Celia Black and the After Dinner Mints were a Christchurch-based lounge band formed by Celia Mancini (aka Celia Black) along with a mix of her usual off-siders (Mick Elborado, John Christoffels, Haydn Jones etc), plus a couple names that don’t turn up on recordings by the likes of The Axel Grinders or King Loser – pianist Liane Sandry and guitarist Alex Blacksmith. The After Dinner Mints were an opportunity for Celia and crew to play laid back, vibe music – usually at more upmarket, commercial (and money-making) events:
I also had a lounge band in the ‘80s. David Bowie’s entertainment lawyer was in Christchurch and he used to see us. It was very flashy and we’d play very nice places. All of that was fine by me because we liked the music and I loved the dresses. David Bowie’s entertainment lawyer said we were the best lounge act he’d ever seen. This was sort of pre-lounge, though. I called the music “easy listening.” I’d make enough money off the lounge band to support my rock bands.Celia Mancini interview by Ryan Leach (Bored Out)
Being a lounge band that played dinner-party events, their recorded catalog is a little light on the ground; however 2 songs have turned up since Celia’s passing in September 2017 – the excellent posthumous odds-and-ends compilation ‘The Celia Mancini Tapes’ has the smooth, breathy Bobby Hebb classic ‘Sunny’, whilst a SoundCloud dedicated to similar material has popped up with a fairly straight rendition of Blue Velvet.
Celia Patel passed away in September 2017, Haydn Jones passed away in August 2018 and Bill Vosburgh passed away in March 2019.
- Celia Patel (aka Celia Black / Celia Pavlova / Celia Mancini, The Axel Grinders, The Stepford 5, Snapper, Mothertrucker, King Loser, Cease to Exist, vocals)
- Bill Vosburgh (Perfect Strangers, Junkanoo, The Bill Fosby Assassins, Brother Love and the Homebacon Gang, guitar)
- Mick Elborado (Minus 2, Alien, Drowning Is Easy, Gas, Negative Nancies, Ritchie Venus and the Blue Beetles, The Palace Of Wisdom, The Shallows, The Terminals, Scorched Earth Policy, Cease to Exist, Trillionaires, guitar)
- Alex Blacksmith (guitar)
- Ross Humphries (The Pin Group, Scorched Earth Policy, The Terminals, Bailter Space, Trillionaires
- John Chrisstoffels (Minus 2, Dark Matter, Les Baxters, The Renderers, The Terminals, Vague Secrets, Hiding from Stan, Little Dead Things, Trillionaires, bass)
- Haydn Jones (The Renderers, The Axemen, Cease to Exist, drums)
- Liane Sandrey (piano)
- The Celia Mancini Tapes (2018, Leap Decade Records)