In 2004, high school buddies John Harris and Fionn Heeran-Harris got together as the duo Engine/Head, with Fionn learning to play drums and John teaching himself guitar via Brian Jonestown Massacre covers. By the next year the group had expanded to a full band, taking the new band name Lonely Harris Club as a play on the last names of John, Fionn and guitarist/keyboardist Meredith Harris.
The group grew so large that often they crowded stages. Being an under-aged group they played more house parties and outdoor shows than cramped bars, making use of up to 3 guitars, a standard rhythm section, keyboards, tambourine and gang vocals.
Between 2005 and 2009 Lonely Harris Club were firmly a party band with a focus on covers – specifically a large catalogue of Brian Jonestown Massacre songs, plus a handful of classic nuggets (‘Sam the Sham’, Interstellar Overdrive’, The Dandy Warhol’s ‘Ride’). Very loose and often shambolic, their shows were always a whole lot of fun – this included playing a show at Pineglades Naturalist Club:
I think it was James’s dads birthday, he was a member and for some reason we played. I remember naked people dancing and staring at the floor a lot. They were all super friendly, we stayed out there in a cabin. Everyone went swimming afterwards but you were only allowed in the pool with no clothes on.Jamie Stratton
Aside from their Brian Jonestown Massacre worship, the group also wrote and recorded a couple original songs, entering Smokefree Rockquest:
Might have been 2006. We did not do well.
I’m pretty sure the only feedback they gave us was that we had too many guitars.
Steph (Keer Keer) got drunk as fuck and her band got more points than us, they were awesome though.Jamie Stratton
The band went through some line-up changes when members were away overseas, specifically when Heeran-Harris moved overseas, he was replaced by a succession of drummers – the group eventually landing on Hollan Brabet.
At one point John Harris, Jamie Stratton, and James Chalmers formed the offshoot group The Sneaky Bleachers with Nelle Susan and Tess Cattermole
Songs about (one-time Bang! Bang! Eche!) member Perry Mahoney.Jamie Stratton & John Harris
Around October 2011 the group changed their name to The Brian Tamaki Massacre, but continued in much the same manner for a period. However a couple of factors led to the band disappearing – firstly Hollan Brabet let it be known that he didn’t really like the Brian Jonestown Massacre and preferred playing originals, and secondly Jamie Stratton took on a new variation of this new name by releasing his debut solo recordings as Brian Tamaki and the Kool Aid Kids.
Brian Tamaki and the Kool Aid Kids released the excellently titled ‘Hot Buttered Blasphemy‘ to BandCamp in November 2014. This would signal a new direction and sound for Stratton, eventually expanding to a full band.
- John Harris (BnP, The Palace of Wisdom, Doctors, guitar / vocals / keyboards)
- Jamie Stratton (BnP, The Brian Tamaki Massacre, Brian Tamaki and the Kool-Aid Kids, Kool Aid, Doctors, Violet French and the Horrible, guitar)
- Ben Dodd (BnP, Avon Dads, Brian Tamaki And The Kool-Aid Kids, Kool Aid, Salad Boys, Thrill Collins, Waltham Home Organ Society, Piha Rescue, Doctors, bass / guitar)
- Fionn Heeran-Harris (BnP, drums)
- James Chalmers (BnP, Avon Dads, bass / keyboards)
- Meredith Harris (guitar / keyboards)
- Christina Gloag (vocals / tambourine)
- Rhett Copland (BnP, The Stash, Shacklock Meth Party, Doctors, drums / guitar)
- Matt Scobie (Planet Of The Tapes, T54, The Undercurrents, Salad Boys, drums)
- Hollan Brabet (BnP, Avon Dads, Doctors, The Brian Tamaki Massacre, Winter, drums)
- Chris Andrews (The Palace of Wisdom, a million lights, Mysterioball, Idols of Eve, Pop Hits City, O’Lovely, bass / keyboards)
- Andrew Barry (tambourine)