Last show in the Ruling Elite’s North Island Tour at Willy’s Shed in Tauranga. Hosted by Tauranga Music Sux, this is sure to be a ripper!
The Ruling Elite kick off their North Island tour in the Capital with the wonderful Terror of the Deep. Free show at San Fran, so everybody come and enjoy the great tunes, from 9pm.
The Ruling Elite’s 2nd North Island show, at Whanganui’s most-excellent Lucky Bar.
Come say ciao to the Ruling Elite before they head off on their North Island tour.
Thursday night show for the double-header of ‘Christchurch’s number one middle-aged boy band’ The Ruling Elite, plus everybody’s favorite the Palace of Wisdom.
It’s a School night, so expect the show to start early, should be a lot of fun!
Short-lived 3-piece garage-rock group comprised of Palace of Wisdom and Ruling Elite duo Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell (vocals) and Chris Andrews (stand-up drums) along with The Convics’ Connie Benson (guitar).
Made their debut in June 2017 with a short set at the newly re-opened Hellfire Club (formerly El Santo Porteno and originally the British Hotel).
- Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell (vocals, 2017)
- Connie Benson (guitar, 2017)
- Chris Andrews (drums, 2017)
Originally formed as a regularly jamming group comprised of Palace of Wisdom‘s Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell (vocals), first-time musician David Branton (guitar) and Crimefront Studio’s Mike Boulden (drums), the group eventually took on a steady line-up with the addition of 2nd guitarist (and O’Connell’s Palace of Wisdom band-mate) Chris Andrews, plus talented free-form drummer Rory Dalley.
This 4-piece line-up quickly recorded the debut ‘Modern Beauty Standard’ with Boulden’s production, and continued to regularly produce new material through 2016 and 2017.
- Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell (Vocals, 2015-)
- David Branton (Guitar, 2015-)
- Michael Boulden (Drums, 2015)
- Chris Andrews (Guitar, 2015-)
- Rory Dalley (Drums, 2015-)
- Modern Beauty Standard (2016, Self-Released)
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’.
- 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-)