Crime Front

Also known as:

Location: 172 Kilmore Street, Central Christchurch

Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake

Active as a live music venue: 2000’s – 2015

Bar Manager: –

Bookings:

Website:

Capacity: –

All-Ages: House-Parties

A decrepit old wooden villa on Kilmore Street occupied primarily by Michael Boulden (who used the space as a recording studio / video editing office) and professional musician Simon Nunn, whilst other musicians (including The Pickups /  Terror of the Deeps William Daymond) came and went over the years – taking advantage of the 6 rooms and ridiculously cheap $200 rent.

Both Boulden and Nunn have strong connections to the Christchurch live music scene – particularly the Stefan van Soest Hit Machine (of which Nunn has been a long-time member), and as such hosted a large number of house parties over the years.

One room was set up as a practice space, so there was always an array of amplifiers and a drum kit available, and parties would often stretch far in to the early hours, particularly after the earthquake impacted neighbors gradually moved out.

In the early 2010’s, Boulden lent keyboards to Nunns drums, guitar and vocals, forming the duo Bergerac – an eclectic studio creation, forming the pseudo-label Crime Front Kilmore to release the material.

The house was heavily damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes, however it was still habitable for quite a period after, until finally being marked for demolition in 2015.

History

Contact Details

Links

The Pickups

Biography

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.

Members

  • William Daymond (Guitar/Vocals, 2002-2010)
  • Isaac Mawson (Drums, 2002-2010)
  • Jared Kelly (Bass, 2004-2010)
  • Bri Yaakoup (Keyboards, 2005-2006)

Discography

  • Finally… The Pickups (2010 Worship the Owl 001)

Links

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