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Kool Aid


Jamie Stratton was a member of the long-running covers group Lonely Harris Club since their formation in 2005, whilst the members were all still in High School. Eventually the group renamed themselves The Brian Tamaki Massacre – taking the name of a well-known kiwi religious leader / political hopeful, combined with their idols (and frequent covers subject) The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

As the various members of the group found themselves occupied with other bands (primarily playing originals), Stratton co-opted part of the band name for his own solo project – Brian Tamaki and the Kool Aid Kids. Using this alias he recorded his solo debut ‘Hot Buttered Blasphemy‘, released in November 2014. This original release has huge layers of guitar, reverb and tremolo; with Stratton’s vocals buried deep in the mix.

When it came to play live Stratton recruited his bandmates Violet French and Luke Towart (from Violet French and the Horrible) – who took over shared vocal responsibilities, along with bassist Ben Dodd (Lonely Harris Club) and prolific local drummer (and Melted Ice Cream label boss) Brian Feary. The group describe themselves as ‘psych-shoegaze’; however there is definitely elements of surf rock and even a little country twang in their sound.

Within a year the group had shortened their name to the less-controversial Kool Aid, and released their EP album as a band – ‘The Enchanted Castle‘. However it would take a further 4 years until the group resurfaced with ‘The Family Portrait‘ EP, adding French’s Dogfish bandmate Spencer Hall on keyboards.




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