The Palace Of Wisdom

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), Johnson (Guitar), Andrews (Bass) And Kelly (Drums) Before Stink Magnetic‘s Bad Evil 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 Aiden Moody (Bad Evil, Grand Chancellors) 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.

Of the course of the last 13 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’.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • 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]

See-Also

Familia Moja Benefit

Some of the very best Christchurch acts have selflessly agreed to throw a party for all yous cats in support of an orphanage in Mang’u, Kenya.

Kicking the night off will be the fabulous WILL ROUD (of Coate)
http://arroestheband.bandcamp.com/

Insatiable MIKEY SUMMERFIELD (of The Undercurrents)

Followed by some dream-pop/shoegaze-tastic hits from MINIATURES
http://miniatures.bandcamp.com/

Brian Feary’s own MAGIC EYE
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Eye/127450200606834

Playing songs from their new “Domestic” ep. DOCTORS
http://doctors.bandcamp.com/

The power-pop-punk ecstasy of THE TRANSISTORS.
http://transistors.bandcamp.com/album/shortwave

In keeping with The Brewery’s ethos entry will be FREE. However there will be koha jars on the bar of which 100% will go to building a new self-sustaining housing facility for the inhabitants of Familia Moja Childrens Home. Donations of even the smallest amount are greatly appreciated.

Come have a party and feel good about supporting some cute-as-beans kids.

Do check out the bandcamp pages if you have not previously, there is some really great material available for free or very cheap.

More information on this great cause, details on how to come along to help build the new orphanage and other events we’re running in support of Familia Moja can be found at:

http://www.familiamoja.org/

http://www.facebook.com/familiamoja

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=175224729202871

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-us-help-these-guys-In-Kenya/183872858333765

Huge thanks to Brian Feary for the poster design.

Voom, the Sneaks and The Undercurrents @ the Dux de Lux [21/03/07]


At the Dux de Lux [21/03/07]
So after catching Hot Fuzz (a cop film from the makers of Shaun of the Dead – Fantastically funny) we made it down to the dux in time on a lazy wednesday night to fill out the crowd a little; i guess $15 is probably a little steep on a wednesday…

Anyway we caught most of the Undercurrents, and there set was excellent; i love it when they’re restrained and mellow, all those lovely textures come rolling out, showing off their quality tunes.
speaking of which, its no secret the Sneaks are one of my fav NZ bands due to their knack with quality, catchy pop songs. They rocked through a class set of tracks like ‘Godzilla’, ‘Kuzai Heart U Girl’, ‘You Suck!’ and ‘Hot Amyl Nitrate’ as a bunch of us fools jumped around in front of them; so much fun and apparantly the albums out soon! choice!
Voom were Voom. A couple real good crowd-favs, but im always left feeling a little passive with those guys. Still ‘Be Your Boy’ is a great track and with the new lineup they;re certainly tighter than a ducks bum.
see more photos from this show at flickr

Mixtape Connection + Onanon [01/12/06]

The very last Mixtape Connection @ Capitol bar + Onanon @ the Wunderbar [01/12/06]

So the night i got back from Auckland was a hugely busy night in Christchurch. After picking up a PA from the Jetset and dropping off some posters at the Bats show at Al’s bar, the Mixtape Connection was the destination, a couple hours spent sipping back drinks on RDU’s tab as the Mixtape finished up in a super-fun way.

However the good folk from Dunedin known as Onanon were playing a late show all the way over in Lyttelton at the Wunderbar (missed the Undercurrents), so we had to make the trip. good idea too, great poppy rock with cool songs like ‘Uri Geller’ and some cool stuff from the new EP.

See more photos from this show at flickr

Minisnap

3/4 quarters of the Bats (minus Rob Scott), all under Kaye Woodward’s lead. Creating great pop tunes in the garden city, they’re thoroughly under-appreciated by Christchurch’s notoriously apathetic gig-going crowd. Its a pity as Kaye’s become quite the song-writer in Rob Scott’s absence.
Lately Marcus Winstanley (Barnard’s Star and the Undercurrents) has been joining in as an additional guitarist on some tracks along with helping out on the mixing board. Their follow-up ep March Hare was released mid 2004.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • In My Pocket Ep Ep [2002 Self-Released] Rn

  • March Hare Ep [2004 Self-Released]

See-Also