Xpressway

Xpressway was formed by Bruce Russell in 1985 to release his then-fledgling Christchurch band the Dead C, live archival recordings from This Kind Of Punishment and the debut solo material from Alastair Galbraith. Over the course of the next 23 (mostly cassette-only) releases, Xpressway, Russell and his comrades themselves formed an ever-growing niche-market of dark, brooding releases, mostly in lo-fidelity form, but full of character.

Xpressway was the label that set the careers of Stephen Cogle, Peter Stapleton and Brian Crook (between them being a major part of Victor Dimisich, Scorched Earth Policy, the Terminals and the Renderers), the Jefferies brothers and David Mitchell in motion, quite an achievement. Their brilliant compilations Xpressway Pile-Up and Making Losers Happy were re-released by overseas labels in the early 90s, hastening the influence of these inspiring 23 releases.

Russell ended the label once they had achieved global recognition, as he had always intended Xpressway to be a stepping-stone toward competent distribution, and they had achieved that by the early 1990s with American labels like Siltbreeze, Drunken Fish, and Kranky and European labels Turbulence, Ajax and Raffmond picking up a fair portion of the labels many talented musicians. Russell then launched Corpus Hermeticum – an outlet for even more challanging music (mostly by his own personal pool of musicians, but expanding into even overseas experimental and underground musicians).

Compilation Discography
Picks In Bold

  • Xpressway Pile Up [1988 XWAY5]
  • I Hate Pavel Tishy’s Guts [1989? promo issued in 2 versions XWAY6]
  • Xpressway Pile=up [reissue with extra tracks 1990]
  • Making Losers Happy [1991]
  • Whats That Noise? 7″ album [1992]
  • I Hear The Devil Calling Me 7″ album [distributed by drag city 1993]

Contact Details

The Terminals

After a 12-year recorded absense, the Terminals finally return! One of Christchurch’s most-loved underground bands, the Terminal’s have laid dormant, playing one-off shows every year or so since their Flying Nun days, but with Brian Crook resurfacing back up in Christchurch, it was just a matter of time before a new album would resurface – that being ‘Last Days Of The Sun’ on American label Last Visible Dog.

The Terminals were an outgrowth of the legendary Scorched Earth Policy (well techinally, they were a reunion that stuck) that ended up putting out some of the best, and darkest pop-rock songs this country has ever produced. I can’t imagine describing the terminals without the phrase ‘rolling thunder’ coming to mind, as they play paranoid, disturbed songs full with doom and gloom (care of Peter Stapleton) over a backing of musical anarchy.

Revitalising scorched earth policy’s early 80s songs like ‘lolita’ and ‘mekong delta blues’, the terminals have released 3 albums under Flying Nun and an assortment of limited distribution releases on their own Medication imprint, and continue to play live on rare one-off occassions (with members spread across the country).

Comprised of Stapelton (Stand-Up Drums), Crook (Guitar), Mick Elborado (Keyboards), John Christoffels (Bass) and the Booming, Charismatic Voice of Stephen Cogle.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Disconnect 12″ Ep [1987 Flying Nun Fn091] Rn
  • ‘Do The Void/Deadly Tango’ 7″ Single [1990 Xpressway X/Way17] Rn
  • Uncoffined [1990 Flying Nun Fn116] Rn
  • Disease [1991 Xpressway X/Way19]
  • Cul-De-Sac [Compilation 1992 Flying Nun Fn239]
  • Touch [1992 Raffmond Raff001]
  • ‘Medusa’ 7″ [1993? Roof Bolt]
  • Little Things [1995 Raffmond Raff014-2]
  • Last Days Of The Sun [2007 Last Visible Dog Lvd-116]

See-Also

The Cakekitchen

Biography

After the demise of This Kind Of Punishment, Graeme Jefferies recorded a solo EP called ‘Messages From The Cakekitchen‘, and needed to form a band to perform the material in a live environment:

[Started] as a two piece guitar, vocal and drum project with drummer Robert Key (The Sombretones) agreeing to help Graeme play a series of live shows at The Rising Sun Tavern on Auckland’s notorious Karangahape Road to promote the then new release on Flying Nun Records messages for The Cakekitchen.

The 2 piece format (an idea used by The White Stripes to great effect years later) evolved into a more easily palatable 3 piece lineup with the inclusion of young Auckland bass player Rachael King.

Together they toured New Zealand 3 times, recorded two albums worth of material and made a healthy impact for themselves before calling it a day and going their separate ways in April 1990

– Graeme Jefferies

With the band going in different directions, Graeme formed a new Cakekitchen in London with expatriates Keith McLean and Huw Dainow, recording the ‘How Far From The Sun’ album and touring Europe and then the States, securing a deal with homestead records in New York just as things were falling apart in England.

Jefferies had soon again relocated – this time to France, and with the departure of his London backing band he started recording with french multi-instrumentalist Jean-Yves Douet.

With ajax releasing Jefferies back catalog in Europe (including the long out of print This Kind Of Punishment material), the new Cakekitchen duo recorded two of their most acclaimed releases; ‘Stompin Thru The Boneyard’ and ‘Devil And The Deep Blue Sea‘.

What they (The Cakekitchen) lacked in personal, they more than made up for with hands, legs and fingers, managing at one time or another to play 6 different instruments during the course of their sometimes over two hour long shows
– Graeme Jefferies

This configuration of The Cakekitchen lasted until 1995, securing European distribution through the Raffmond label, and stateside through Merge along the way, touring 7 countries and playing many high-profile festivals and performance slots.

Graeme resurfaced in Bavaria with another duo, this time using Raffmond boss (and a member of The Notwist) Marcus Archer as a collaborator on analogue 8-track recordings which eventually constituted the everything’s going to work out just fine album.

The Cakekitchen continued to tour (including an american jaunt with The Mountain Goats) using many different musicians (Stefanie Bohm, Marion Gerth, Andre Richels, Paul Lemp, Steven Keusch, Dieter Roseeuw, Herbert Dee etc) releasing ‘Talking To Me In My Sleep‘ and the soundtrack to the successful German film ‘Sonnenallee’ for director Leander Hausmann.

More live work followed in 2002 when Graeme played solo for the first time in 10 years when he took to the road with Robert Scott‘s ‘Creeping Unknown‘ package tour.

The tour was a healthy 14 shows and after jamming with Robert in a hotel room in Dortmund Graeme joined his band at the end of the night to play some additional songs with them such as the classic Flying Nun chestnuts “Tally Ho” and “Anything Could Happen”.

The traditional two piece Cakekitchen line-up was even resurrected for a couple of the shows on this tour when at the Munster and Koln shows Herbert joined Graeme on stage for the entire set.

– Graeme Jefferies

‘How can you be so blind?’ was recorded with Michael Heilrath and released in late 2002, with Marcus archer rejoining to fill in the percussion roles.

the performing line-up continues to fluctuate, with Graeme performing through-out Europe utilizing many different configurations for an increasingly eclectic Cakekitchen.

A very active documenter, Graeme tracks the bands history and current progress on the excellent Cakekitchen website. (where Graeme’s various quotes have been taken from).

Members

  • Graeme Jeffries (Vocals/Guitar/Piano, 1990 -)

Discography

  • The Cakekitchen 12″ EP (1990, Flying Nun Records, FN126)
  • Time Flowing Backwards (1991, Homestead, HMS156)
  • World Of Sand (1992, Homestead / Raffmond, HMS176)
  • Far From The Sun (1993, Homestead / Raffmond Raff003)
  • Stompin’ Thru The Boneyard (1994, Merge / Raffmond, RAF012)
  • Bald Old Bear EP (1995, Merge / Raffmond)
  • Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (1995, Merge / Raffmond, RAF017)
  • Everythings Gonna Work Out Just Fine (1996, Merge / Raffmond)
  • Talkin’ To Me In My Sleep (1999, Eggbox)
  • How Can You Be So Blind? (2003, Hausmusik)

Links

 

Nocturnal Projections

The Jefferies brothers (Graeme and Peter, both later of the Cakekitchen) original Palmerston North lo-fi post-punk outfit.
Quite removed from Peter’s dramatic later recordings, Nocturnal Projections were an immediate, scathing punk outfit (the line-up completed by Gordon Rutherford and Brett Jones) that forged their own venue, released their own albums, and generally ruled the roost in small-town Palmerston North.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • things that go bunt in the night [1981 emission]
  • another year ep [1982 hit singles HIT001]
  • nocturnal projections ep [1983 hit singles HIT003]
  • nerve ends in power lines [compilation 1995 raffmond]

See-Also