned up.

(Dave interjects) Art school…

Paul: Ronnie was just part of the scene, and so he just turned up, but it was pretty obvious he couldn’t play an instrument, so he became a singer and we were a band.

Paul: I was conned into buying an amp and a bass guitar ’cause the others didn’t think an electric recorder would go down in public.

Paul: They bought me a ‘how to play bass guitar’ book by Geezer Butler [laughs]. I was so serious about it – trying to play a riff; it came with this flexi-disc of Geezer Butler playing bass, which made it into a Flying Nun exhibition.

As with vocalist Van Hout’s rise to prominence on local and international art scenes in the early 1990’s, the band themselves started getting attention. The recently Auckland-based Flying Nun committed to the band, though it would take around 2 years for their debut to finally be released (after initially appearing on the ‘Freak the Sheep‘ compilation).

Paul Sutherland quit the bass to play the gramophone full-time. James Greig joined as bass-player but he gave the bassists’ slot to Dave Imlay, so he could work on the guitar. Ronnie Van Hout and James Greig both headed overseas but still continue to work with the band when back in the country.

Thankfully, the band has kept going throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century. With an expanding and retracting line-up, the Void have always had an eclectic and variable sound but one thing has always been constant; volume.

Paul: James Greig’s experience as being our bass player was he managed to make a speaker burst into flames. That was pretty impressive. He tried blowing on the speaker to fan the flames, but that made it worse. Actually we blew up a PA at Warner’s once as well.

Paul: The volume thing is an interesting thing, (in the early days) we had a gig at the Subway were nobody stayed in the room, everyone had to leave the room because it was so loud. That was because our sound-person had just taken some drugs and didn’t know what he was doing.

Dave: I was there at the time; i think i went off to the poolroom.

In the late 1990s the Provincial Lounge on Cashel Street was an active and eclectic place to be. Thanks to Chris ‘The Hippy’ Wilson’s huge PA stacks, this tiny, decrepit venue was able to generate a fair racket, especially when a band so inclined to explode as the Void took the stage.

I have very fond memories of the Provincial, but standing in front of Into The Void, consumed by a wall of guitar, bass, and tom drums is probably what first comes to mind. Already pushed to the limits of volume, with my ears starting to feel every tonal change directly, their drummer unleashed his trump card – an apocalyptic assault of double-kick, heavily amplified through these giant wooden speaker stacks. My ears were ringing for almost 4 days.

Paul: When we started practicing we had like 10-15 watt amps. We definitely were not loud then. Mark was playing Hamish’s drum-kit, which is basically a folk-rock kit. But then a few other things changed, Jason bought a real guitar and amp, i got a proper bass amp.

Dave: Mark bought that drum-kit, which is the loudest drum-kit in the world

Paul: Ex The Androidss

Dave: I think we’re quieter now than we were a couple years ago.

Paul: I think it’s an internal tension thing, too. But i think we’re more intense, the last 2 times we’ve played the sound’s been better, i don’t think we’ve been as physically loud, it’s just more intense. Like Mark’s drums – it’s just a physical element.

There were times like when the Void played on the roof of Dave Imlay’s High Street store, confusing many passers-by. Or the time their full line-up packed the Dux de Lux, with Ronnie spouting his own off-hand take at the Fall‘s ‘L.A.’ to the jeers of the crowd. And of course there was the phenomenal Media Club gig that saw an entire room of normally restrained scensters take to the dance-floor, grooving down to a tight and engrossing Into The Void ripping out ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ and familiar Black Sabbath-like riffs, a truly visceral release.

Dave: I think it was because i could never follow what the others were doing. When Jason starts playing something, he changes it all the time, so i decided to come up with a bass-line that just repeated over and over. Repetitive riffing, though not all the songs are like that. I play it like a guitar, play chords and use an overdrive and that. Though i guess as time’s gone on i’ve become more like a bass player, more by accident. I’ll play something and (Jason and Mark) will say ‘that sounds like Geezer Butler!’ [laughs]

How does the band get it together with the overseas members when they’re away so often?

Paul: There’s two parts to that. When James visits, it’s pretty intense. He comes and lies on the floor and plays really loud and doesn’t listen [laughs].

Dave: I think we’ve gotten used to playing (with a smaller line-up), but when James comes along it takes a few practices for him to get back into it.

Paul: Where as Ronnie; it’s interesting you read – in the art world of Ronnie referred to as ‘collaborating’ with Into The Void, i don’t know what that means. Ronnie snaps in pretty well.

Dave: We had 3 or 4 practices with Ronnie last year though we didn’t play live, and we seemed to get something out of each one that was pretty good. Still, maybe it’s easier to add vocals to music that’s already figured out than to add new guitar parts.

Some time ago a date was scheduled for a recording session. The then Melbourne-based Ronnie was going to be in town for a few days (James still lived in Christchurch at the time). The album was put together from a 4 day session at John Kelcher’s National Grid studio – which had been recommended by friends, with opening track ‘John Hore’ coming from a much earlier session at Arnie Van Bussel’s Nightshift studio, after initially being discarded.

Dave: It was before i joined. ‘John Hore’ – with Ronnie playing bass.

Paul: I was sick or something, but i went to the mix down and that was really weird.

Dave: Arnie thought it was a kind of 70s prog-rock thing or something, he was trying to make it sound like yes or something.

Later Rob Buick (of the Black Panthers) turned up for a session at Nightshift, found and recovered the tape, giving the band a mix down for a song the band thought they had lost. The National Grid sessions were significantly more productive, as the band were well aware of their time limitations and were aiming for a completed album inside of 4 days of recording.

Dave: The one with John – it was done in a tiny little studio. And there were all sorts of things that weren’t supposed to happen, Ronnie doing vocal backups with himself (due to tape spillage) – it sounds great, but it was just an accident, so there were all sorts of incidents that happened with the equipment at the time. Ronnie was there dancing around for the first 3 days when we laid down the music, he would write things down at the session and work on lyrics overnight. It all came together on the last day when he added his vocals.

In time-honored void tradition, there was a long period before the album finally saw the light of day. Searching for a label proved fruitless, so the band has released it themselves on their A.Void music label.

I can say without any reserve that it’s the best thing they’ve committed to tape. Though no longer connected to a more commercially-orientated Flying Nun, you should be able to find ‘2’ in most record stores in New Zealand – i thoroughly recommend it.

Categories
Album Reviews

Jean-Paul Sartre Experience – Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

1994 / 2003 Reissue, Flying Nun, FNCD078

With Flying Nun reissuing a number of their long out-of-print release, it was about time the boys from Jean-Paul Sartre Experience saw the light of day again. Their early discography is as follows: they released a self-titled EP, then followed it up with a mini-album entitled Love Songs.

These were then released as a cumulative album, which was initially also named love songs, and then expanded and changed to the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience, just to confuse archivists. The end result is quite a collection of genuine pop-classics, and was the moment in time when the Jean-Paul Sartre Experience was really hitting their stride.

The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience (later shorted to JPS Experience or JPSE due to legal hassle’s with Sartre’s estate) was formed in Christchurch in the mid-80’s and immediately set about creating a suite of songs that tread the line between charmingly naive love songs (‘Let there be love’), upbeat sing-a-longs (‘I like rain’) and even kooky, disjointed attempts at white-bred rap (‘Crap-rap’).

Both blessed and cursed with all 4 members being songwriters (with Dave Mulcahy, Jim Laing and Dave Yetton all providing both guitar and vocals) their songs were fresh, invigorating and stylistically scattered in these, the early years.

Eventually the band would split after years of tightening their formula until things just weren’t fun anymore (their last album, the wildly uneven and downbeat bleeding star). Mulcahy then launched the brilliant, larger than life, and unfortunately short-lived Superette, eventually going solo. Yetton created his own ‘sissy-pop’ project – The Stereo Bus which eventually grew out of its humble solo beginnings to be a very popular 5-piece. And lastly their drummer Gary Sullivan (who often took the back stage in JPS Experience’s career) formed the acclaimed, but commercially ignored scuzz-rockers Solid Gold Hell.

Dave Yetton had a penchant for creating what he freely admitted was girly pop – soppy love songs and silly, carefree lyrics. Mulcahy acted as the ever-vigilant older brother with tracks like ‘Firetime’, adding structure to result in a perfect balance of playful melodies and sobering lyrics. Their songs were playful, yet intelligent (‘Flex’), reflective, but upbeat (‘Grey parade’) – you’d expect with such a clash of idea’s the songs would fail to gel, but luckily Jean-Paul Sartre Experience is one of those releases that exceeded all expectations.

‘Loving grapevine’ is perhaps the most perfect example of how their songs worked so well. Jim Laing’s demented, gleeful vocals are so exuberant you can’t help but think how much fun they had recording the album. A relatively straightforward pop number, the song is highlighted by cheery backing vocals – when the guitar solo strikes mid-song, it almost seems out of place.

In fact, the vocals are the most distinctive element of the album, three vocalists perusing a myriad of approaches add up to an awful lot of styles. Even the more serious numbers (‘Transatlantic love song’) seem characteristic when accompanied by such out and out fun numbers as ‘Jabberwocky’ and ‘Let there be love’.

The instrumentation is brilliantly suited though too, particularly Sullivan’s drumming which seems to drive the seriousness of the songs — the more fun and over-the-top the songs, the more disjointed and playful the rhythm. For an album with no credited bassist, their sure are some catchy grooves too – particularly the slowly building ‘Jabberwocky’. It rolls and rolls as the song grows and grows, building tension and allowing ragtime piano and guitars to float in.

Follow that up with the funky, disjointed slop-hop sing-a-long ‘Crap rap’ (trust me, it’s a lot better than it sounds) with bass that pops and grooves in an ultimately impressive fashion (considering the pedigree of these four white southern boys).

I would challenge any lover of pop to come away from this album without at least one favorite. I mean, who could resist the ever-charming ‘I like rain’ and it’s Casio-tone melody? These are the kind of songs Chris Knox would have been making if he weren’t such a crotchety old bastard. High recommended for days inside, days at the beach, days spent snuggle with loved ones, or nights spent partying.

At their peak in the mid to late 80’s, JPS Experience were considered one of the finest and most popular bands in New Zealand, along with their noisy neighbors The Headless Chickens and The Straitjacket Fitz. This album is the perfect document of the cheery, upbeat side of classic New Zealand pop, and a firm addition to Flying Nun’s current catalog of reissues.

Categories
j artists

Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

Biography

For a band that has so much influence and family history spread across its members, Jean-Paul Sartre Experience (later shortened to JPS experience, due to legal wrangles with Sartre’s family estate) produced what could be considered a limited body of work – never living up to the expectations they had made for themselves as one of New Zealand’s best live acts during the late 80’s and early 90’s.

However ‘Love Songs’, their brilliant first album, is something of a New Zealand classic – an infectious example of quirky New Zealand guitar-pop. A varied album based around love and positively, i always find something to enjoy every time I come back to it. Jangley numbers such as ‘The Loving Grapevine’, cherished sing-a-longs like ‘I Like Rain’, and all-out fun romps such as ‘Crap-Rap’ keep me entertained, if only for the fun aspect.

After the subdued but often sparkling quirky debut, they took a very long time to release ‘The Size of Food’, which showed a change to a more rock sound.

Members

  • Dave Mulcahy (Bass/Vocals, 1984 – 1994)
  • Dave Yetton (Guitar/Vocals, 1984 – 1994)
  • Jim Laing (Guitar/Vocals, 1984 – 1994)
  • Gary Sullivan (Drums, 1984 – 1994)
  • Russell Baillie (Keyboards, 1991 – 1993)
  • Matt Heine (Keyboards, 1993 – 1994)

Discography

  • Love Songs (1986, Flying Nun Records/Communion, FN078/COMM2)
  • Jean-Paul Sartre Experience EP (1986, Flying Nun Records, FN057)
  • I Like Rain/Bo Diddley 7″ Single (1987, Flying Nun Records)
  • The Size of Food (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN122)
  • Elemental/Flex EP (1991, Communion, COMM24CD)
  • Precious 7″ Single (1991, Flying Nun Records)
  • Bleeding Star (1993, Flying Nun Records, FN246)
  • Masked and Taped EP (1993, Flying Nun Records, FNCD244)
  • Breathe EP (1993, Flying Nun Records, FNCD245)
  • Into You EP (1993, Flying Nun Records, FNCD271)
  • Ray of Shine/Shiver 7″ Single (1993, Flying Nun Records)
  • The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience Compilation (1995, Flying Nun Records, FNCD078)

Links

 

 

Categories
k artists

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

Categories
k artists

David Kilgour

as a strong song-writer behind the seminal flying nun 3-piece the clean, david kilgour developed his own style of country tinged psychedilic rock-guitar playing, earnest vocals and a distinct kiwi sound that he made all his own. kilgour (and his backing band the heavy eights) have a more relaxed sound than the signature sound of early clean (closer to the post-clean great unwashed sound), trading scott’s chugging bass and the punky approach of the clean’s early recordings for a melodic approach.
in the late 90s, with the cleans’ drummer hamish kilgour now living stateside, the heavy eights became david kilgours main output, and each new recording further fleshed out kilgours voice as a solo song-writer. in particular, 2002’s excellent a feather in the engine (and the subsequent cracks in the sidewalk ep) hold their own, or even surpass each of the cleans’ later-era albums.
in 2001 kilgour received the new zealand order of merit for his ‘services to music’, having been a force in music since the late 1970s. in 2004 kilgour signed to ben howe’s arch hill label for the domestic release of his next album, forzen orange – to be released in september.
discography
picks in bold

  • david [1989 cleano productions / alley oop fanzine AILEYOOP1]
  • ‘you forget’/’splash yr jewels’/’nothing (vol. 1)’ cassette and promotional 7″ single [1991 flying nun FN219]
  • here come the cars [1991 flying nun FN220 / FN487]
  • sugarmouth [1994 flying nun FN282 / FN488]
  • spiritual gas station 7″ / cd ep [1994 flying nun FN308]
  • first steps and false alarms [1995 ajax AJAX040-2] rn
  • david kilgour and the heavey eights [1997 flying nun FN397]
  • ‘the bootlegger’/’dirty hallway’/’down mekico’ 7″ lathe-cut single [self-released]
  • ‘way down’/’vernon’/’walking’ 7″ lathe-cut single [self-released]
  • ‘my sky’/’instrumental 1 + 2’ 7″ lathe-cut single [self-released]
  • ‘i lost my train’/’instrumental 2’ 7″ lathe-cut single [self-released]
  • ‘i caught you lookin’/’way down here’ 7″ lathe-cut single [self-released]
  • a feather in the engine [2002 arc life arclife016]
  • cracks in the sidewalk ep [2002 arc life arclife017]
  • frozen orange [2004 arch hill]
  • here come the cars reissue [2004 flying nun FN487]
  • sugarmouth reissue [2004 flying nun FN488]
  • the far now [2007 arch hill]
Categories
k artists

King Loser

Biography

King Loser is the kind of band I’ve always wanted to form. More of a loose collection of friends (with an almost comical approach to drum-throne rotation), yet somehow managing to get it together enough to release 3 brilliant albums and a number of inspired singles, King Loser put the scuzz in scuzz-rock.

Like some kind of evil take on Nancy Sinatra and Lee Heazlewood, the domineering front of Chris Heazlewood and Celia Mancini (nee Patel, then later Pavlova) trade off vocal barbs (him – rugged and biting, her – sultry and fork-tongued) over a bed of surf-guitar, jungle-grooves or just good-old american Lo-Fi hiss-rock.

The duo formed King Loser after meeting in Dunedin in 1991. Mancini had previously been in a handful of influential underground Christchurch groups (The Stepford 5, The Axel Grinders and a lounge group called The After Dinner Mints) and had managed Into the Void.

Utterly theatrical, each band member who passed through their ranks took on a distinct persona (Pat Faigan became Duane Zarakov, Lance Strickland became Tribal Thunder) and the band played up their over-the-top american inspiration. thankfully it wasn’t all show, as King Loser laid down some of the meanest guitar and hottest songs this country has even seen, and deserved far greater recognition than they actually received.

After an exceedingly prolific 3 years the group faded away – essentially disbanded by late 1997. Mancini would resurface in short-lived Auckland group Mothertrucker.

A live performance of a reunited King Loser surfaced in 2015, with the group going on to play a handful of reunion shows up and down the country – however any hope of the group continuing was lost when Celia Mancini passed away in September 2017.

Members

  • Glen Campbell (Vocals, 1991)
  • Chris Heazlewood (Guitar/Vocals, 1991 – 1997, 2016)
  • Celia Mancini (Organ/Vocals/Bass, 1991 – 1997, 2016)
  • Sean O’Reilly (Drums/Guitar, 1993, 1995 – 1997, 2016)
  • Duane Zarakov (Drums, 1991 – 1994?)
  • Gregg Cairns (Drums, 1991?)
  • James Kirk (Drums, 1993 – 1994)
  • Peter Jeffries (Drums, 1993)
  • Billy TK (Guitar, 1994)
  • Steve Dean (Drums, 1994)
  • Tribal Thunder (Drums/Guitar, 1995 – 1997, 2016)

Discography

  • Supersonic Hi-Fi (1993 Turbulence/Flying Nun Records, TUR005/FN299)
  • Tie Us Down 7″ EP (1993, 18 Wheeler, EWR-005)
  • A Bitch on Heat Cassette (1994, Self-Released)
  • Stairway To Heaven 7″ Single (1994, Flying Nun, FN283)
  • You Cannot Kill What Does Not Live (1995, Flying Nun Records, FN309)
  • Caul Of The Outlaw (1996, Flying Nun Records, FN382)
  • Troubled Land Single (1996, Flying Nun Records, FN394)

Links

Categories
l artists

Look Blue Go Purple

Biography

Wonderful and thoroughly under-rated all girl group in The Bats mold (though they well deserve recognition in their own right!).

With future Flying Nun stalwart Lesley Paris and co-founder of The 3D’s Denise Roughan, joined by Kathy Bull, Norma O’Malley (who went on to form Chug) and Kath Webster.

Lovely chiming guitars, silly songs and sweet vocals, quality pop all the way, and with a couple of genuine kiwi classics in their catalog, to boot (‘I Don’t Want You Any Way’ and the sublime almost-hit ‘Cactus Cat’).

Members

  • Lesley Paris (Drums, 1983 – 1987)
  • Denise Roughan (Guitar, 1983 – 1987)
  • Kathy Bull (Bass, 1983 – 1987)
  • Norma O’Malley (Keyboards/Flute, 1983 – 1987)
  • Kath Webster (Guitar, 1983 – 1987)

Discography

  • Bewitched 12″ EP (1985, Flying Nun, FNLBGP001)
  • LBGEP2 12″ EP (1986, Flying Nun Records, FNLBGP002)
  • LBGPEPs Cassette (1986 Compilation, Flying Nun Records, FNLBGP003)
  • This Is This 12″ EP (1989, Flying Nun Records, FN117)
  • Compilation (Compilation, 1991, Flying Nun Records, FN171)
  • Still Bewitched (Compilation, 2017, Flying Nun Records, FN572CD)

Links

 

Categories
m artists

The Mad Scene

Biography

When Hamish Kilgour moved to New York in the early 90’s he immediately joined Bailter Space, but Mad Scene were to become his new band.

Enlisting his partner Lisa Seagul, along with Bill Grestel and Robert Vickers – Mad Scene had more of a pop focus than any of Kilgour’s previous outfits, and unfortunately were never as strong as either The Clean or even early Bailter Space.

Members

  • Hamish Kilgour (Vocals/Guitar)
  • Lisa Seagul (Drums)
  • Bill Grestel
  • Robert Vickers

Discography

  • A Trip Thru Monsterland (1993, Flying Nun Records, FNCD191)
  • Sealight (1995, Summershine, SHINECD016)
  • Chinese Honey EP (1996)

Links

 

Categories
l artists

Loves Ugly Children

[profile contribution thanks to jason young and rob mayes – mayes has written a detailed description of his connections to the band which is available on the failsafe website, though there is obviously some contention over certain elements of the groups history]
loves ugly children was formed in christchurch in 1989 by vocalist/guitarist simon maclaren (blue flesh syndrome), featuring scott mcarthur – guitar, floss (angela leslie) – bass and simon crockett – drums (trawler). after playing its debut gig supporting dolphin at the subway, the band recorded five tracks in maclaren’s old mill warehouse with rob mayes, which appeared on the tape-only release ‘stagger’ (failsafe). when floss split with mcarthur to pursue a relationship with maclaren, they continued their music as a three piece under another name, with maclaren singing and playing guitar and a new drummer from dunedin, greg. they didn’t play any material from the previous line up, though they did decide to revert back to the name loves ugly children. after recording several songs, none of which were released, greg was offered an album and tour with the verlaines, and left the band during july ’90.
the uglies again ceased to exist for nine months, simon and floss playing in other chch bands including the hilarious sex trash automobile.a jam with neighbour jason young (excellent soul therapy and cultivation) during may ’91 led to the reformation of loves ugly children with their first gig only two weeks after that. quite a few important songs were created in these first two weeks including ‘good things’, ‘strangers song’ and ‘love you dead’ which became standards in the luc set for the next couple of years. a recording at arnie van bussel’s nightshift studio led to a tape-only release of ‘good things’ which went on to be #1 on rdu radio station. the first six months saw luc play many shows, win a war of the bands at the carlton and tour the south island, returning to find themselves parked solidly at the forefront of the chch scene.