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

Stinkfest 13!

Ok so I only got the chance to attend one night of the Stinkfest 13 celebration, but it was a beaut at the Darkroom. Opening with the latest one-man all-vampire showcase that is I Drink Your Blood, I knew it was going to be a fun night.

I Drink Your Blood!
I Drink Your Blood!

Playing with reel-to-reel backing and cool creepy organ sounds, the cape-cloaked bogey-man threw down some cool songs, touched with bone-chilling hoots and hollers!

Ritchie Venus
Ritchie Venus

Next was the return of local legend Ritchie Venus, playing a karaoke set of his best songs (like the stunning Forbidden Planet, and scene-setting number My Beretta), to an enthralled crowd. Playing an especially down-and-out flavoured repertoire of songs, perfect for his unpopular-Elvis persona.

Planet of the Tapes
Planet of the Tapes

Planet of the Tapes really stepped it up a notch from the previous show i’d seen of them, playing with aggression and fury. All 3 err… tape-people seem to be really firing at the moment, channelling their inner surf-music gods!

Golden Axe
Golden Axe

Golden Axe are touring their latest album ‘Liquid Bacon’, and unfortunately their show was cut short by closing time. They were rough around the edges but fun, as always. Playing garbled electro-pop in a DIY fashion.

For the rest of the photos click here.

Shit All To Hell

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also

The Side Effects

One of the many Stink Magnetic surf-rock outfits. Their sole album (a cd-r release) was reissued on Kato, again as a cd-r.

Discography (picks in bold)

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

 

Starfactory

Discography (picks in bold)

See-Also

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

  • Golden Axe

    Bizarre Auckland synth and vocal duo (Chris Cudby and Daif King) who play a gritty, distorted and, err, wiggly take on drone-pop. I had an unfortunate habit of missing each of their sets on a recent excursion up north, caught between being witness to the Shocking Pinks shedding members during their Eden’s Bar show, and rushing to see Sonic Youth as the duo busked outside. But i did pick up their debut cd-r, a rambling and chaotic mix of blurred vocals, white noise and…. catchy melodies! All recorded in sub-atomic ultra-lo-fi goodness and packaged in unique sleeves. Made for a positively jolly ride to the airport, surrounded by a bus full of chart-pop fan swedes.

    As A Low Hum‘s Blink will attest (one of their first releases graced the 2nd edition of his excellent fanzine), there’s something magnetic about their Casio-tone driven grind and junk-shop music mentality. Kinda like if the Tall Dwarfs indulged in a little more La Monte Young action (huge distorted walls of droning lo-fi – in their case in keyboard form) while wearing live squid strapped onto their faces. warped.

    Late in 2004 the duo finally made it south, touring as part of the A Low Hum collective, this time carting CD-r’s of Hypercolours – their third release, an album-lengthed EP. Its bit more cohesive and full-formed than the debut, its a pretty twisted, but enjoyable sunday afternoon headphone piece.

    Discography (picks in bold)

    • Golden Shakehands CD-r [2004 Self-Released]
    • Yum CD-r EP [2005 Self-Released]
    • Hypercolours CD-r EP [2005 Self-Released]
    • Party Alarm Bells [2006 Stink Magnetic]
    • Peaceful Planet Live Cassette [2008 Crystal Magic]
    • Fabourite New Machine (Thought Creature) Remix CD-r EP [2008 Stink Magnetic / Crystal Magic]
    • Best Of Both Worlds Cassette [2009 Crystal Magic]
    • Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ Digital Single [2009 Crystal Magic / Cheese On Toast]
    • Hot And Cold EP [2009 Crystal Magic]
    • We Walk In Circles (Computers Want Me Dead) Remix CD-r [2009 Crystal Magic]
    • Golden Axe Ampler CD-r [2010 Crystal Magic]
    • Free Time Digital EP [2010 Crystal Magic]
    • Fantasy Footwork [2010 Crystal Magic]
    • Telephone EP [2010 Crystal Magic]
    • Sexual Angel (Featuring Princess Chelsea) Digitial Single [2011 Crystal Magic]
    • Liquid Bacon [2011 AMDiscs]

    See-Also