1980 - 1982
AD - Approximate time
period - 1983.
performed as Art and Duty, a name borrowed from Wellington
band Beat Rhythm Fashion's song of the same name. [more]
Approximate time period - 1982 - 1983.
Alien were comprised
of Bassist John Kelcher (Sneaky Feelings), Guitarist
Tucker, and a drummer and singer
Nick Hall. [more]
|The Androidss - Approximate time period -1979 - 1982, 2009 - .
The Androidss were world famous in Christchurch. This band was very important
on the local scene for it's melodic post punk Rock/Pop sound, a la Television.
|Ballon d'Essai - Approximate time
period - 1982 - 1985.
Christchurch based 5 piece. Released
2 EPs on Flying Nun Records. [more]
|The Bats - Approximate time period - 1982 - still going.
Perennially successful Flying Nun outfit featuring Robert Scott - Vocals and
Guitar (The Clean, Magickheads, Electric Blood) Kaye Woodward - guitar. [more]
|Channel Four -
Approximate time period - 1981.
An early pop punk band featuring Eugene Butcher (later
of Desperate Measures and Evasive Action) on Vocals,
David Gent - Bass, and Michael Harrallambi - Drums (both
of Dance Exponents).
Never saw this band but "You Were The One" (Failsafe
Records - Accident
Compilation) is a pretty good example
of catchy pop punk/New Wave stuff. The Exponents used
to do a cover of this song in their live set.
Approximate time period - 1981 - 1984.
Post punk influences
band featuring Warwick Iverson on guitar and vocals,
Katherine Iverson on Keys / Vocals / Guitar, Rob Kitson
on Bass and Dave Scales on Drums. Ex Unauthorised guitarist
Phil Johnston later joined
Started off playing Buzzcocks and Killing Joke covers
and gradually built up a set of half decent originals
before splitting and vanishing.
Kitson and Scales both played in early bands of Rob
Mayes (Dolphin / Throw / Springloader).
'20th Century Allergy' is the Clients take on a Killing
Joke song but isn't too bad for what it is.
- Approximate time period - 1982 - still going as The
Actually the Dance Exponents or Exponents as they
later became. I think we called them Dance Channel
possible problems with their bigger label. This
song was taken from their
earliest recordings at Nightshift Studios when they
still had a bit of post punk attitude,
sort of. It was a fun song live.
|Desperate Measures - Approximate time period - 1981
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. [more]
|Eight Living Legs - Approximate time period - 1981 - 1984
Eight Living Legs first appeared in the Auckland alternative scene in about 1981, but it wasn't the first time they'd played music together. In fact, in many respects they were already seasoned musicians, having been playing instruments through high school, even in various semi-professional capacities. [more]
|En Can MA - Approximate
time period - 1982 - 1984.
A very strange band but also strangely good. These guys had some connection with
the Auckland group the Features. Guitarist / Singer Ljinon shared a similar shard-like
guitar style and vocal approach to the Features. [more]
|Evasive Action - Approximate
time period - 1983 - 1984.
The follow on group from Desperate Measures. The line up change featured the
drummer of Unauthorised Jeff Paris, and Vocalist Harry Hepworth on guitar. [more]
|The Gordons - Approximate
time period - 1980 - 1982.
Mark II - 1983 - 1985.
A very important band in Christchurch and New Zealand musical history.. The Gordons
were Alistair Parker - Guitar / Bass / Vocals, John Halvorsen - Guitar / Bass
/ Vocal and Brent McLaughin on Drums. [more]
|Heamogoblins - Approximate
time period - 1982 - 1987.
Art school group specialising in quirky satirical songs, stage sets and performance
antics. They featured the drumming skills of the local press music correspondent
Tony (Rupert) Green, along with percussionist Scott Wilkinson (Ballon d'Essai),
various singers and dancers. [more]
|The Johnnies -
Approximate time period - 1982 - 1984.
Political punk offerings from this notorious Christchurch
punk outfit.. Featured vocals from Rick Tindall (AD).
Seemed to attract riots and fighting to their gigs which
eventually led to them not being able to play at any
of the venues in town.
Released one 7" EP - Who Killed Johnny, with 3 suitably
anti-government tracks on it.
|Newtones - Approximate time period - 1981 -1983.
Ground-breaking Christchurch 3 exponents of melodic tinged rock, sort of New
Wave for the time. [more]
|Not Really Anything - Approximate time period 1983 - 86, then in Auckland 86- 90s
Show piece group for the writing talents of local sound
engineering guru Rex Visible (real name Brett Taylor)
Rex was an ex-Navy Mechanic before he devoted his time
to sound engineering, rising to prominence as the sound
engineer for the Androidss, then most of the pumping
bands round town. [more]
|Pin Group - Approximate
time period - 1981 - 1982.
Legendary Christchurch 3 piece playing dark guitar pop. The band featured the
vocals and guitar of the now legendary Roy Montgomery who went on to further
musical outings with The Shallows, Da Da Mah, Dissolve, and a successful career
as a solo artist. [more]
|Playthings - Approximate
time period - 1980 - 1983.
Early vehicle for notable Christchurch musicians Jay Clarkson, Paul Kean, and
David Toland. The band were kind of like the Patti Smith Group of the Christchurch
music scene, as British punk and post punk took hold. [more]
|Pop Mechanix - Approximate time period - 1980 - 1988
Pop Mechanix were one of New Zealand's great pop hopefuls of the eighties. They were one of the hardest working bands in the land, made it to Australia, fought a legal battle for their name, broke up, reformed, gigged their asses off, and finally went supernova. [more]
Approximate time period - 1984.
Low Fi electronic doodlings of Micheal Williams assisted
by David MacKenzie on bass. This track was recorded on
2 fucked-up cassette decks, bounced back and forward
till sufficient parts were mixed in. Williams spent a
few years working in Australia with Sydney based ex-NZer's
This Cage and various stints as a DJ.
MacKenzie works as film crew based in Christchurch. He
previously played in a seminal band with Roy Montgomery
(Pin Group) and Tony Green (Heamogoblins).
Approximate time period - 1981 - 82
New Wave pop from Christchurch 4 piece. The band featured
heartthrob Anton Jenner - vocals (future Wastrel), Chris
Tindall - Bass, Paul Lonsdale - Guitar and Guy Norris
The band played various shows including the influential
series of 3ZM sponsored Town Hall concerts. High fashion
They released one self-released single - "Home Again
/ Mother Suburbia" and eventually split, Jenner going
on to front
the Wastrels, confusingly beloved band of the Dance Exponents,
who didn't really seem to be quite as good as they were
made out to be. The Wastrels released 2 EPs the first
one containing perhaps their best song 'Angels in Silence'.
Approximate time period - 1981
Christchurch based three piece.
Roland de Beer (Vocals & drums), Brendan Cheyne
(Guitar & Vocals), Peter Brennan (Bass).
Played local pub scene - Gladstone, Hillsborough, Star & Garter.
Mainly original set inspired by UK bands eg Cure, Wire,
U2 etc. Released single 1982 "A Place like this
/ Pictorial on own label Atom Records. Added Sax player
Mike Penney mid 1982 and played many nights at Doodles
nightclub throughout 1983. Disbanded late 1983 when
all decided to travel overseas.
Roland, Peter & Brendan headed for London late
1983 for life's adventures and all that. Funnily enough
after a week they went down to NZ House on Haymarket
and literally bumped into Rick& Chris Tindall
from the Solitudes - weird.
Jammed with various outfits in London but never got
into anything serious.
Roland owns a Cafe in Fairlie called EAT, Brendan
works in the sports apparel industry in Auckland,
Peter lives in Wellington working in property management,
Mike Penney lives in Auckland and co-manages Spacifix
- young band who had a hit recently "Sunshine
Approximate time period - 1983
Incredibly young band who impressed during their short
existence, narrowly losing to the Whiteboys in the
1984 Battle of the Bands, the Triffids were sort of
based guitar pop; a band in development. [more]
|The World -
Approximate time period - 1982 - 1983.
Low key postcard style popsters, the world featured Malcolm
Grant (Bats) on drums. I don't know too much about this
band except that "The Mystery" was a cool song. They
self released their own mini album cassette release.
The band consisted of:
Bridget Mulcahy - Bass and Vocals (sister of David Mulcahy of
Allen Meek - Guitar and Keyboards (Main song writer)
Andrea Cox - Violin (Meek's girlfriend at the time)
Charles Haywood - Vocals, Bass
Malcolm Grant - Drums
|They Were Expendable - Approximate time period - 1982 - 1983.
Jay Clarkson vehicle featuring David Toland (Springloader,
Chicane, Future Stupid, Playthings) on Drums and bassist
Nick Strong, and occasional backing vocals from Donna
They Were Expendable released an EP under this name and
then another under the shorter named The Expendables
featuring Robert Key on Drums and Micheal Kime on Bass.
Compilation's "Head For The Hills" is a live track
not available on the EPs.
|Unauthorised - Approximate time period - 1982.
punk outfit, pretty serious
about their music. The
band featured Jeff Paris
- Drums, Harry Hepworth
- Vocals, Mark(Gibby)
Gibson - Bass, and Phil
Johnston - guitar.
The band released half an album, the other side of Desperate
Measures - Wasted Again release, featured fast
and dense punk tunes. Hepworth and Gibson went on to
Evasive Action and later Hepworth and Gibson, and Johnston
went on to Southern Front, with Vandenhoven from Desperate
|Venetians - Approximate time period - 1982 - 1983.
A strange band who had some good songs.
The Band was fronted by Singer guitarist Pete Sweeney who would go on to be a mainstay on the CHCH rock Scene for most of the 80s before moving away.
The band also featured guitarist Jamie Verheyde who went on to play in Murder Inc. with Mark Brooks from the Newtones. Jamie passed away in March 2020. The band was completed with Barry on Drums and Gerard on Bass. Mike O'Grady was their regular sound engineer and Mike Joined Jamie on Guitar in Murder Inc.
There are no other known releases for the band. Sweeney
went on to play in Spat Back (1986 Biding our time compilation) and Smacc Riflemen (1987-88 South Compilation).
|The Wangs - Approximate time period - 1983 - 1984.
Further work from most of the members of Alien. The band
released a 7 song cassette, self distributed. Wang
also feature Micheal Kime on bass who later went on
to Jay Clarkson's Expendables and Breathing Cage.
Kime worked as a Male model when not playing in bands.
|YFC - Approximate time period - 1983 - 1985, 2005 - .
Originally called Youth For Christ, Just to be cheeky, the
band got told to change their name.... or else. [more]
1984 - 1986
Belle Motions - Approximate time period - 1983 - 1985.
Donna Sheen - Vocals / Guitar
Oliver (Ollie) Scott - electric 12 string and 6 string Guitars (Detriot Hemroids, Basket Cases)
David Toland - Drums (Playthings, Springloader, Chicane,
Mark Wilson - 8 string hagstrum Bass (Androidss)
The Belle Motions were a fine pop blast, strongly
melodic and guitar led. They didn't make much of
an impact locally
but I remember enjoying the chiming guitar tones
and melodies of this band. [more]
Bird Nest Roys - Approximate time period - 1984 - 1986.
Wonderful pop 6 piece featuring Big Ross and Little Ross
on Guitar and vocals, Debbie on bass, Warwick Wakefield
- vocals and dance, Dominic Stone - guitar (3Ds). [more]
Children's Hour - Approximate time period - 1982 - 1983.
Dark alt rock,
these guys could really scare
live if you closed your eyes.
They released an EP and a
7" single on Flying
Nun before disbanding and
reforming as the Headless
|Desperate Tricycles - Approximate time period - 1982 -
Actually the Dance Exponents, again avoiding the contractual
obligations thing. This song was penned by Chris Sheehan,
and was never really captured to its true glory, though
this Nightshift demo version gets pretty close. "If
Only I Could Die" was released on both their second
and third studio albums, and as a single twice. It
appeared for the first time on the Biding
Our Time compilation.
|Double Happys - Approximate time period - 1983 - 1985.
Better than the world will ever know,
the Double Happys never captured their best moments for
were brilliant. [more]
|Emma Peel - Approximate time period - 1986.
Electronic project by Christian Cruthers of Lions and
Tiger. Cruthers had an excellent ear for pop melody
and catchy hooks, which never saw a proper recording
or release other than his tracks included on the Biding
Our Time Compilation.
The Emma Peel track was recorded in on evening session
using a dubbing cassette deck and some electronic gear,
after I had heard some demos that Cruthers had done.
Cruthers didn't go on to do any other music projects
that reached the public eye and now works as a computer
|Heartland - Approximate time period - 1985 -1986.
Heartland was the first incarnation of the three piece
line-up which would later become Dolphin. [more]
|Jay Clarkson and Friends - Approximate time period - 1986
Following the demise of The Expendables (a different line-up from They Were Expendable),
Difficult" was an afternoon recording session
done with a dubbing cassette deck at the Bats house.
track features musical back up from Paul Kean (Keyboards)
and Kaye Woodward (Guitar and Backing Vocals).
Jay went on to record a solo album (since rereleased along with several Expendables tracks as PACKET (CD) through Flying Nun)
then went on to form Breathing Cage, who recorded demos
for Failsafe, one of which appears on the South compilation.
Jay is a talented and respected songwriter and has a
large body of impressive and subtley-crafted song to
her name. She now lives in Dunedin where she continues
her career as an under-recognised and -acknowledged artist.
|Jean Paul Sartre Experience - Approximate time period - 1985 - 1992.
JPSE were bloody brilliant, although capable of being
bloody silly too. They started off really well with
the Release of Flex through Failsafe, Taken from a
live to 2 track recording achieved one afternoon at
a sound check. [more]
|Lions And Tigers - Approximate time period - 1984 - 1985.
Musical vehicle for Christian Cruthers. Featuring Scott
Wilkinson (Ballon d'Essai) on Drums, Frazer Todd -Bass, Grant Horsnell
(YFC, This Cage) on Keyboards and Christian on Guitar
and vocals. Plenty of cool pop moments in their live
set, the band didn't manage to play many gigs before
disbanding unfortunately. "Alternative
the only released track from the band, a play on Stiff
Little Fingers "Alternative Ulster" song title, Woolston
is a sad little suburb on the outskirts of Christchurch
so I take it this song is probably a telling tale of
small town disillusionment. Must go and have another
|Mea Culpa - Approximate time period - 1984 - 1986.
Another bloody excellent band who didn't manage to keep their
shit sound together enough to get what they excelled at on
to the permanent record. [more]
|Crane - Approximate time period - 1985.
Crane were a fleeting incarnation featuring Daniel Newnham
- Bass (later to form Drone, a performance music ensemble)
and guitarist David Jamieson. The band featured
a then very unfashionable drum machine (roland TR808), and mostly
their set was pretty understated. They did have one pretty
good song, "Chorale", recorded live at the Star and
Garter and included on the Biding
Our Time Compilation.
|Nocturnal Projections - Approximate time period - 1981 - 1983.
Nocturnal Projections were ahead of their time. We
know that now, but very few knew that then. [more]
|Sneaky Feelings - Approximate time period - 1981 - now.
Part of the first batch of Dunedin groups
on Flying Nun, Sneaky Feelings were damn fine songwriters,
working and prolific band. [more]
|Spatback - Approximate time period - 1984 - 1985.
Pete Sweeney - Vocals/Guitar (Venetians, Smacc Riflemen)
Darren Johns - Drums (Alms for Children, This Sporting
Nic Strong - Bass (They Were Expendable)
Saxophone - Debbie Frame
Played a few gigs round Christchurch but never really
made any impact. The Biding
Our Time track was taken
from a live recording at the Gladstone and was an instrumental,
though most of the bands songs had vocals. No other known
recordings or releases.
Sweeney went on to form Smacc Riflemen,
Darren worked with Rob Mayes of Dolphin in a side project
called the Seventh which performed a couple of times.
No recordings released.
|Spines - Approximate time period - 1980 - now.
Wellington group who had a sort of angular approach
to some of their music, Ska-like, but also had an appealing
They released the impressive Fishing 7" EP on Ripper Records. This was followed
by another couple of singles then an album on Flying Nun. [more]
|The Chills - Approximate time period - 1980 - now.
You all probably know enough about the Chills without
me writing my own history on them. The track on the
Our Time compilation was taken from
a live recording at the Gladstone, featuring the Peter
Haig, Martin Kean and Martin Philips line-up
The Chills were often a lot heavier live than on record,
more powered. I can recall being disappointed by a number
of their songs when I got to hear the recorded versions
of them. "Whole Weird World" springs to mind. "I'll Only
See You Alone Again" was rocket-powered live, although
not one of the band's stand out songs. I'm not sure how
Failsafe came to secure this track for the Biding comp
as I only met Martin once at a concert, but still it's
well worth the listen.
|The Stones - Approximate time period - 1981 - 1983.
One of the most underrated of all the underrated bands
on the Flying Nun Label. Their recorded work never matched
their live appeal. They oozed attitude and were overflowing
with interesting and cool songs. [more]
|This Sporting Life - Approximate time period - 1983 - 1985.
Auckland based outfit that
released two EPs through
Flying Nun. Lineup was Gary
Charlton - vocals, Ben Hayman
- Bass Guitar, Paul Fogarty
- Guitar (and occasional
bass guitar - e.g on Point
to Point), Daron Johns -
Point to Point from the Biding
Our Time cassette
was taken from an early live
recording in Auckland, possibly
at the Rumba Bar or the Gluepot.
The band were previously
outfit Alms For Children who
released one 7" EP
Danny Boy, Mother, Failsafe,
where the Failsafe Record label
got it's name from.
|Southern Front - Approximate time period - 1984 - 1985.
The last evolution in the chain for the core of the Christchurch
punk rock movement this band were made up of the members
of Unauthorised, Desperate Measures, and Evasive Action.
1986 - 1988
All Fall Down - Approximate time period - 1983 - 1988.
Christchurch 5 piece originally started life as a
4 piece with Blair Parks - Guitar / Vocal, Campbell
Taylor - Bass,
Easther McNaughton - Violin / Vocals, and Brett
Lupton - Drums. [more]
|Breathing Cage - Approximate time period - 1985 - 1997, 2017
Vehicle for ex-Expendables Jay Clarkson. The band's line-up
went through some continuous changes toward the end
of their career but was pretty solid up till
the recording of their only album. [more]
|Camellias - Approximate time period - 1986 - 1988.
Musical vehicle for the brothers Ford, Nic Ford taking
vocal & guitar duties while his brother Brendan played bass.
The band were in the vein of introspective British guitar
bands of the mid 80's. They recorded a bunch of tracks
of which only "Cried" eventuated into a release. They
had a good way with a catchy melody but got bogged down
the mechanics of recording which eventually smothered
Nic Ford went on to perform in a number of gothic type
His Brother became a geologist working in Australia.
Their drummer Julian Sharplin was from Nelson.