Shaft [15/11/06]

shaft, the situations poster shaft

w/ the situations, at the dux de lux, nov 15th 2006

Pretty exciting show at the Dux. I caught the Situations years ago back when they were called Devils Gate Drive and I reckon they’ve come along way. Probably helps when your also the new band for the mighty Bob Cardy; the new live and loud Shaft.

Pretty small, but enthusiastic crowd; I think Bob sold a few cds and t-shirts, and the punters took in some good old fashioned pop and rock.

See more photos from this show at Flickr

Shaft

Shaft is the now long-standing vehicle of prominent song-writer Bob Cardy (aka Bob Brannigan), original sludge-rocker guitarist for the Axemen and a stalwart of the New Zealand underground scene. As The Axemen faded away in the early 1990s, Cardy put together the Auckland-based Shaft with Tony Rush (bass – moved to Wellington and joined the Users) and Rich Mixture (drums – joined the Rock’N’Roll Machine), with former Axel Grinders guitarist John Segovia (who left to form the Radio Kings) joining soon after.

Several line-ups have come and gone over the bands gradual development, with Mark Peterson (bass – ex-Straightjacket Fits) and cameron rowe (keyboards – ex-Brunettes, coming and going with shaft currently employing Ben Maitlin (guitar – Box Car Guitars and brothers Sam and Stu Kett (bass and drums respectively).

In 2004 Shaft finally got themselves together long enough to release their first full-length album, with Open Sesame coming out on Lil Chief under the assistance of Bob Frisbee on production duties.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Pooty Ep [1996 Zero Zero007]

  • I Just Wanna Have Your Baby Ep [1996 Zero Zero010]

  • Cheap Candy Ep [1999 Action!]

  • Open Sesame [2004 Lil Chief Lcr008]

  • Down At Your Life [2006 Lil Chief Lcr018]

See-Also

Sheep Technique [01/07/2008]

My very last Sheep Technique (kiwi music show on student radio station RDU); with Paul, and with an aborted interview with Cindy (previously known as Sandra) from former Flying Nun single band 25c.

Bible Black – Hell of a Woman
The Renderers – Low to the Ground
The Clean – Point that Thing Somewhere Else
25c – The Witch
Front Lawn – A Man and a Woman
25c – Don’t deceive me
The Good Housewives – Concerto in D Minor
The Stones – See Red
Spacedust – Too Much Action
3Ds – Outer Space
Steffan Van Soest Hit-Machine – Woman By My Side (Mexican Man)
Ticket – Mr. Music
Shaft – The Downhill Racer
Scorched Earth Policy – Sunset on the Loading Zone
Scavengers – Mysterex
Toy Love – Bride of Frankenstein
Reduction Agents – Urban Yard
Blam Blam Blam – There is No Depression in New Zealand
Pop Art Toasters – What Am I Going to Do
Tomorrows Love – 7 and 7 Is
King Loser – 76 Comeback
Straitjacket Fits – Life in One Chord
Palace of Wisdom – Found and Lost
Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos – All of This
the Bats – Block of Wood
Snapper – Snapper and the Ocean
Bitch – Wildcat
Die! Die! Die! – Sideways Here We Come
The Androidss – Auckland Tonight
Lawrence Arabia – Half the Right Size

Vacuum Blue Ladder

The Vacuum Blue Ladder formed when Bill Direen joined Stephen Cogle (Bass / Vocals) and Peter Stapleton (Drums / Lyrics), who were also making music as the duo Victor Dimisich Band – a group that would later release an EP on Flying Nun, and can be seen as the starting point for the more recognized Terminals, plus Stapleton and Cogle’s many variations. However – the Vacuum were quite different from these future groups, as Direen was an important creative force in the group who added his own color to their sound and songwriting.

The members took advantage of their connections to the album importing business, encompassing inspiration from the most obscure (in New Zealand’s mid 70s environment) corners with the likes of the Velvet Underground and West Coast U.S. psychedalic artists the 13th Floor Elevators (along with the staple Nuggets bands)… the very best in gritty, noisy and creative garage rock.

Like before we were in Vacuum we had a backyard band sort of thing. We used to play in this room down the back of my parents’ house. A woman called Theresa played guitar with us and we wrote songs. The ones we did with the Vacuum, most of the songs were written by Bill, which was a source of conflict eventually, and so we took our songs and did them with the Victor Dimisich Band
Peter Stapleton

Guitarist / Vocalist Theresa Mcquire joined and left in 1976, making way for Direen to front the band, and soon Peter Fryer had joined on violin. The combination of Direen and guitarist Allen Meek created a rift in the band, with Cogle and Stapleton restricted to the side-lines.

…They got pretty close. Peter and I would come along (to practise), and Bill and Allen would’ve spent a long time working things out. In the end, it sort of goes, that I got fired, by Bill. ‘Cause I didn’t mix with him. I remember.. Peter meeting me over the christmas period, we sort of had a christmas break, and he said oh, Bill wants me to tell you that you’re out (laughs). And I said oh, that’s fine, it suited me. And I was replaced by Segovia
Stephen Cogle: taken from Have You Checked The Children?

Jon ‘Segovia’ Markie (soon to make his name with the Axemen and later Shaft) joined Direen, Meek and drummer Malcolm Grant (the Bats) on bass to complete the final line-up of the Vacuum in 1979. The band eventually dissolved in the very early 1980s, but resurfaced with the short-lived Kaza Portico – Segovia in the mostly-covers outfit the Volkswagons, and later in Ritchie Venus‘s Blue Beetles.

Direen eventually took the shortened Vacuum as the name for his theater group, and continues to write, act and perform to this day.

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also

Voom

Dating way back to the early 80s when still in university, Voom have been the duo of Andrew Buzz Moller and Andrew Mac Mackaskill. It took a heck of a long time before much actually emerged from the band, with a couple of lo-fi song getting radio play throughout the early 90s, thanks to the intrepid Kiwi Hit Disc compilations. It wasn’t until 1998 that Voom finally released their debut album, with Dan Manetto replacing Bill Kerton and Chris Mckibben (who had propped up the bands ryhthm section in the mid 90s).

Then with the release of their album and finally some commercial success, Andrew Mckaskill left the band – Manetto switching to drums to fill his spot. Since then the band has gone through a couple bass players (Mareea Paterson has come and gone, replaced by Rich Mixture – Shaft), and continued a low-key existence.

Big changes were afoot in 2006 as Mackaskill finally left the group, with Moller now leading a new lineup featuring Nick Buckton (Bass), Murray Fisher (Guitar – Gooshirt) and Mike Beehre (Drums). Lil Chief came to the party to release vooms long-time coming sophmoric effort Hello, Are You There, as the group toured the country with A Low Hum.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Now I Am Me [1998 Antenna Ant008]
  • ‘Relax; Cd Single [1998 Antenna Ant010]
  • Hello, Are You There? [2006 Lil Chief Lcr016]

See-Also

YFC

Originally called Youth For Christ, just to piss off the local Christians, the band got told to change their name…. Or else. Their line-up was three piece, no guitar. Bassist/vocals – johnathon ogilvie, bassist/vocals – grant horsnell, and drummer micheal daily. The band performed throughout new zealand teaming up with children’s hour for gigs. The band recorded and released one 6 song EP through Hit Singles, but split before they managed to release most of their best songs, including such favourites as ‘Black Train’ and ‘Waltz’. YFC were exceptionally inventive in their sound.

Both Daily and Horsnell went on to join Shafts Micheal Williams in Sydney based This Cage. Ogilvie and Daily also started up Sydney based Leadleg who recorded and released a version of the YFC track ‘Waltz’ but the song was greatly altered from the original. Daily then joined former Jean-Paul Sartre Experience frontman Dave Mulcahy in a new three-piece called Eskimo alongside Dolphin‘s Rob Mayes.
Failsafe

In early 2005 however, the trio finally reconvened for the release of Failsafe‘s excellent Retrogenic series, playing a handful of live shows and releasing ‘Richochet’, a compiled anthology of unreleased or out of print YFC material.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Between Two Thieves Ep [1984 Hit Singles Hit15]

  • Richochet [2005 Failsafe 062cd]

See-Also