Real Groove Magazine

So apparently thebigcity.co.nz got mentioned in RealGroove magazine this month as Top 10 distractions from work or something to that accord. Sweet! Still Im on a bit of a downer about the current status, theres just not enough updating being done outside of gig listings and photos.

I need help!

Disasteradio! performing at A Low Hum

Bios, Discogs, Album and Gig reviews; photos, you name it. The new setup should make it fairly easy to post or at least comment on the material on the site, and Im really keen for user involvement, Ive even been considering converting it into a wiki-style content driven by the masses type setup; but Im kinda wary of spam comments and the like.
Oh and talking of RealGroove; their CD comp this month is choice; ChCh-town is represented by Frase+Bri, Not So Experimental, the Tiger Tones, Pig Out Its basically a homage to the fabbo Camp A Low Hum due to the mighty Stevie Kaye and Chris Cudby (aka Dancing Stevie and Super-Force / Half of Golden-Axe) who are prevalent writers for that lot now. Yah for the return of relevant indie music journalism in New Zealand!

Shocking Pinks

Formed by Nick ‘Harte’ Hodgson in mid-2003, The Shocking Pinks are one of the most exciting and memorable bands to spring out of Christchurch in the last 5 years. New Zealand’s exponent of the dance-punk revitalisation – The Shocking Pinks encompass a vast variety of styles into their (utterly original) sound, blending disco, shoegazer guitar, new wave keys and vocals and punky rhythms into a mish-mash of undeniably danceable funk.

Valentines day 2004 sees The Pinks release their debut full-length ‘Dance The Dance Electric’ on Tim Baird’s Christchurch-based and usually house-orientated Pinacolada label. Reduced down to a four-piece (though their stylist Antonia De Bere gets a credit) of Harte, Tim McDonald (keys / percussion), Johnno Smith (bass / vocals) and Danny Bare (guitar – Ex-Substandard), the debut is startling different from their early 4-track attempts (though most of the recordings were done in such a lo-fi manner), with their heavy A Certain Ratio influence shining through on a number of tracks, which are now very varied and dynamic.

Though now somewhat missing a front-person (the album features vocal cameos by the Brunettes Heather Mansfield and original vocalist Mel Smith (Emerald Green, The Greenmatics) their sound has indeed fleshed out, and the band intends to sort out a relationship with the American DFA label.

More news came about with their January 2004 pre-release tour – after internal squabbles, the returning news was that the band had called it quits – though the album was still to be released on valentines day. After a couple of weeks, Harte re-appeared, announcing the band would march on – now with a completely new line-up featuring Harte taking both drum and bass roles, with newcomers Kit on guitar, and Marie on synthesizers (while advertising for a new drummer).

Things turned a little bizarre from this point on, with members of the original line-up reinstated for one-off gigs, then yet another new line-up and an eventual New Zealand tour (which ended unceremoniously with yet more departures). Finally, with The Pinks profile rising substantially both nationally and internationally, Harte took over sole responsibility of the group, signing a contract with Festival Mushroom (through Flying Nun), with plans for an EP and sophmoric EP in the works.

Circa 2004-5 The Shocking Pinks are a one-man recording project, though he has a new and established live band of Herbert Palmer (guitar – also of the Leper Ballet), Gareth (synth, vocals, percussion), and Tom (bass). In September 2004 Harte formed a new duo as a sideline to The Pinks, Black Albino – making their debut supporting touring US troop Hawnay Troof and high-flying Aucklanders Die! Die! Die!. Black Albino are somewhat closer to Harte’s previous outfit the Incisions, and featured former Pink and Incision Tim McDonald.

The Pinks gradually spaced out their live performances during 2005 and early 2006, after Herbert Palmer left the group for foreign shores. However in mid 2006 Harte finally got word of his impending US record deal, signing to DFA records in New York City. The group played a supposed final Christchurch show in August 2006, with Harte heading stateside for the re-release of Infinityland under DFA, with a four-record deal in the wings.

However it took almost a year for the DFA to actually release their first stateside material – a white-label 12″ record; whilst Nick was actually still in Christchurch, and even continued to play shows and house party’s before eventually leaving mid 2007. By the end of the Pinks New Zealand lifetime the group was essentially Nick fronting (on guitar) the Tiger Tones (less bassist Ashlin Raymond) – a local group the Pinks have had a strong influence on.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Dance The Dance Electric [2004 Pinacolada Pinacd02]
  • Sway [2005 Self-Released]
  • Mathematical Warfare [2005 Flying Nun Fncd494]
  • Infinityland [2005 Flying Nun Fncd497]
  • Smokescreen 12″ [2007 DFA]
  • Shocking Pinks [2007 DFA]

See-Also

Pig Out

live electro-house-rave band founded as a side-project by house of dolls‘ marie celeste (keyboards) and kit clayton (vocals, drum programming); with the original intent of being joined by the enigmatic nick harte (shocking pinks) – though he essentially exists as a part time member. soon pig out had an identical lineup to the dolls with bassist frase and drummer kris soon joining; though eventually frase left both groups to vocals on his expanding frase+bri project.

pig out live at happy, filmed by neonsleep

pig out songs are essentially long rambling jams based around marie’s synth and huge percussionary involvement, though with kris now on drums this has taken a more polished, complete feeling. the group quickly grew in popularity across the country, being a fore-runner in the rave-rivivalism scene that emerged in 2006. hugely fun and tongue-n-cheek; the group are hard at work getting their debut ‘club poems’ ready for release on pinacolada records.
July 2007 saw the group embark to Europe, playing the Midi festival on the French Riviera, along with further shows in France, England, and Continental Europe.

discography
picks in bold

  • Club Poems [2006 Pinacolada]

Pig Out [09/11/06]

pig out pigeon family
w/ pigeon family, at the dux de lux, nov 9th 2006

see more photos from this show at flickr

Pig Out, Tiger Tones [28/10/06]

pig out tiger tones
at the dux de lux, oct 27th 2006

see more photos from this show at flickr