The Palace Of Wisdom

Biography

The Palace of Wisdom originated in 1999 when well established Christchurch rock’n’roller Ben Johnstone (Guitar/Backing Vocals – Hi-Tone Destroyers, The Incisions) got together with intimidating vocalist Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell, adding hooky guitar riffs to O’Connell’s hurricane force vocals. The resulting recording was released as part of the No Thanks To New Zealand On Air compilation in 2000. Matt Alien (Hi-Tone Destroyers, Black Panthers, Space Dust, Slavetrader) joined on drums, with the line-up complete by English bassist Ian Lloyd.

With Lloyd’s departure in late 2000, ALC5 (yet another Hi-Tone Destroyers member) joined the group on Bass, however after a year with the group he was also replaced, this time by the legendary Mick Elborado (Scorched Earth Policy, The Terminals, Gas, The Axemen, Drowning Is Easy etc), who became a mainstay in the group and is responsible for the bands huge, over-driven bass sound on the excellent Pills EP.

The group then started to rotated through a number of drummers with Nick Harte (The Incisions, Shocking Pinks, Black Albino, CM Ensemble, The Urinators) in February 2002, Tim MacDonald (The Incisions, Shocking Pinks) in March 2003, Simon Nunn (Steffan Van Soest Hit-Machine, The Undercurrents, Kate in the Lemon Tree, Weaponized, Hi-Tone Destroyers etc) in December 2003, and then Chris Andrews (a million lights, Mysterioball, Idols of Eve, Pop Hits City, O’Lovely) in November 2004.

This line-up was the longest of the group, though recordings from this era (which lasted almost 4 years) are limited to Stuck In The Suck. After a disastrous recording session at Christchurch’s MAINZ, and other internal issues – Mick Elborado left the group. Jared Kelly (The Pickups, Blue Moon) then joined in May 2008, with Andrews and Kelly switching instruments after their first practice.

2008 was a particularly important year for the group, recording the Common Threads EP with the lineup of O’Connell (Vocals), Johnstone (Guitar), Andrews (Bass) And Kelly (Drums) Before Stink Magnetic‘s Aiden Moody (Bad Evil, Grand Chancellors) joined as a 2nd guitarist, moving down from Palmerston North. This was an important change for the group as in late 2009 founding guitarist Ben Johnstone left to raise a family in Canada, and Moody took over his lead guitar duties.

Both Kelly and Andrews left for other towns in 2010, however Ox enlisted the help of drummer Michael Summerfield (The Undercurrents, Cowboy Machine), before Andrews rejoined in early 2011 on bass guitar. The group played the very last show at historic Lyttelton venue El Santo Porteno, just 2 days before the February 2011 earthquake. This disrupted the progress the group had been making, with guitarist Moody moving on to form surf group The Grand Chancellors.

The group resurfaced in early 2012 with Jared Kelly once again playing drums (replacing a departing Summerfield), with John Harris (Lonely Harris Club, Doctors, BnP) quickly establishing himself as their latest guitarist. Summerfield would eventually find himself back in the group after a hilarious stage moment at the (now bull-dozed) New Brighton Tavern which saw Kelly replaced mid-set by multi-instrumentalist Rhett Copland, and this line-up played quite a few shows over the next couple years.

Which Palace’s recorded output completely stagnant Ox formed a new group with guitarist Dave Branton named The Ruling Elite, which eventually picked up Andrews (switching to 2nd guitar). Eventually both groups began utilizing talented free-form drummer Rory ‘IRD’ Dalley – with the new group quickly writing and recording a whole swag of new recorded output, whilst Palace remains a tight live-act-only type of group.

Over the course of the last 15 years the group has played a string of high-profile support slots, including The Chills, The Datsuns and of particular note – US group Dead Moon, who the group cover (‘Unknown Passage’) and are of particular importance to vocalist O’Connell with their never-say-die attitude to Rock’n’Roll. The Palace of Wisdom’s set is augmented by a number of re-interpreted covers, often quite removed from the originals, or obscure in their origin – this includes The Great Unwashed‘s ‘Born in the Wrong Time’ (as ‘Sending Him Away’), and Joy Division’s ‘Sound of Music’.

 

Members

  • Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell (Vocals, 1999-)
  • Ben Johnstone (Guitar, 1999-2009)
  • Matt ‘Alien’ Johnstone (Guitar, 1999-2002)
  • Ian Lloyd (Bass, 1999)
  • Alan ‘ALC5’ Cameron (Bass, 2000-2001)
  • Mick Elborado (Bass, 2001-2007)
  • Nick ‘Harte’ Hodgson (Drums, 2002-2003)
  • Tim MacDonald (Drums, 2003)
  • Simon Nunn (Drums, 2003-2004)
  • Chris Andrews (Drums/Bass, 2004-2010, 2011-)
  • Jared Kelly (Bass/Drums, 2008-2010, 2012)
  • Rhett Copland (Drums, 2012)
  • Aiden Moody (Guitar, 2008-2010)
  • Michael Summerfield (Drums, 2010-2012)
  • John Harris (Guitar, 2010-)
  • Rory Dalley (Drums, 2015-)

Discography

  • The ‘P’ EP [2001 Self-Released]
  • Candy Pants [2002 Self-Released]
  • Pills EP [2003 Self-Released]
  • Stuck In The Suck [2006 Self-Released]
  • Burnside EP [2008 Self-Released]
  • Common Threads EP [2009 Self-Released]

    Links

  • MySpace
  • BandCamp
  • Facebook
  • LastFM
  • Photo’s on Flickr

Satan’s Pitbull

An experimental lo-fi/noise release from Lynton Denovan (Space Dust, CM Productions etc), recorded on a simple 4-track setup and released in a Peter King lathe cut 7″ format through Denovan’s one-off Hit-Machine label.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Satan’s Pitbull Lathe-Cut 7″ Ep [1998 Hit-Machine Hit001]

See-Also

Space Dust

Biography

A Christchurch institution of absent idols (only John Christoffels still resides in the garden city from the classic line-up), dating back to 1993 but seldom surfacing more than a single gig every couple of years. The group was original formed by Duane Zarakov, Mick Elborado and Brother Love – with Zarakov’s sister Violet up-front in her first band, and Christoffels on bass.

Beatle! – Originally intended as their debut release

A series of guitarists and organists came and went over a productive period during the mid 1990’s, with the group recording 3 albums and cutting a number of releases on vinyl for both American (18 Wheeler, Carburetor) and New Zealand (Kato, Homebacon, Stink Magnetic) labels.

The debut ‘Beatle!’ got stuck unreleased for a period as the label behind the release (18 Wheeler) went on an unexpected hiatus.

 

US Pressing of Debut Single

The group managed to tour the United States with a make-shift line-up comprising the core trio of Violet Faigan, Duane Zarakov and Brother Love, with Doug Pearson and John Allen joining the line-up – without Violet they became the Brother Love band.

The group enjoyed some visibility with their songs included on the New Zealand feature film ‘Snakeskin’, which coincided with the release of their 1999 CD ‘No Kissing In Public’. The single ‘Too Much Action’ was given a video and his probably their most well-known song. The album was reissued by Powertool Records in 2014.

Violet Faigan moved to Auckland, so for a period the group was comprised of Faigan, Zarakov and the Constant Pain duo of Roddy Pain and Cameron Bain, though further line-up changes continued up their too (Sean O’Reilly on bass and occasionally Brother Love would venture North from his new home of Wellington to complete the line-up).

Members

  • Pat Faigan / Duane Zarakov (Drums)
  • Violet Faigan (Vocals)
  • Mick Elborado (Guitar / Organ)
  • Marty Henderson / Brother Love (Guitar)
  • John Christoffels (Bass)
  • Matt Alien / Matt Johnstone (Guitar)
  • Matt Middleton (Clarinet)
  • Anabel Alpers (Organ)
  • Doug Pearson (Synthesizer / Violin)
  • John Allen (Bass)
  • Lisa Preston (Organ)
  • Bill Fosby (Guitar)
  • John Segovia (Guitar)
  • Rob Haarkman / Rock Hardman (Keyboards)
  • Cameron Bain (Guitar)
  • Roddy Pain (Guitar)
  • Sean O’Reilly (Bass)
  • Simon Cumings (Electronics)
  • Chris Heazlewood (Guitar)
  • Rich Mixture (Drums)

Discography

  • ‘Cool Car’ 7″ Single [1994, Homebacon / 18 Wheeler, EWR-008]
  • Beatle! [1995, 18 Wheeler, EWR014]
  • First To The Future [1995, Carburetor Records]
  • No Kissing In Public [1999, Homebacon Music]
  • Live 93 Cassette [Stink Magnetic, MAG24]

Links

 

Stink Magnetic

Fantastic DIY record label formed by Dylan Herkes in 1999. Originating in small town Manawatu, Stink Magnetic released hand-made Cassette Tapes by a diverse array of underground New Zealand acts: “NZ garage, surf, Hawaiian industrial, experimental country disco, Spaghetti Western, esoteric trash, rap and stone-age punk bands”.

Herkes has himself been a member of many Stink Magnetic bands such as Pro Drag, The Chandeliers, and his solo project turned reborn band the Tape Men. Stink Magnetic had a studio in Rutland Street, Whanganui, and the various acts on the label were notable for their extended DIY Nation-wide tours – ‘The One-Man-Band Tour’ was documented in a great DVD release. Herkes relocated to Christchurch in 2009/2010, but the label continues to release new music and promote acts across the country.

Acts associated with Stink Magnetic include: Golden Axe, The Side Effects, Space Dust, Hot Swiss Mistress, Boss Christ, High Plains Drifters, Full Fucking Moon, Double Ya D, Knifefight, The Damned Evangelist, Cortina, Star Factory, Wrongdoings, Made For Chickens By Robots, The Hi-tone Destroyers, Pro-Drag, The Raskolnikovs, Delaney Davidson, I Drink Your Blood, Voodoo Savage & His Savages, Mr. Slackjaw, Bad Evil, Sheville, Sets and the Mysterious Tapeman / Tapemen.

The label was strongly tied to Andrew Tolley’s also-excellent Kato records, plus Whanganui venue Eye of the Night, run by the late (great) ALC5.

Compilation Discography
Picks in Bold

  • Wolf Party [2010 MAG47]

    Contact Details

  • The Aesthetics

    energetic screaming, rugged rythms and a sloppy swagger that suits anyone looking for a glaring upheaval of standard musical thoroughfare…” “…equivalent to a hyperactive daniel johnston recklessly exorcising himself of inner demons with the help of the finest extra-lo-fi equipment.

    andrew magilow; splendid magazine

    ‘destructo-rock’ outfit extraordinaire. originally formed in dunedin by matt middleton (aka crude), rustle covini (drums) and j-mz robinson in 1995 in a purely punk flavor, after a few successfull parties and the odd gig, j-mz was replaced by shaun jury – the line-up that released the debut my right to riches lp.

    crude’s matt middleton has erupted from the shackles of noise to stomp the grounds of sonic punkdom. following his forefathers in bands like the pin group, henchmen, and la de da’s, monsieur middleton has carved a new sound

    forced exposure

    by 1997 stefan neville (futurians) had replaced covini, but then left in 1998 – off to auckland, along with shaun. pat kraus (drums) and fyfe (bass) made up the numbers for the rest of the bands career, eventually releasing the off lp before splitting in 2001.

    discography
    picks in bold

    • dunedin punks 7 cassette [1997 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
    • off [1998 esctatic peace]
    • ‘doomtown fuzz’/’better dead than red’/’202’ lathe-cut 7″ [dirtlove]
    • split ep lathe-cut 7″ [w/ the ho dogs dirtlove]
    • ‘i just don’t get it’/’motor ella’/’i think you’d better leave’ lathe-cut 7″ [dirtlove]
    • secrets of japanese nationalism double 8″ lathe-cut [ crawlspace / dirtlove]
    • crownsatnov11 cassette [w/ murdering mosters slag strutSS2]
    • off [2001 mental telemetry tele003]

    Axel Grinders

    john ‘segovia’ markie (shaft, spacedust etc), reta la quesne (snort, stepford 5), martin ‘brother love‘ henderson and duane zarakov (king loser et all). put out a live recording (of their gluepot 13-12-1990 gig) on their own imprint in 1991.

    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)
    • 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