Crime Front

Also known as:

Location: 172 Kilmore Street, Central Christchurch

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Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake

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

Bar Manager: –

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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

The Axemen

Biography

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

Members

  • 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.

Discography

  • 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)

Links

 

Coal

Biography

Coal are energy in another form.

Long-lasting groovy Christchurch noise-rock cum post-rock band based around the core guitar duo of Andrew Hensley and Jeremy Symonds.

Despite the best part of 2 decades as a live act, the group has yet to record, and have been through several ‘phases’ in their lifetime with an evolving sound and band line-up.

The group have connections to several groups, with members of A Flight to Blackout, The Pickups, Smith the Alien, and The Shocking Pinks forming the base of the group over the years.

Circa 2016/2017 the group are now a tight 4-piece with a huge sound – bolstered by excellent bassist Gareth Heta’s shear volume and the confidence the group now posses. Hensley in particular has come on in spades, with a great snarl and caustic lyrics (ala Mark E Smith) added to his guitar attack. ‘Peter Mead’ is a live favorite.

Members

  • Andrew Hensley (Guitar/Vocals, 2004 -)
  • Jeremy Symonds (Guitar, 2004 – )
  • Lachlan Beban (Guitar, 2004 – 2006?)
  • Scott Butcher (Drums, 2004 – 2006?)
  • Jared Kelly (Drums/Bass, 2006 – 2008?, 2014 – 2015)
  • Cam Walker (Drums, 2006?)
  • William Daymond (Bass/Organ, 2006 – 2007)
  • Fleur De Lis (Guitar, 2006, 2007)
  • Matt Craw (Guitar, 2007?)
  • George Gossett (Keyboard?, 2007?)
  • Paul Kidd (Electronics, 2008)
  • Danny Knight-Bare (Drums, 2008? – )
  • Gareth Heta (Bass, 2015? -)

Discography

Links

 

The Stefan Van Soest Hit-Machine, The Pickups

simon william
the wunderbar, oct 21st 2006
simon nunn