Long-running Christchurch trio (originally a duo under the name the Twin Towers… then the Distractions, finally settling on the Pickups in October 2003) fronted by William Daymond, with Isaac Mawson and Jared Kelly.
A fixture of the Christchurch and then Wellington live scenes for the best part of a decade before releasing their aptly titled debut/retrospective ‘Finally… The Pickups’ in 2010. Mawson’s then-girlfriend Bri Yaakoup (later of Frase + Bri) played keyboards for a period in 2005-2006
Taking elements of classic Flying Nun acts like the Chills and the Clean, psychedelic West Coast pop-rock and the free-wheeling fun of the Monkees and the Beach Boys as their primary inspirations.
Daymond and Mawson both moved to Wellington – Daymond is a member of both the Axemen and Terror of the Deep, whilst Jared Kelly has been a member of Palace of Wisdom and Coal.
- William Daymond (Guitar/Vocals, 2002-2010)
- Isaac Mawson (Drums, 2002-2010)
- Jared Kelly (Bass, 2004-2010)
- Bri Yaakoup (Keyboards, 2005-2006)
- Finally… The Pickups (2010 Worship the Owl 001)
A well-known, yet thoroughly underground troop that often swelled in numbers (sometimes up to as many as 10 members in the mid 1980’s). The group have been known for their artistic endeavors as well as their music – with drummer Stuart Page (aka Stu Kawowski) a renowned film-maker and photographer.
Barely out of Cashmere High School, Steve McCabe played alongside Bob Cardy (aka Bob Brannigan – later to form the legendary Shaft up in Auckland) in a variety of pre-cursor bands, before Page jumped on stage at one of their shows. This was the birth of The Axemen, and the core line-up of all the groups earliest recordings.
The group released three albums on Flying Nun Records in the mid to late 1980’s – guitarist Dragan Stojanovic joining the line-up in time for 1989’s Derry Legend. Several releases on their own Sleek Bott imprint followed – following a very make-shift, punk approach to recording, their albums were often of-the-moment pieces…
The story of [Big Cheap Motel] is: Bob and myself went down to check out the Christchurch botanic gardens, the scene of the local council/”Big M” milk drink-sponsored “Summertime” concert-in-the-park series of free outdoor events, only to find the park plastered with billboard-sized posters of skimpily-clad young ladies advertising the sponsors wares.
We immediately proceeded home and wrote the enclosed set of ‘protest’ songs about the travesty, which were performed at the event, to the mild annoyance of the council & the sponsors.
– Taken from Mayday: The Little Stevie McCabe / Axemen / Sleek Bott webpage
- Steve McCabe (Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals, 1983 – )
- Bob Brannigan (Guitar/Vocals, 1983 – 2011)
- Stuart Page (Drums/Vocals/Trumpet, 1983 – )
- Dragan Stojanovic (Guitar/Vocals/Mandolin/Bass, 1989 -)
- William Daymond (Bass/Guitar/Keyboards/Drums, 2011 -)
- Mick Elborado (Guitar/Bass/Vocals, 1991)
- Paul Lee (Saxophone/Vocals, 1991)
- B. B. Ryan (Bass/Guitar/Vocals, 1991)
- Pete Rees (Vocals, 1991)
- Arthur Sheep (Saxophone, 1991)
- Shorty Hamilton (Drums, 1991)
- Jessica Walker (Violin, 1991)
Note: This is an abridged list of musicians listed on The Axemen’s various recordings – see the groups Wikipedia page for an extended roll-call.
- Big Cheap Motel (1983, Sleek Bott)
- Three Virgins Three Versions Three Visions (1986, Flying Nun Records, FN049)
- Derry Legends (1987, Flying Nun Records, FN120)
- Ak87 (W/ The Shit Pop Boyz 1987, Sleek Bott)
- Scary! (W/ The Sleek Bott Gang 1989, Sleek Bott)
- Peter Wang Pud (1991, Flying Nun Fn204)
- Dirty Den Sessions (1991, Sleek Bott)
- Recliner Rocker (1992, Sleek Bott #921)
- Three Rooms (An Elton John Tribute Album) (1992, Sleek Bott)
- Across The Universe In 27879 Days Ep (1992, Sleek Bott)
- The Axemen Singles Collection (Compilation 1998, Sleek Bott)
- Nutsack 7″ Single (2011,
- Sac Tap Nut Jam (2013, Spacecase Records, SCR006)