Nick Smith: Requiem (1985)

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Nick Smith: Requiem (1985)

Behind all the big names on the Flying Nun label -- the Bats, Chills, Verlaines, Chris Knox et al -- were a large number of artists who made fleeting flights, but don't deserve to be forgotten.

Those who were there at the time hold special affection for the likes of Fatal Jelly Space, Marie and the Atom, Lee Harvey, the here'n'gone Stephen and Cake Kitchen, and . . .

And lest we forget, there were other small labels -- some very short-lived -- in the Eighties also. Like Real Groovy Records which was an offshoot of the record shop of the same name.

It didn't make too many records, but it did capture on EP the Auckland singer-songwriter Nick Smith.

These days Smith is best known as a journalist (with real cred in what can be the most dull of all fields, business writing) but he has always been a musician.

Songs on his EP Flanker were produced by Chris Knox and Wayne Gillespie, and they were mixed by Terry King and Bill Latimer. There were contributions by harmonica player Brendan Power, bassist Brett Orams, drummer Mike Shields and guitarist Jason Martin.

But in five original songs Smith made his mark, notably on this emotional, searing and almost self-lacerating piece about New Zealand's rugby obsession . . . and the macho culture it has created.

In a one-take, Smith is unsparing of the tradition but also posits himself attracted to it.

"I was 17," he laughs today. "I might be a bit different now."

But it is raw, so the lyrics are reproduced here.

Not an easy listen, but when he cites the play Foreskin's Lament you can hear Smith in that thoughtful, ambivalent company too.

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Craig Gibson - Jan 7, 2013

Flanker was awesome. Incredibly raw and edgy, NZ wasn't ready I reckon, couldve been more. Wish I could find the other songs from this SP online somewhere. last listened to this 20 years ago.

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