flying nun

flying nun on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - Browse our selection of content tagged 'flying nun'.

The Phoenix Foundation: Happy Ending (Flying Nun) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The Phoenix Foundation: Happy Ending (Flying Nun) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

In a cover so cheap-looking and unpromising that it reminds me of an intermediate school kid's doodle comes one of the best New Zealand albums of the year. Let's hope that godawful "artwork" doesn't put off any prospective buyers because if it does they will be missing one of the most nuanced, textured, seductively melodic and...

The Nothing: A Warm Gun (Amaj001/Rhythmethod)

The Nothing: A Warm Gun (Amaj001/Rhythmethod)

Lately on my Kiwi FM programme I have been playing quite a lot from Chris Knox's albums and thoroughly enjoying rediscovering them. (Like Mike Leigh movies and city buses you often didn't feel the need to catch them because another would be along soon enough). Knox has been prolific and always offers good value -- his last one Chris Knox and...

The Clean: Mashed (Arch Hill)

The Clean: Mashed (Arch Hill)

What can you say? The Clean recorded live during their '07 national tour.Really, enough said: David Kilgour's guitar just gets more mercurial and expressive over time (if sometimes pulling back from the edginess of previous decades) and Hamish and Robert create and ride these often oceanic surges of sound. But nuance is everywhere also.Magic at...

POSITIVELY GEORGE STREET BY MATTHEW BANNISTER (2000): Rocking and popping in Flying Nun

POSITIVELY GEORGE STREET BY MATTHEW BANNISTER (2000): Rocking and popping in Flying Nun

Credit Giles Smith’s hilarious Lost in Music if you will, but recently there has been a proliferation of stories about bands which, if not exactly losers, didn’t quite get a seat in the Business Class of Life alongside Bono. Smith’s story of his time in the ill-fated 80s band Cleaners from Venus (“one man’s...

MARTIN PHILLIPPS, OF THE DISBANDED CHILLS, INTERVIEWED (1992): The dream is over

MARTIN PHILLIPPS, OF THE DISBANDED CHILLS, INTERVIEWED (1992): The dream is over

Martin Phillipps looks bad. His skin is pasty, he’s unshaven and his eyes look like an owls in an arc light. He’s been up for 24 hours and although it’s only lunchtime he’s going to hang out until the Iron Maiden concert that night. He’s tired ... though an 18-hour flight from the States does that to anyone. But...

The Clean: Mister Pop (Arch Hill)

The Clean: Mister Pop (Arch Hill)

There has often been a spiralling quasi-psychedelic quality to the Clean, but this time out the mood drops back into a more gentle, thought-provoking, marijuana-ambient sound which recalls moments from guitarist David Kilgour's solo albums. There is a lovely langour to many of these pieces, the long and rolling rhythms, the leisurely pacing...

The Verlaines: Corporate Moronic (Dunedin Sound/Yellow Eye)

The Verlaines: Corporate Moronic (Dunedin Sound/Yellow Eye)

The problem with writing songs which have a political intention or address social issues is that these complex matters cannot easily be reduced to lyrics, and so you end up with songs which are slogans (Power to the People) or full of posturing pomposity (the court calls U2). It's in the nature of a three or four minute song that everything...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Various: Stroke; Songs for Chris Knox (Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Various: Stroke; Songs for Chris Knox (Rhythmethod)

There's an unstated but obviously very sensible practice that most critics adopt: you never review a show or album which is raising money for a good cause. If the show is lousy and you say as much then that can be misread as you not supporting the cause. Same goes for an album. Didn't like the kiddie choir at the Plunket show means you are...

Dunedin, New Zealand: The old hometown looks . . .

Dunedin, New Zealand: The old hometown looks . . .

To be honest, I’d only been to Dunedin twice previously -- and I left early both times. A few years ago I spent a night there on my way to somewhere else, and when I was 17 I arrived as snow turned to soggy sludge in a cutting wind. I fled to the airport after an utterly miserable couple of hours. I should have liked Dunedin better on that...

Pavement: Quarantine the Past; The Best of Pavement (Matador)

Pavement: Quarantine the Past; The Best of Pavement (Matador)

We'll make this a quick product description to coincide with this great alt.American band playing in New Zealand -- here is a remastered 23-track collection which draws on their singles, tracks from their classic albums (Slanted and Enchanted, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain, Brighten the Corners) and adds three early songs from before their...

The Soft Pack: The Soft Pack (Pod/Inertia)

The Soft Pack: The Soft Pack (Pod/Inertia)

And we thought Shihad had a controversial name post-9/11? This alt.pop four-piece based in Los Angeles – which has toured with the Breeders, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party -- used to be called The Muslims. The flipside of their first single was Walking With Jesus. So let's give them points in their efforts to get a headline....

GRAEME DOWNES OF THE VERLAINES INTERVIEWED (2003): Such brave, flawed diamonds

GRAEME DOWNES OF THE VERLAINES INTERVIEWED (2003): Such brave, flawed diamonds

If there were awards in local rock for candour beyond the call of duty, then Graeme Downes, linchpin of the formative and formidable Flying Nun band the Verlaines (1981-97), would be saying “Thank you” at the podium more than most. Always a straight shooter, Downes settles over lunch to chat about the long overdue...

THE VERLAINES; REISSUED AND RECONSIDERED (2010): Listened to Mahler, look over my shoulder . . .

THE VERLAINES; REISSUED AND RECONSIDERED (2010): Listened to Mahler, look over my shoulder . . .

Quite why anyone thought there ever was a "Dunedin sound" is bewildering -- without even hearing a note of the music all you had to do was look at the cover of the famous "Dunedin double" album of mid '82 to see how each of the four bands -- the Stones, the Chills, Sneaky Feelings and the Verlaines -- thought of...

Grayson Gilmour: No Constellation (Flying Nun)

Grayson Gilmour: No Constellation (Flying Nun)

We shouldn't feel too sorry for the profoundly talented Grayson Gilmour -- but I do sympathise with him at the moment: being the first act signed to the resurrected Flying Nun label means that has become the story and not this quite superb album. I have heard and seen Gilmour interviewed repeatedly and most of the time has been taken up with...

Superturtle: About the Sun (Ode)

Superturtle: About the Sun (Ode)

Mainman behind Superturtle Darren McShane certainly has prior form, among other things he formed Chainsaw Masochist (on Flying Nun, for those old enough to remember) and more recently he was in Figure 60 as well as having been a sound engineer -- which is how he met some of the fellow travelers here (bassist Ben Furniss from the Broken...

Tono and the Finance Company: Fragile Thing EP (Border)

Tono and the Finance Company: Fragile Thing EP (Border)

One of the nicest things about small indie artists is the care they lavish on the presentation of their low-key albums. Witness the delightful Tokey Tones albums or even the more rough-hewn albums on Flying Nun where the art was a signifier of the contents. And so it is with this terrific, confident, witty and repeat-play six-song EP which...

Peter Cape: She'll Be Right (1959)

Peter Cape: She'll Be Right (1959)

Peter Cape was New Zealand's unofficial poet laureate in the days before television, when men were "jokers" and women were "sheilas" . . . and when you could afford to assume that "she'll be right". (ie no matter what happens, it'll be okay.) Cape wrote and sang of awkward young men and women at a rural dance...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Robert Scott: Ends Run Together (Flying Nun)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Robert Scott: Ends Run Together (Flying Nun)

The last time Robert Scott (of the Clean, the Bats and Magick Heads) appeared at Elsewhere it was for the cupboard cleanout of tapes which made up the lo-fi Tascam Hits. This collection of much more polished, expansive and augmented songs from the sagging shelves of his tapes enjoys assistance from Clean guitarist David Kilgour and...

Pine: Books and Magazines (Arch Hill)

Pine: Books and Magazines (Arch Hill)

In that great Kiwi tradition, Pine recorded this low-key charmer in a sitting room in Christchurch (the house since severely damaged by the quake apparently) and the trio here once again deliver intimate, spare but not skeletal-sounding pop. Actually, there is little needs to be said here because the Arch Hill label has an interesting...

Ash and the Matadors: The Mansion Tapes (Ash)

Ash and the Matadors: The Mansion Tapes (Ash)

This six-track EP by a Dunedin four-piece fronted by singer-songwriter, guitarist and keyboard player Ash Officer came out in June but has only just landed in Elsewhere -- which means some of the reviews have been done of it down south. Although none that I recall in northern climes. Ash/Matadors have a keen supporter in Southland Times...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Dear Time's Waste: Spells (DTW/Isaac)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Dear Time's Waste: Spells (DTW/Isaac)

The previous EP in '08, Room for Rent, by this Auckland singer/writer Claire Duncan was notable for its droning and hypnotic qualities (guitar washes) alongside delicately realised folk, and you detected a talent which could stretch in many directions, from a constrained Bjork-meets-JAMChain to slightly disconcerting meditations on love . . ....

The Puddle: Playboys in the Bush (Fishrider)

The Puddle: Playboys in the Bush (Fishrider)

For those many of us who lost touch with Dunedin's the Puddle in the Nineties, last year's album The Shakespeare Monkey (a 2009 Best of Elsewhere album) came as quite a revelation for its literary lyricism and captivating alt.pop. This one might not have that same frisson of (re)discovery, but it is no less an album for that: there is a...

Surf Friends: Confusion (SF)

Surf Friends: Confusion (SF)

Auckland two-piece Surf Friends -- guitarist/singer/drum machine handler etc and bassist/keyboards/singer Pete Westmoreland -- are starting out in almost exactly the same place as the early Clean and Chills whose sound they effectively hijack completely for some tracks on this interesting . . . and eventually quite convincing album. Produced...

Cassandra's Ears: The Cassandra's Ears Story (Blind Date)

Cassandra's Ears: The Cassandra's Ears Story (Blind Date)

Early in 2010 the women who had been in the late-Eighties Kiwi band Cassandra's Ears got together for a gig and to their delight discovered that James Moss of Jayrem (which had released their two EPs Private Wasteland and Your Estimation) still had the master tapes. Jan Hellriegel -- Ears' singer -- had pursued a creditable solo career after...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Sven Olsen's Brutal Canadian Love Saga: Songs from the Bottom of a Hilltop (SOBCLS)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Sven Olsen's Brutal Canadian Love Saga: Songs from the Bottom of a Hilltop (SOBCLS)

Recently I heard this collection -- 400 copies only, two CDs, a thick booklet of artfully rendered lyrics, posters and more delivered in medium-sized pizza box -- being described as a cult item, bound to lose money, an ambitious conceit . . . but also pretty terrific. Right on all counts. Naming your ensemble after an obscure Norwegian...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: George D. Henderson of the Puddle

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: George D. Henderson of the Puddle

George D. Henderson founded Dunedin's psych-pop band the Puddle in 1983/84 and over the following decade the group recorded an EP, an album and a single for Flying Nun, all of which are curently out of print. However "a Lazarus-like comeback over the past five years" (as the press release says) has seen three new albums in the past...

Ghost Wave: Ghost Wave (Arch Hill)

Ghost Wave: Ghost Wave (Arch Hill)

With some of the momentum of their labelmates the Clean, urgent droning vocals and pure psychedelic guitar jangle, this debut EP by the Auckland-based three-piece touches a lot of familiar places – you could add JPSE and some of the Manchester guitar bands to those reference points – but they do it with such economy and style it...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: David Kilgour

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: David Kilgour

The new bio for David Kilgour starts with an arresting claim, "David Kilgour is a guitar god for guitar atheists". The evidence for this is of course his work in the Clean, with his band the Heavy Eights or on albums under his own name. Kilgour redefines a kind of electrifying electric-pastoral psyechedleic sound which can equally...

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights: Left By Soft (Arch Hill)

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights: Left By Soft (Arch Hill)

For his defining guitar playing in the Clean and beyond, David Kilgour has inspired two generations of acolytes: the first being the generation of Flying Nun followers in the Eighties and Nineties, and more recently young bands and Arch Hill labelmates like Surf City and Ghost Wave. Kilgour -- who has answered the Famous Elsewhere...

Spa: Spells for Travelling Forth By Day (Sarang Bang)

Spa: Spells for Travelling Forth By Day (Sarang Bang)

On a cursory listen, this album by the Auckland three-piece Spa (Steven Tait, Hayden Sinclair, Brian Donnelly) plus guests seems a little slight and unfocused. An acoustic instrumental opens proceedings, later there is indie.pop, alt.rock, a touch of Plastic Bertrand/Ramones-like punk-pop (Lionel Lopez, about a former sports star?), a little...

The 3D's: Early Recordings 1989-90 (Flying Nun)

The 3D's: Early Recordings 1989-90 (Flying Nun)

Inspired by everything from the Pixies and Neil Young's El Dorado EP, sonic noise and folk music, the 3D's were a Flying Nun band which inspired passionate loyalty for the visceral power of their sound and often weaving, beguling melodies (from singer Denise Roughan as well as the guitars). The re-release last year of their early albums...

The Vietnam War: The Vietnam War (Round Trip Mars)

The Vietnam War: The Vietnam War (Round Trip Mars)

Despite the explosive connotations of their name, Auckland's Vietnam War are far from an incendiary rock outfit. Rather, they are in that country rock lineage which reaches back to the Byrds (there's a little pre-Sweethearts Byrdsean jangle in the mid-ground of the opener High Window) and runs through the Band, and to the early Renderers and the...

The Close Readers: Group Hug (Austin)

The Close Readers: Group Hug (Austin)

From the literary suggestion of the band name and the chief songwriter here – Damien Wilkins – you could guess some serious lyrical chops. Wilkins is founding editor of the literary magazine Sport, and teaches creative writing at Victoria University in Wellington. He also has some small music credentials though. In the early...

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (Domino)

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: Mirror Traffic (Domino)

The previous album by Malkmus (formerly of Pavement) with the Jicks was the very trippy Real Emotional Trash. But here, after touring again with Pavement, he gets into the studio with Beck Hansen as producer for 15 focused songs which place emphasis on, if nothing else, audability. His words -- droll, slightly self-torturing and...

Cut Off Your Hands: Hollow (Speak N Spell)

Cut Off Your Hands: Hollow (Speak N Spell)

Frankly, when I first encountered Cut Off Your Hands two things struck me: First, how do you do that? (You get one off and then . . .), and more importantly how their bouncy pop-rock would travel. When I heard they were going to the UK I thought, "coals . . . Newcastle". I understand things didn't entirely work out over there and...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Kean of the Bats

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Kean of the Bats

Standing next to Flying Nun founder one night at the Gluepot in about 1990 and the Bats are playing. The place is packed and jumping to the band's melodic guitar jangle where one song merges into another -- frankly every now and again I thought "didn't they play that earlier?" -- when Shepherd turns to me and says, "this is why I...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 The Bats: Free All the Monsters (Flying Nun)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 The Bats: Free All the Monsters (Flying Nun)

The rolling, aural signature of the Bats' guitars and locked-in rhythm section has always sounded at its best when it drops the tempo and engages with a romantically woozy sound which -- when married to lyrics of optimism and gentleness -- just brings a smile. This lovely album - which doesn't stray far from their template -- will have you...

Snakedog: Road (Snakedog)

Snakedog: Road (Snakedog)

Singer-guitarist Dave Mulcahy (once of Flying Nun's JPSE back in the day) and drummer Steve Gilbero out of Christchurch in New Zealand have been chewing this one over for a while. Apparently they did the original demos five years ago, then looked at them again in '08 and finally this year re-arranged and edited the nine songs with assistance...

SKEPTICS: SHEEN OF GOLD a doco by SIMON OGSTON

SKEPTICS: SHEEN OF GOLD a doco by SIMON OGSTON

When this film -- Simon Ogston's stylish, thorough and often moving documentary about New Zealand's Skeptics -- appeared briefly in cinemas a year ago it vindicated longtime Skeptic fans who, rightly, believed them to be one of the most important bands ever to emerge in New Zealand. Uncompromising, intelligent, visceral and often...

JPS Experience: Bleeding Star (1993)

JPS Experience: Bleeding Star (1993)

Because – as Elsewhere's favourite philosopher Ken Nordine put it -- “We all see the world from our own disadvantage point”, – we understand there are those who don't see the world from our perspective. So we can happily accept that in Grant Smithies' excellent book Soundtrack: 118 Great New Zealand Albums –...

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Stones; Three Blind Mice (Flying Nun)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: The Stones; Three Blind Mice (Flying Nun)

Of the four bands on the famous Flying Nun Dunedin Double EP – recorded in the front room of a Christchurch flat in '82 -- the Stones looked to be here for a good time but not a long time. Consider how the bands represented themselves on the cover space given them. Both the Verlaines and the Chills chose to get artistic and...

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Chris Knox; Seizure (Flying Nun)

RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Chris Knox; Seizure (Flying Nun)

For quite some time now Flying Nun has ben working on a reissue campaign of all Chris Knox's solo albums, and the Tall Dwarfs catalogue (the duo of Knox and former Toy Love pal Alex Bathgate). Seizure is the sensible first blast in the lovingly restored vinyl/CD reissue of Knox's vast catalogue because it contains The Big Hit (Not...

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