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The Axel Grinders


The infamous Axel Grinders – a terrific Christchurch noise-punk / garage beat combo from the late 1980’s and early 1990’s formed by John ‘Segovia’ Markie, Pat ‘Duane Zarakov’ Faigan, and Martin ‘Brother Love’ Henderson, with Celia Patel (aka Celia Mancini, at that stage performing as Celia Pavlova) completing their early line-up. The group always stressed the inherent humour in rock’n’roll.

The Axel Grinders started out by doing covers. They even covered “We Care A Lot” (Faith No More). They played hard-charging skate punk. They pretended they were shit hot skateboarders but none of them could actually skate. (laughs) They took action shots of themselves skating. It was pretty funny.

Steve McCabe from an interview with Ryan Leach

I was a New Zealand skateboarding champ in 1976. There are photos of me that I still have from the newspaper. I was really interested in sports when I was in school. In the 1970s, I was doing slalom. I always rode my trucks loose as. We’d clean up the trophies. It was wide open. There was no designation for men and women in the competitions then. I started skating again in the 1980s. I remember buying a Vision board. I’d skate with my boombox, listening to the Beastie Boys.

Celia Patel Interview with Ryan Leach (Bored Out)

Celia left the group some time in 1989 (she later said in an interview with Ryan Leach that she was kicked out for ‘being too Iggy’), the group would go on to record their signature tune ‘Apparatus of Love‘ with Celia’s Stepford 5 band-mate Reta La Quesne stepping in as their new vocalist, releasing the single alongside the noisy B-Side ‘Don’t hurry, be sappy‘ for the US Dionysus imprint.

Several lo-fi cassettes were produced by the group, though it took over 25 years for the full length release ‘Kill Them Twice!’ surfaced on streaming services, and no physical copies were produced prior to Patel’s passing in 2017. It’s a terrific album and a firm indication of what the band were about – ‘Cosmic Love Vibration‘ would turn up as ‘Cyclonic Vibration‘ on King Losers 1997 album ‘Caul of the Outlaw’.

After the groups demise in 1990, Patel, Faigan and Henderson resurfaced in the little known Christchurch group Cease to Exist – who put out a solitary cassette in 1991.

Celia Patel passed away in September, 2017.




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