Skip to content

The Picnic Boys


The Picnic Boys (named after a song by avant garde rock group The Residents) was the first recording alias used by the South Island trio of Kevin Smith, Steve Watson and Patrick Faigan, after earlier attempts at putting together a covers group:

(The Picnic Boys) grew out of vague plans to form a band that went back to when we were all at Timaru Boys High in the late 70s… We never actually did form a band then tho, altho we had occasional sessions of making what we called “Gorilla Tapes” which included people banging aimlessly on pianos, drums, etc. & yelling gibberish. The last year of our schooling was 1980 & I was out of town at another school (Christ’s College in Christchurch) when members of my crew back home finally got it together to start a real band – this was Squadron 266, a covers band that included Kevin Smith, Steve Watson, Phil Howe, Tim Macleod; all of whom would be in The Picnic Boys

Patrick Faigan

At Patrick Faigan’s behest and potentially inspired by catching a couple notable performances by Christchurch groups Perfect Strangers and The And Band – the collective (who after leaving High School were now spread across the South Island), were put to work committing ‘experimental‘ music to tape. However as the boys were still just learning their instruments, he admits some of this material was amateurish at best. The collected ‘scratchings’ of the members in various combinations were compiled as one side of The Picnic Boys debut cassette release ‘Meet the Radiant Simians‘.

For the other side of said C90, me and Steve knocked out a pile of stuff in a couple of days and called it “Concept Album” by the Rhythm Doktor. We kind of disowned the 1st tape but I haven’t listened to it for years… I now suspect it has at least some stuff that’s no worse than the later tapes.

Patrick Faigan

‘Meet the Radiant Simians’ was the first release on the collectives own TV Eye label, and solidified the direction later recordings would take. Each member would take their own performing alias, so TV Eye put out releases by Hyphen-Smythe (Kevin Smith), Semolina Island (Patrick Faigan), Legacy of Ears (Steve Watson), The Avocados (Phillip Howe), Hyphen-Ears (Smith and Watson), and the trio of Smith, Watson and Faigan formed the definitive ‘power-trio’ Say Yes to Apes – named after a Picnic Boys song.

When nursing an injury sustained playing Rugby, Kevin Smith turned his hand to acting, auditioning for a small role in a local production – this ended up being the first step in what became a successful acting career, with his recurring role as Ares in the Hercules, Xena: The Warrior Princess and Young Hercules. Patrick Faigan later took on the alias Duane Zarakov and became a prominent fixture in the New Zealand underground music community as a drummer with groups such as The Axel Grinders, Space Dust and King Loser.

Tragically, Kevin Smith lost his life with injuries sustained from a fall while filming a movie in China in February 2002.



  • Meet the Radiant Simians split cassette (w/ Rhythm Doktor, 1982, TV Eye, TVEYE001)
  • Here Comes the Jungle cassette (1982, TV Eye, TVEYE002)
  • Crumbs, it’s a Pterodactyl! cassette (1982, TV Eye, TVEYE003)
  • The Mojave Desserts cassette (1983, TV Eye, TVEYE004)
  • The Music for Bathrooms cassette (1983, TV Eye, TVEYE005)


Leave a Reply