Rockstar Clothing

Location: 299 Selwyn Street, Spreydon

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Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake

Active as a live music venue: 2000’s

Bar Manager: Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell

Capacity: About 20

All-Ages: Yes

Notorious local rock’n’roll vocalist and Downhill Mountain Bike clothing entrepreneur Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell ran a small clothing retail shop on Selwyn Street in Spreydon before the Earthquakes claimed it in February 2011.

Hi-Tone Destroyers at Rockstar Clothing

As the long-standing vocalist of Palace of Wisdom, Ox utilized the shop as both a practice and occasional performance space for the group, along with several other groups that fit in with his specific aesthetic.

Over the years that meant Rockstar Clothing hosted impromptu shows by Palace of Wisdom, The Hi-Tone Destroyers, The Transistors, the Stefan Van Soest Hit-Machine and  several others.

Stefan Van Soest Hit-Machine at Rockstar Clothing

Additionally, back in 2001 Ox released a compilation of rock’n’roll groups on his own Rockstar imprint (he also ran ‘Gone Magazine’ an online rock’roll publication), accurately entitled ‘No Thanks To New Zealand On Air‘ as a dig at the local New Zealand Creative grant system.

History

  • 2001: Rockstar release ‘No Thanks to New Zealand on Air
  • 2011: Rockstar Clothing is damaged in Canterbury Earthquakes, Ox is forced to move out

Contact Details

Links

The Feelups

Biography

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).

Members

  • Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell (vocals, 2017)
  • Connie Benson (guitar, 2017)
  • Chris Andrews (drums, 2017)

Discography

Links

The Ruling Elite

Biography

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.

Members

  • Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell (Vocals, 2015-)
  • David Branton (Guitar, 2015-)
  • Michael Boulden (Drums, 2015)
  • Chris Andrews (Guitar, 2015-)
  • Rory Dalley (Drums, 2015-)

Discography

  • Modern Beauty Standard (2016, Self-Released)

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

a million lights

Biography

The first (documented) recording alias of Chris Andrews – I.E. the creator of this website. In 2004 I compiled a 4-song EP of original recordings and got them pressed in the very limited capacity of 20 copies through Peter King, down in Mt. Somers (in a single day!, June 24th 2004), each with a unique cover and hand-numbered. The music contained within varies between low-key melodic tremblings on the a side, to caustic, but carefully controlled feedback-entrenched drones and shards of sound (extract with the help of cubase’s many distortion tools – from a bass guitar) on the b of an 8″ lathe-cut.

This highly limited 8″ lathe comes to us from the beautiful islands of New Zealand, a place known for it’s exquisite experimental music. These four short compositions by Chris Andrews heavily feature bass as a predominant instrument. Their minimalistic structures and instrumentation give the four tracks on “a million lights” an open-air feeling. It’s like soaring through the night sky, breathing ice cold air into your lungs. i love how sparse these pieces are. Both “Build 2” and “Thumping Around” show off a sense of melody. While these tracks are all instrumental, these two have a catchiness to them that will lodge itself firmly inside your skull
Brad Rose; Foxy Digitalis

This EP is actually an archival release, constructed from some of the most thematically aligned instrumental pieces in my recording archives, which date back to around 2000. playing primarily bass guitar, but also a little keyboard and rudimentary drumming, the ep is a work of studio-production, and differs quite markedly from my live band, the diana mckay led post-punk 4-piece Idols Of Eve.

The piece de resistance of “a million lights” is the opening to side b, “Error 404.” With shades of Roy Montgomery and Windy and Carl, this spacey guitar drone is mesmerizing. A heavy low-end gives this track depth, and Andrews’ melodic tendencies shine through again. It ascends and descends through the clouds like a soaring bird. It’s an excellent track and deserves repeated listens. He closes the album with “Rebel,” which is reminiscent of the previous track. It’s like a more stripped down, heavily processed version of it. It’s a solid ending to a very solid release. I hope to hear more of Andrews’ material in the future
Brad Rose; Foxy Digitalis

On January 14th, 2005 I made my live solo debut at the ‘Southern Oscillations’ festival at Castle Hill, Central Canterbury. I performed a 40 minute set comprised of material from my simultaneously released debut full-length cd-r, coming on after kRkRkRk artist / co-founder K-Mz Robinson (of NoTV / TMA-1).

The performance went well, playing to a small crowd on the opening night of the festival, drawing a good response and prompting a make-shift encore. Significant about the live performance was that I’ve now taken to playing guitar in a live capacity, just 3 weeks after purchasing my first (non-bass) guitar. using my PC for backing and live processing, the guitar is used primarily to spike the live sound with a higher register wave of sound, which can rise and fall between quite aggressive shards of noise to glacial waves.

After a single gig as a duo (with James Musgrave of A Flight To Blackout – we performed as 2 million lights) and a CD-r album release in 2006, plus a few further live solo performances, a million lights went on the back burner around 2007.

Still performing with Palace of Wisdom, I joined new ‘DIY Pop’ group The Ruling Elite in 2015, picking up guitar again for the first time since the solo performances. With free-form drummer Rory Dalley (otherwise known as IRD), I got the opportunity again to perform in an improvised manner – filling in for Dave Imlay in Dalley’s instrumental duo No Exit for a show at Space Academy in mid 2017, this lead to further performances with Dalley during The Ruling Elite‘s North Island tour in August 2017 (using the group name No No Exit).

Members

  • Chris Andrews (Bass/Guitar/Vocals/Production, 2004 – 2006)
  • James Musgrave (Keyboards, 2006)

Discography

  • a million lights EP [2004 Self-Released]
  • Album [2005 Self-Released]

Links