martes, 30 de abril de 2019


An edgy post-punk sound, an extroverted vocalist and confident use of art and image separated Christchurch’s Ballon D’Essai from the garage rock influenced indie core in the southern city in the early to mid-1980s. With influences ranging from PIL to The Fall, to white funk bass and Velvety spider leads, the young twin bass quintet produced two intriguing yet patchy EPs for Flying Nun in 1981 ('This Is The Level Crossing') and 1983 ('Grow Up') and a posthumous tape ('R.I.P.') for Failsafe Records in 1986. Band members were Lindsay Davis (guitar) and Hugh Fitzgerald (bass), who both left after the first EP, and Stephen McIntyre (guitar, bass), Mark Rastrick (vocals), Scott Wilkinson (drums), Matthew Campbell (bass), and Lyndon Fraser (guitar). They rarely played outside of Christchurch. [SOURCE: AUDIOCULTURE

lunes, 29 de abril de 2019


The Expendables were a 1980s band based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Fronted by singer-songwriter/guitarist Jay Clarkson, the band grew out of her former bands, They Were Expendable and The Playthings, and released a single and album in 1984 on the Flying Nun label. Clarkson was joined in The Expendables by Michael Kime (bass) and Robert Key (drums). Key was replaced by Chris Matthews in 1985, and Anthony Nevison was added as an extra guitarist, though the band did not survive beyond the end of that year. In 1986, Clarkson formed a new band, The Breathing Cage, a band which also included Kime, as well as Graeme Jefferies, Maria Chiaroni, and Gary Sullivan. [SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA

domingo, 28 de abril de 2019

Dance Exponents

One of the most popular acts on the famed New Zealand label Mushroom, The Dance Exponents grew out of the South Canterbury-based band Basement, one of the area's biggest teen groups of the late '70s. Vocalist Jordan Luck and guitarist Brian Jones eventually relocated to Christchurch, where in late 1981 they formed the Dance Exponents with guitarist Steve Cowan, bassist David Gent and drummer Michael Harralambi. As the group's name indicated, their primary focus was dance music, and their target demographic was teens; however, with the youth market effectively blocked from the Christchurch pub circuit, they had difficulty establishing a foothold before settling into a residency at a new undergound teen nightclub named PJ's. Their popularity quickly soared, and the group soon signed to Mushroom, issuing their debut single "Victoria" in mid-1982 and soon reaching the Top Ten. Replacing Cowan with guitarist Martin Morris, they also acquired a new manager in Andrew Snoid, himself previously a performer with The Whizz Kidzz and Coconut Rough

The Dance Exponents' second single, "Airway Spies," proved almost as successful as the first, and they quickly returned with another hit, "All I Can Do". Morris soon exited, and the group did not immediately replace him; they soon appeared on the concert LP 'Radio with Pictures: Live at Mainstreet', alongside The Legionnaires. After adding second guitarist Chris Sheehan, they entered the studio to record their long-awaited debut LP, 'Prayers Be Answered'; it was a major hit, achieving double-platinum status. Still, the group found the key Australian market difficult to crack, and a subsequent tour there proved disappointing, although in the summer of 1984 they scored another smash with the single "Sex and Agriculture". With drummer Vince Ely on loan from The Psychedelic Furs to replace the exited Harralambi, The Dance Exponents returned to the studio to begin work on their sophomore album, 1985's 'Expectations'. Though well-received by critics, the record did not perform up to commercial expectations -their young audience had grown fickle, and the group was clearly slipping in popularity. After a third LP, titled 'Amplifier', also fell subject to lackluster sales, The Dance Exponents moved to London and became The Exponents. [SOURCE: ALLMUSIC

sábado, 27 de abril de 2019

The Androidss

The Androidss were a NZ post-punk band from Christchurch active from 1979 to 1983. This band was very important on the local scene for it's melodic post punk sound, a la Television. They were a regular performing outfit at the Gladstone. They reportedly had a large set of wonderful tunes, most unfortunately lost to history save the 'Accident Compilation' track "Mr Fish", taken from a live recording of a Gladstone performance and a double A-side single 'Auckland Tonight / Getting Jumpy' on Ripper Records. The band line-up was: Frankie Steentjes (Bass), Mark Wilson (Vocals, Guitar) alson in Belle Motions and Basket Cases, Neil Spence (Guitar), Mark Spence (Keyboards), Eric Marsden (Drums), and Steve Marsden (Guitar and Vocals). Eric and Steve were twins, Neil and Mark were brothers. The band had some strange aura associated with them, a couple of the band had done time in jail and there was this drug connotation that connected itself to their gigs, but not necessarily their music. Undeniably the band produced some standalone great music, pure guitar pop. Bassist Frankie went on to work with Rex Visible and Not Really Anything. [SOURCE: FAILSAFE RECORDS

[More info on AUDIOCULTURE

martes, 2 de abril de 2019

Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures were Christchurch's answer to pop punk, a couple of years after the whole Sex Pistols thing, but they were fun and had a few good songs for all the punk posturing. They had a reasonably heavy following, or it seemed so at the time. The band featured Eugene Butcher, vocals (now doing something in multimedia in London where he has lived for 10 years), Eric Vandenhoven, bass Guitar (now doing Chef things in Auckland, later of Evasive Action, Southern Front, Iceland, Champion Beat), Shane, guitar (now runs an Auckland recording studio), and Greg, drums. The band managed to record and self release a 4 song EP in 1982. As with many rough punk bands the Measures spawned a number of talented musicians, notably Eric Vandenhoven, whose inventive bass playing went on to encourage and influence many local musicians. [SOURCE: FAILSAFE RECORDS

lunes, 1 de abril de 2019


Originally called Youth For Christ, Just to piss off the local Christians, the band got told to change their name.... or else. Their line-up was three piece, no guitar: bassist / Vocals Johnathon Ogilvie, Bassist / Vocals Grant Horsnell, and drummer Micheal Daily. The band performed throughout New Zealand teaming up with Children's Hour for gigs. The band recorded and released one 6 song EP through Hit Singles, but split before they managed to release most of their best songs, including such favourites as "Black Train" and "Waltz". Y.F.C. were exceptionally inventive in their sound. Both Daily and Horsnell went on to join Shaft's Michael Williams in Sydney-based This Cage. Ogilvie and Daily also started up Sydney-based Leadleg. Leadleg recorded and released a version of the Y.F.C. track "Waltz" but the song was greatly altered from the original. [SOURCE: FAILSAFE RECORDS