YFC

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". YFC were exceptionally inventive in their sound.

Both Daily and Horsnell went on to join Shaft's Micheal Williams in Sydney-based This Cage. Ogilvie and Daily also started up Sydney-based Leadleg. Leadleg recorded and released a version of the YFC track "Waltz" but the song was greatly altered from the original.

An album combining their studio work with their last NZ concert, titled "Ricochet", has recently been released. The band played a 'reunion' show in May 2005. See the Photos page for pictures from this show.

YFC Bio

There once was a three-piece band from Christchurch, New Zealand called YFC.

Our lifespan was around three years, between 1981 and 1984 and our line-up was Michael Daly on drums, Grant Horsnell on bass and Jonathan Ogilvie on bass.

Correct, no guitars, no keyboards just vocals, drums, bass and the occasional tape sample - digital sampling was still a few years away.

All up we probably played about fifty shows in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland, Timaru. For a while there we kept landing support slots for touring Australian bands including The Birthday Party and Hunters & Collectors. I remember the latter were less than impressed when I naively asked if I could use their bass gear (this was one of our first shows) but warmed considerably after hearing our unique noise making abilities and even encouraged us to make the Trans Tasman crossing to Melbourne. This was an unlikely proposition given that any New Zealander with an ounce of cool knew that Australia was pub rock central.

Our very first show was an Art School party at the University of Canterbury and was a total disaster. I was so nervous I keep stopping mid song and declaring to the others that I wanted to get off stage. Only Michael's strenuous insistence to keep playing kept me on that six inch podium. The situation was exacerbated by a drunken Caravaggio type who keep screaming that we were crap and that only bootboy groups knew the score. I was in tacit agreement with him, wondering why I ever thought I could do this when Michael fired off a well aimed drumstick that copped Caravaggio in the eye and quelled him considerably. YFC: 1 - Audience: Nil.

None of us had a telephone and we never had a manager. Somehow though, we managed to organise gigs up and down the country. Our Auckland shows came about when I approached Grant Fell (Children's Hour) in the pub and said we'd like to play with them. He'd never heard us but Hamish Kilgour's (The Clean) generous description of us as the best band in Christchurch was recommendation enough. Hey presto, we're playing New Year's Eve at the Windsor Hotel in Parnell. I bought an EH Holden for $500 and up we drove.

Auckland was the big smoke and we felt like we were in the thick of it. We were well received and our profile expanded enough to incur the ire of a Christian Group, unhappy about us using an acronym which they felt was exclusively theirs. The headline in the Sunday paper read, 'No Frills Disco Band To Face The Music'.

As Brendan Behan famously said, 'There is no such thing as bad publicity, except your own obituary'. The notoriety got us a release on a short-lived, and unwisely named, Auckland label, Hit Singles. It was a six track 12" entitled Between Two Thieves with a full colour sleeve - very rare at the time - artfully designed by Robin Neate who was also our 'soundman'.

Unfortunately for the band, Brendan Behan's caveat also rang true. Between Two Thieves was a posthumous release. Michael had gone over Strait, Grant had gone oversea and I had gone overseas. Our progress and modest success as a group just wasn't enough to curb the inexorable slide into broadening our horizons.

By the late eighties the three of us, plus a significant contingent of our Christchurch scene - mostly named Michael it seems - were living in Sydney. Michael and Grant formed a band with Michael Williams (Johnny Velox of The Vauxhalls), This Cage. I had a band with Michael and Michael Jefferis (Mainly Spaniards), Leadleg and later an acoustic group with both Michael and Grant, King String.

Fast forward to 2005. Michael is living back in Christchurch, running a record shop and playing in Eskimo with Rob Mayes (Dolphin) and Dave Mulcahy (JPSE). Grant is a Postie in Balmain and still plays live occasionally. I am a film wanker from Bondi.

When we get up on stage in April this year it will be exactly twenty-one years and two days or 7,667 nights since our last show. Be there or be geometric.

Jonathan Ogilvie
21/3/05

YFC RECORDINGS
 

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