GOLDEN HARVEST, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2013): From club to a following by the cult

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GOLDEN HARVEST, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2013): From club to a following by the cult

For a late 70s band which delivered polished, radio-friendly pop with a hint of disco on their hit ‘I Need Your Love’, Golden Harvest had some unexpected admirers.

Simon Grigg was on the sharp end of the Auckland punk scene at the time: “The first time I saw Golden Harvest was in 1978 during the punk era in Auckland’s Downtown Centre. Several of us went along expecting we could have a laugh, but the laugh was totally on us – these guys were incredible and we stood there in awe. I’ve been a fan ever since: a mighty band, phenomenal musicians and a stage presence that defined the era.” 

Peter Urlich was in Th’ Dudes at time, on the same Key label as Hello Sailor and Golden Harvest, who began life as the Kaukau family band in Turangi. 

“Golden Harvest were really cool. They were on the surface, a very slick ‘nightclub act’ but they had an x-factor and that was the chemistry of the marvellous Kaukau brothers and their charismatic frontman, Karl. We loved their unadulterated funk.”

As with too many bands, Golden Harvest didn’t last long in the spotlight: fewer than three years and just one album, with singer Karl Gordon out front of the Kaukau brothers Eru (aka Junior, bass), Mervin (drums), Gavin (rhythm guitar, vocals) and lead guitarist Kevin.

But their story began long before Karl’s arrival in 1976.

The 2017 CD reissue of the band’s self-titled album of 1978 – recorded at Stebbing and produced by Rob Aickin – threw attention back on Golden Harvest, whose songs ‘Love is Everything’, ‘Mrs G’, ‘Give a Little Love' and the RIANZ single of the year, ‘I Need Your Love' (all penned by Gavin Kaukau) bridged pop, disco and soul, and sometimes came with mercurial guitar by Kevin who was also inspired by Hendrix.

hero_thumb_GoldenHarvest3Hence their version of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ live and on the album.

In the 12-page liner notes to the reissue (remastered from the original tapes and with four additional A and B-side non-album tracks), Grant Gillanders of Frenzy Music fills in the long backstory of Golden Harvest.

The brothers – all approximately a year apart – formed as a family group and in 1971 entered a talent quest in Taupo as the Kaukau Family; they picked up the top prize of $10.

It was small beginning, but encouraging, and . . . 


To read the rest this complete article at AudioCulture go here.

There is more at Elsewhere about Golden Harvest here

Audioculture is the self-described Noisy Library of New Zealand Music and is an ever-expanding archive of stories, scenes, artists, clips and music. Elsewhere is proud to have some small association with it. Check it out here.

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