The Spies

Psych-influenced Wellington-based psuedo punk outfit that proved to be the starting point for legendary Puddle front-man George Henderson (Guitar / Vocals), along with Chris Plummer (Drums), Susan Ellis (Keys / Vocals) and Richard Sedger (Bass). With many song-writers in their line-up, and with addition of Mark Thomas as a second guitarist, the Spies had a unique and eclectic sound, with songs veering in many different directions.

Unfortunately the band was short-lived, only lasting 8 months through 1979 and putting out a solitary 7″ release from a band set-list that was almost all original – though with left-field covers of Pere Ubu’s classic Non-Alignment Pact and Thomas Leers’ ‘Private Plane’. Soon the majority of the band, plus additional friends and like-minded muso’s reconvened in Christchurch to establish a secluded band house where both the And Band and the even more eclectic Perfect Strangers lived, wrote, practised, and performed.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • ‘Give Me A Reason’/’Daddy Was A Dj’ 7″ Single [1980 Ripper Rip010]

See-Also

The And Band

Biography

Extremely discordant and unusual Christchurch-based 4-piece comprised of George Henderson, Susan Ellis, Richard Sedger and Mark Thomas. Put out a joint untitled and notoriously hard to find EP with Perfect Strangers in 1982, before Thomas left the band for their sister outfit, replaced by Lindsay Cooke.

The And Band were an outgrowth of influential but undiscovered Wellington punk-oddities The Spies. When feed up with the limitations of the Wellington scene, the band, along with several of their friends relocated to a small Christchurch flat, sharing a recording space (and the actual 4-track) with the perfect strangers.

The And Band and Perfect Strangers basically shut themselves inside for 6 months, working together to pool their resources and struggling to find any opportunities to play live (their and in particular Perfect Strangers free-form approach to playing was hardly a crowd-pleaser).

Both bands essentially split on the release of the EP, with members scattering across New Zealand. Henderson soon established the long-time underground favorites The Puddle and has achieved a bit of cult celebrity for his unusual approach to making music. The EP stands as an intriguing document of two notoriously outcast bands.

Members

  • George Henderson (Drums, 1982)
  • Mark Thomas (Guitar/Vocals, 1982)
  • Richard Sedger (Bass, 1982)
  • Susan Ellis (Keyboards, 1982)

Discography

  • Noli Me Tangere 7″ EP (w/ Perfect Strangers 1982, Self-Released, PR1041)
  • Noli Me Tangere 7″ EP (w/ Perfect Strangers 2017 Reissue, Look Plastic/Noisyland, LPN75)

Links

 

Perfect Strangers

A shambling blues-rock trio of notorious obscurity – their split 12″ EP (with The And Band – who shared member Mark Thomas), they existed for a short time playing underground gigs in Christchurch around 1981. Bill Vosburgh ended up recording a split EP as Junkanoo, before forming the Bill Fosby Assassins (with Duane Zarakov), and later joining the Homebacon gang on Brother Love‘s Rock’N’Roll Criminal.

Discography
Picks in bold