THE PICTONES PROFILED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2019): Hashish in the provinces, or maybe not

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THE PICTONES PROFILED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2019): Hashish in the provinces, or maybe not

In an odd coincidence, around the same time as the young Beatles went into a studio in Germany in 1961 and backed the singer Tony Sheridan on a rock'n'roll version the old

While that uniquely European amalgam out of Hamburg featured a vocalist, the version from the band out of Palmerston North was a Shadows-styled instrumental, and a pretty good one at that.

It was on the flipside of their single on the TALA label (To Assist Levin Artists), the countryfied and twanging 'Pistol Packin' Mama' (also an instrumental, and which opens with the sound of horse's hooves, pistol shots and a whinny).

Those singles perhaps aren't seminal New Zealand recordings but the hard-working Pictones out of Palmerston North became more than a footnote in our music culture, especially when the following year, they recorded another instrumental.

It is the title which grabs our attention today and raises questions.

It was . . . 'Hashish'.

In 2011 when I posted a recording of Hashish on my elsewhere.co.nz website I idly speculated on how little hashish there must have been around at that time (none was a decent guess) and that was confirmed by a phonecall from the band's guitarist Dave Clarke (who died in 2016, aged 75) who had written the piece.

He'd googled the band name and my piece came up, was flattered that his band had been remembered and . . .

To read the rest of this article on the Pictones go to audioculture.co.nz 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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