RIP Peter Gutteridge

On Monday, September 15th I saw an innocuous Facebook post by Doo Ragnarok, aka Duane Zarakov, aka Pat Faigan – a fairly typical post by Pat, who spends a great chunk of the day posting excellent youtube clips of classic songs – in this case The Great Unwashed‘s ‘Born in the Wrong Time’, which is one of my all time favorite songs, Kiwi or otherwise.

However the responses to this wonderful song were different than usual – a whole heap of sad comments. This is how I found out Peter Gutteridge – founding member of The Clean, The Chills, The Great Unwashed and his own group Snapper – had passed away that morning.

Peter Gutteridge
Peter Gutteridge, After performing at the Darkroom in 2012

Pretty soon the rest of the world had caught up on Peter’s passing – Simon Sweetman seemed to have the first story online about his passing, and this interview from Mess and Noise back in April last year seems to be the most informative insight online in to who I believed to be New Zealand’s greatest song-writer.

I took the photo above back in 2012 after catching Peter play a live acoustic set at Christchurch’s Darkroom Bar back in 2012 – Peter was very conscientious about his appearance, making sure I drew as much of the ample character in his face as possible. I got just two shots; the above color shot which seems to portray fire and brimstone, a swaggering but downtrodden character. However the 2nd shot I took (below) seems to show another side of Peter – there is warmth and frailty in his eyes – a complete transformation.

Peter Gutteridge at Darkroom Bar 2012
Peter Gutteridge at Darkroom Bar 2012

Considering the depth of Peter’s music, this transformation is not surprising. Though known for the huge walls of feedback and straight for the jugular approach of songs like The Clean’s ‘Point That Thing somewhere Else’ (which he was always keen to remind us – he wrote at the age of 17), he also had a deeply emotional, quiet side – Snapper’s ‘Gentle Hour’ and several of the Great Unwashed’s song hint at this.

I managed to catch Peter playing a couple times in the past 2 years, with the reformed Snapper playing at the 2013 Camp A Low Hum being a particular highlight – it was great to see Peter passing the baton to a new generation of Dunedin kids, with a backing band that included Bad Sav‘s Hope Robertson and Though Creature‘s Danny Brady.

Peter Gutteridge with Snapper
Peter Gutteridge with Snapper at Camp A Low Hum 2013

So Monday was a very sad day in New Zealand Music. We’ve lot one of our greats, a fantastic song-writer that has just begun to resurface after a long absence from the public eye.

Rest in peace Peter.

Red Panda: Thought Creature, Warble, Shocking and Stunning Statement, Ruffians

Good show that. Great crowd celebrating the return of Wellington’s Thought Creature and put on by Christchurch’s own self-professed world’s biggest Thought Creature fan Eamonn Marra. His Rockquest-finalist band Warble played an uncharacteristically messy set following up promising performances from newcomer duo’s the Shocking and Stunning Statement (who have a phenomenal drummer and display jazzy touches) and Ruffians (who were an MP3-backed noise-rock outfit).

Click here for the photoset.

Red Panda: Thought Creature, Thrill Collins, Bang! Bang! Eche!

Red Panda All-Ages show with debutantes Thrill Collins and the ever-thrilling Bang! Bang! Eche! Another cool show at White Elephants headquarters.

Click here for the photoset.

Thought Creature

Forming in 2004 the Wellington-based trio of Will Rattray (Guitar and Vocals), Danny Brady (Bass, Synth) and Peter Copeland (Electronic Drums) started out as an slack-vocaled Surf-Rock group, however their sound has changed quite a lot over the years.

After releasing their popular ‘Your Telepathy’ EP back in 2005, and album ‘Teleport Palace’ in 2008, the group spent some time in Berlin, lost long-time drummer Copeland, and turned more and more electronic. The group have recorded with Bevan Smith and Dale Cotton, and have been associated with A Low Hum, Powertool Records and Frase Austin’s Crystal Magic label.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Your Telepathy CD-r EP [2005 self-released]
  • Teleport Palace [2008 Involve INVOLVE18]
  • Total Recall EP [2012 Crystal Magic]
  • Ocean Dream [2012]

See-Also

Golden Axe

Bizarre Auckland synth and vocal duo (Chris Cudby and Daif King) who play a gritty, distorted and, err, wiggly take on drone-pop. I had an unfortunate habit of missing each of their sets on a recent excursion up north, caught between being witness to the Shocking Pinks shedding members during their Eden’s Bar show, and rushing to see Sonic Youth as the duo busked outside. But i did pick up their debut cd-r, a rambling and chaotic mix of blurred vocals, white noise and…. catchy melodies! All recorded in sub-atomic ultra-lo-fi goodness and packaged in unique sleeves. Made for a positively jolly ride to the airport, surrounded by a bus full of chart-pop fan swedes.

As A Low Hum‘s Blink will attest (one of their first releases graced the 2nd edition of his excellent fanzine), there’s something magnetic about their Casio-tone driven grind and junk-shop music mentality. Kinda like if the Tall Dwarfs indulged in a little more La Monte Young action (huge distorted walls of droning lo-fi – in their case in keyboard form) while wearing live squid strapped onto their faces. warped.

Late in 2004 the duo finally made it south, touring as part of the A Low Hum collective, this time carting CD-r’s of Hypercolours – their third release, an album-lengthed EP. Its bit more cohesive and full-formed than the debut, its a pretty twisted, but enjoyable sunday afternoon headphone piece.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Golden Shakehands CD-r [2004 Self-Released]
  • Yum CD-r EP [2005 Self-Released]
  • Hypercolours CD-r EP [2005 Self-Released]
  • Party Alarm Bells [2006 Stink Magnetic]
  • Peaceful Planet Live Cassette [2008 Crystal Magic]
  • Fabourite New Machine (Thought Creature) Remix CD-r EP [2008 Stink Magnetic / Crystal Magic]
  • Best Of Both Worlds Cassette [2009 Crystal Magic]
  • Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ Digital Single [2009 Crystal Magic / Cheese On Toast]
  • Hot And Cold EP [2009 Crystal Magic]
  • We Walk In Circles (Computers Want Me Dead) Remix CD-r [2009 Crystal Magic]
  • Golden Axe Ampler CD-r [2010 Crystal Magic]
  • Free Time Digital EP [2010 Crystal Magic]
  • Fantasy Footwork [2010 Crystal Magic]
  • Telephone EP [2010 Crystal Magic]
  • Sexual Angel (Featuring Princess Chelsea) Digitial Single [2011 Crystal Magic]
  • Liquid Bacon [2011 AMDiscs]

See-Also