One of the earlier Christchurch acid-rock groups of Celia Patel (aka Celia Pavlova / Mancini) along with twins Sharon and Joanne Billesdon and Reta La Quesne.
Though the Stepford 5 only released two (now rather rare) European-issued 7″ singles – one a split with Japanese act Teengenerate, their members would later resurface in The Axel Grinders, Snort, and King Loser.
The Stepford 5 were rougher, rawer and dirtier than their successive groups, with Patel’s vocals in particular being much more harsh than her Nancy Sinatra style chanteuse approach in The Axel Grinders and King Loser.
- Celia Patel (Lead Guitar / Vocals, 1991? – 1992)
- Sharon Billesdon (Drums, 1991? – 1992)
- Joanne Billesdon (Guitar, 1991? – 1992)
- Reta La Quesne (Vocals / Bass, 1991? – 1992)
- Cave of Love 7″ EP (1991, Demolition, DEMO004)
- Snake Lady Split 7″ [W/ Teengenerate 1993, Demolition Derby, DD006]
The infamous Axel Grinders – a terrific Christchurch noise-punk / garage beat combo from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s formed by John ‘Segovia’ Markie, Pat ‘Duane Zarakov’ Faigan, and Martin ‘Brother Love’ Henderson, with Celia Patel (aka Celia Mancini, at that stage performing as Celia Pavlova) completing their early line-up.
The Axel Grinders started out by doing covers. They even covered “We Care A Lot” (Faith No More). They played hard-charging skate punk. They pretended they were shit hot skateboarders but none of them could actually skate. (laughs) They took action shots of themselves skating. It was pretty funny.
– Steve McCabe from an interview with Ryan Leach
Celia left the group some time in 1989 (she later said in an interview with Ryan Leach that she was kicked out for ‘being too Iggy’), the group would go on to record their signature tune ‘Apparatus of Love’ with Celia’s Stepford 5 band-mate Reta La Quesne stepping in as their new vocalist, releasing the single alongside the noisy B-Side ‘Don’t hurry, be sappy’ for the US Dionysus imprint.
Several lo-fi cassettes were produced by the group, though it took over 25 years for the full length release ‘Kill Them Twice!’ surfaced on streaming services, though no physical copies were produced prior to Patel’s passing in 2017.
- John Markie (Guitar/Vocals, 1988 – 1990)
- Pat Faigan (Drums, 1988 – 1990)
- Phil Prescott (Bass, 1988)
- Martin Henderson (Bass, 1988 – 1990)
- Celia Patel (Vocals, 1988 – 1989)
- Reta La Quesne (Vocals/Guitar, 1989 – 1990)
- Come Together Cassette (1989, Sourpuss Recordings, AXEL001)
- The Trip/1989 Cassette (1989, Sourpuss Recordings, AXEL002)
- Too Cool Cassette (1990, Sourpuss Recordings, AXEL003)
- Etheric K.O. Cassette (1990, Sourpuss Recordings, AXEL004)
- Apparatus of Love (1990, Dionysus Records, ID074517)
- It’s in the bag Cassette (199?, Sourpuss Recordings)
- The Trip Cassette (1993 Reissue, Homebacon)
- Kill Them Twice! (2014, Imperial)