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s artists

Stephen

David Kilgour’s post 2nd break-up of the Clean band – a more laid-back attempt at West-Coast psychedelia-influenced pop-rock outfit. Joined by Flying Nun long-stayers Stephen Kilroy and Alf Donaldson, along with Geoff Hoani, Stephen put out a well liked debut EP, then didn’t resurface with a full-length release until 1993.

By the time of this release, Kilgour had started a prolific solo career, and had casually enlisted his Stephen buddies for backing on the releases – eventually naming them the Heavy Eights (long after Stephen had officially split).

Discography (picks in bold)

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Stiff Herbert

Possibly the least visible of all Flying Nun catalogue acts, releasing a solitary 7″ single in 1987. Stiff Herbert was the alias of Wellington song-writer Stefan Wolf, playing ‘Euro-Pop’ music in an acoustic fashion. Wolf later surfaced under his own name, then in the group the The Madding Crowd.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • ‘I Could Hit The Ceiling’/’Akaroa’ 7″ Single [1987 Flying Nun Fn059]

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The Stones

The Stones were an anarchic, anything goes rock band – in Matthew Bannisters’ Positively George Street novel on the Dunedin scene, Bainnister recalls Wayne Elsey (The Stones brilliant singer / guitarist) exclaiming in disgust that Sneaky Feelings think about their music, an idea that seemed foreign to the Stones. But then, the Stones didn’t need to think about the music they made, they were primal, raw, things just fell into place.. But they weren’t by any stretch of the imagination a simple band.

Their contribution to the Dunedin Double release were 4 starkly contrasting songs – one more than each of the other contributors to this seminal document of the birth of Flying Nun as a movement. On ‘Something New’ a huge pulsing wall of guitar slows just out of sync with the songs rhythm creating a beautiful shuffling melody, on ‘Surf’S Up’ they ripped apart a piano, wildly plucking the inner workings of the piano to create a rising crescendo of noise.

They had a detached irony that was never forced – their name and the sleeve for the Dunedin double piece both a brash play on their british name-sakes. Unfortunatley The Stones (who were completed by fellow former Bored Games member Jeff Bats along with Graeme Anderson) were far too short lived – Elsey’s life ended by an accident while travelling by train with the band.

Discography (picks in bold)

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t artists

Tinnitus

Auckland-based industrial outfit that featured a young Michael Hodgson, along with audio pruction assitance from Angus Mcnaughten (Unitone Hi-Fi). Their sole Flying Nun release was a retrospective from over a decade of multimedia performances that had seen release in extremely limited diy capacity.

Visual manipulation had always played a large part in Tinnitus performances and the early 90’s was the perfect time to explore the role of the VJ within the arts and live music scene. Over the next few years Michael provided visual enhancement for performances by the Headless Chickens, Jean Paul Satre Experience, Supergroove, Not Really Anything and many others
– Taken from Club Bizarre

In 1992 Hidgson started releasing dub remix albums under the name of Projector Mix, working with the likes of the Hallelujah Picassos, DLT and (most notably) Salmonella Dub, which would eventually led to the birth of the duo Pitchblack with Paddy Free.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Ire In Red Desert [1986 Self-Released]
  • Come [1986 Self-Released]
  • Tinnitus Alive [1987 Self-Released]
  • Untamed [1987 Self-Released]
  • Central Delivery [1987 Self-Released]
  • X- Spiritualistic Function [1987 Self-Released]
  • Ringing In Your [1987 Self-Released]
  • Subjective Experience For The Inside Of Your Head [1988 Self-Released]
  • Firepower Nov.1988 [1988 Self-Released]
  • Affliction Addiction [1991 Self-Released]
  • Futures Past [1992 Self-Released]
  • ‘Necessary Tension’/’Fire Power’/’In The Air’ Cassette Single [1992 Flying Nun Fn134]
  • Futures Past Alive And Studio ’86-’91 [1992 Flying Nun Fn156]

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Toy Love

Biography

The new wave sequel to the seminal kiwi punk band The Enemy, Toy Love expanded the Enemy’s brutally primal sound to include organ, angular guitar, and even more literate vocals.

By this stage of his musical development (early 1979 through 1980), lead-singer and song-writer Chris Knox was at his most populist peak, writing songs like ‘Pull Down The Shades’ and ‘Squeeze’, which became New Zealand pop classics.

Toy Love was more than just Knox’s band though, they welded his charismatic and warped vocals to Alec Bathgate‘s eclectic guitar playing, a young Paul Kean’s explosive bass playing, the poppy hooks of Jane Walker on keys, along with Mike Dooley holding up the fort on drums.

Toy Love were a band highly in demand, creating a stir on both sides of the ditch the band played continiously, holding up residencies were-ever they would land, but (due to the economics of the time) barely scraping by financially.

Everything would eventually came to a screaming halt when the band launched into recording their debut album. The sessions were a farce, with the band clashing with their engineer who just didn’t know how to handle such an eclectic and wild bunch of misfits.

They were tired.

The resulting album, though still containing quality material, wasn’t a patch on their earlier singles, each song sounded flat and warn-out and compounded the collapse of the group as a working unit. Knox and Bathgate would soon split to form the legendary Tall Dwarfs, whilst Paul Kean would become a part of The Bats.

The group made a triumphant return to the New Zealand album charts on Record Store Day, April 22nd 2012 with the release of the Double LP Live at the Gluepot, an extremely limited (400 copies worldwide!) live album sold exclusively at Real Groovy in Auckland.

Members

  • Chris Knox (Vocals, 1979 – 1980)
  • Alec Bathgate (Guitar, 1979 – 1980)
  • Mike Dooley (Drums, 1979 – 1980)
  • Phil Judd (Guitar, 1979)
  • Paul Kean (Bass, 1979 – 1980)
  • Jane Walker (Keyboards, 1979 – 1980)

Discography

  • Rebel/Squeeze 7″ Single (1979, Elektra, Z10015)
  • Don’t Ask Me 7″ Single (1980, Deluxe, Z10022)
  • Toy Love 7″ EP (1980, Deluxe, 20630)
  • Bride Of Frankenstein 7″ Single (1980, Deluxe, Z10029)
  • Toy Love LP / Cassette (1980, Deluxe, Z20008)
  • Cuts (Reissue / Anthology 2005, Flying Nun Records, FNCD473)
  • Live at the Gluepot Double LP (2012, Real Groovy Records)
  • Swimming Pool Split 7″ (w/ Knoxious 2012, Real Groovy Records, KNOXIOUS)
  • Pull Down The Shades DVD (Video Compilation 2012, Real Groovy Records, RGDV01)

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v artists

Victor Dimisich Band

Stephen Cogle, Alan Meek, Tony O’Grady, Peter Stapleton and (for the later period) Mary Heney – most of whom also formed Scorched Earth Policy with Brian Crook (em>The Renderers, Bible Black, Bathysphere) and eventually made their mark with the legendary Terminals. The Victor Dimisich Band’s recordings (an original Flying Nun EP and the extremely lo-fi live document Mekong Delta Blues – a cassette only Xpressway release) are highly collectable and very hard to find (despite being reissued with bonus tracks in 1997 on the Medication label), and show Cogle and Stapleton just developing their dark and morbid style (after spending time with Bill Direen‘s many bands).

Contemporaries to Christchurch’s Pin Group and the early rattlings of Bill Direen‘s Bilders, in fitting with the “Christchurch sound” at the time they favored something of a denser and darker than their southern Dunedin neighbours, expressed through a bleak vision and Velvet Underground inspired abandon.
Dan Vallor: Taken from Popwatch #9

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Native Waiter 7″ EP [1982 Flying Nun]
  • Victor Dimisich Band 12″ Ep[1983 Flying Nun Fnvd001]
  • The Mekong Delta Blues Cassette [1988 Xpressway Xway08]
  • Native Waiter 7″ EP [Reissue Crawlspace Space005] Rn
  • My Name Is K [Compilation Medication Med002]

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Vacuum Blue Ladder

The Vacuum Blue Ladder formed when Bill Direen joined Stephen Cogle (Bass / Vocals) and Peter Stapleton (Drums / Lyrics), who were also making music as the duo Victor Dimisich Band – a group that would later release an EP on Flying Nun, and can be seen as the starting point for the more recognized Terminals, plus Stapleton and Cogle’s many variations. However – the Vacuum were quite different from these future groups, as Direen was an important creative force in the group who added his own color to their sound and songwriting.

The members took advantage of their connections to the album importing business, encompassing inspiration from the most obscure (in New Zealand’s mid 70s environment) corners with the likes of the Velvet Underground and West Coast U.S. psychedalic artists the 13th Floor Elevators (along with the staple Nuggets bands)… the very best in gritty, noisy and creative garage rock.

Like before we were in Vacuum we had a backyard band sort of thing. We used to play in this room down the back of my parents’ house. A woman called Theresa played guitar with us and we wrote songs. The ones we did with the Vacuum, most of the songs were written by Bill, which was a source of conflict eventually, and so we took our songs and did them with the Victor Dimisich Band
Peter Stapleton

Guitarist / Vocalist Theresa Mcquire joined and left in 1976, making way for Direen to front the band, and soon Peter Fryer had joined on violin. The combination of Direen and guitarist Allen Meek created a rift in the band, with Cogle and Stapleton restricted to the side-lines.

…They got pretty close. Peter and I would come along (to practise), and Bill and Allen would’ve spent a long time working things out. In the end, it sort of goes, that I got fired, by Bill. ‘Cause I didn’t mix with him. I remember.. Peter meeting me over the christmas period, we sort of had a christmas break, and he said oh, Bill wants me to tell you that you’re out (laughs). And I said oh, that’s fine, it suited me. And I was replaced by Segovia
Stephen Cogle: taken from Have You Checked The Children?

Jon ‘Segovia’ Markie (soon to make his name with the Axemen and later Shaft) joined Direen, Meek and drummer Malcolm Grant (the Bats) on bass to complete the final line-up of the Vacuum in 1979. The band eventually dissolved in the very early 1980s, but resurfaced with the short-lived Kaza Portico – Segovia in the mostly-covers outfit the Volkswagons, and later in Ritchie Venus‘s Blue Beetles.

Direen eventually took the shortened Vacuum as the name for his theater group, and continues to write, act and perform to this day.

Discography (picks in bold)

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The Verlaines

Graeme Downes’ long-standing song-writing vehicle, and one-hell of a brilliant, literate band at that. With the classic line-up of Downes on guitar and vocals, Alan Haig on drums and Jane Dodd on bass, the Verlaines released excellent singles such as ’10 O’Clock In The Afternoon’ from the EP of the same name, and of course their signature tune ‘Death And The Maiden’, which stands as one of the true kiwi classics.

Intricate, visionary song-writing and dynamic, unusual instrumentation (Downes approached composition from a more angular classical perspective, yet their songs could still Rock), along with a high quality thresh-hold mean that pretty much all Verlaines releases have strong, discernable qualities and are well worth getting hold of. They survive several line-up changes under Downes’ lead, and continued to make albums right up to 00s, re-uniting in 2003 for a short NZ tour.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Dunedin Double quadruple EP [1982 W/ Sneaky Feelings, The Stones, The Chills Flying Nun DUN1/2]
  • ‘Death And The Maiden’/’C.D. Jimmy Jazz And Me’ 7″ Single [1983 Flying Nun FN014]
  • Ten O’Clock In The Afternoon 12″ Ep [1984 Flying Nun FN022]
  • Hallelujah All The Way Home [1985 Flying Nun FN040]

  • ‘Doomsday’ single [1985 Flying Nun]
  • Bird Dog [1987 Flying Nun FN077]
  • Juvenilia [1987 Flying Nun FNCOMP02]
  • Some Disenchanted Evening [1989 Flying Nun FN129]

  • ‘The Funniest Thing’ single [1985 Flying Nun]
  • Ready To Fly [1991 Slash C30718]
  • Way Out Where [1993 Slash D31032]
  • Over the Moon [1996 Columbia 486880.2]
  • You’re Just Too Obscure For Me [2003 Flying Nun FNCD476]
  • Pot Boiler [2007 Flying Nun FNCD501]
  • Corporate Moronic [2009 Dunedinmusic.com]

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The Vibraslaps

sarni darragh, clare o’leary, dianne civil and gina cole. all girl post-punky outfit who put out an ep on flying nun way back in 1985. a very rough and ready recording – though not without some (and i emphasize ‘some’) charm.
discography
picks in bold

Categories
w artists

The Warners

Biography

Jon Baker, Deby Turner, John Micham, Chris Koole, Allen Stephenson, Mike Howie, Mike Mcdonald. Fairly popular outfit who started out with a couple of EPs (including their signature release Satellite Surfing) and an album in the late 80s, before resurfacing again in the mid 90s.

Members

  • Jon Baker
  • Deby Turner
  • John Micham
  • Chris Koole
  • Allen Stephenson
  • Mike Howie
  • Mike Mcdonald

Discography

  • Elsie’s Got A Gun EP [1986 Meltdown]
  • Hit and Run [1988 Onslaught / Ima Hitt Cnt005]
  • Satellite Surfing 12″ EP [1989 Raw Power / Flying Nun Fn141]
  • Sitting Pretty Compilation [1994 Wildside D31142]
  • Crazy Horses Cd EP [1995 Wildside]
  • Bogan’s Heroes [1995 Wildside D31363]

Links