Extremely discordant and unusual Christchurch-based 4-piece comprised of George Henderson, Susan Ellis, Richard Sedger and Mark Thomas. Put out a joint untitled and notoriously hard to find EP with Perfect Strangers in 1981.
The And Band were an outgrowth of influential but undiscovered Wellington punk-oddities The Spies. When feed up with the limitations of the Wellington scene, the band, along with several of their friends relocated to a small Christchurch flat, sharing a recording space (and the actual 4-track) with Perfect Strangers.
The And Band and Perfect Strangers basically shut themselves inside for 6 months, working together to pool their resources and struggling to find any opportunities to play live (their and in particular Perfect Strangers free-form approach to playing was hardly a crowd-pleaser).
Both bands essentially split on the release of the EP, with members scattering across New Zealand. Henderson soon established the long-time underground favorites The Puddle and has achieved a bit of cult celebrity for his unusual approach to making music. The EP stands as an intriguing document of two notoriously outcast bands.
Now let’s be clear, this lo-fi, sometimes languidly stoned, frequently quiet sonic noise from guitars, organ, percussion, autoharp and cello will not be to everyone’s taste.
But if your listening has ever run to the most minimal end of Tall Dwarfs or some of the more marginal things which came out of Factory Records then it will be right in your zone.
The second side opens with ‘She Done Dead‘ which has declaimed lyrics adapted from the horror writer HP Lovecraft and comes at you over percussion clatter and discordant prepared guitar, like some post-punk poetry recorded in the kitchen.
Elsewhere there is cheaply recorded free form piano and clanking drumming (with moaning and sometimes barely decipherable vocals), suggestions of a chorus occasionally, meandering improvisations on the pleasant ‘March on the Stronghold‘ . . .
Some of this might be described as “experimental’ (it’s in the nature of experiments that not all are successful) but Henderson has said it was the sound of a band breaking up.
And soon enough The Puddle would emerge.Graham Reid describing the release of posthumous album ‘Outhern’
Mark Thomas went to Australia and became a communist. He recorded two songs with The Puddle during the sessions for the Into The Moon CD, Peter’s Plague and Abo Hunt. In Nelson he became Sharkface and fronted a rock band that I can remember playing a superlative cover of Iggy’s Dirt when they supported The Puddle in 1993. Mark died a few weeks later [1996 – S. S.] of a drug overdose. He had a classic baritone rock voice, lived life to the full, had an irresponsible and violent side that concerned his friends; he was truly self-destructive and infuriatingly perverse, yet he was the most naturally creative of songwriters and the best male singer I have ever known.George Henderson
- George Henderson (The Puddle, Mink, The GDH Smoke Machine, The New Existentialists, The Spies, guitar / organ / vocals)
- Mark Thomas (The Spies, Perfect Strangers, guitar / vocals / drums, 1982)
- Richard Sedger (The Spies, bass, 1982)
- Susan Ellis (The Spies, keyboards, 1982)
- Lindsay Maitland
- Noli Me Tangere 7″ EP (w/ Perfect Strangers 1981, Self-Released, PR1041)
- Outhern (2018, Spacecase Records, SCR022)