Absolute Elsewhere

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8 Dec 2018  |  5 min read

Caution: Objects in the rearview mirror may be more expensive than they seem. Yes, living in the past may be an exercise in nostalgia, but there's a very good reason to go there. Everything was cheaper back then. Which is a good joke but not exactly true: vinyl records in New Zealand in 1968 – half a century ago – cost around the same as new vinyl... > Read more

TE VAKA PROFILED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2017): Pasifika to the world

8 Dec 2018  |  1 min read

The acclaim for Opetaia Foa’i of Te Vaka for his music on the soundtrack to the animated Disney film Moana – which topped the Billboard soundtrack and children’s charts, and went to No.2 on the main US charts – is a story many decades in the telling. For those who haven’t followed Te Vaka, it may seem like an overnight success, but they’ve long been a... > Read more


7 Dec 2018  |  5 min read

In her long career Kate Bush has only rarely performed live, which is odd when you think how she established herself as a theatrical performer who had studied dance and movement. But after a 29-date UK and European tour in 1979 she retired from live performance which she said she'd enjoyed but found tiring. And her interests were more towards recording and video making. A video document... > Read more

Nocturn (live)


7 Dec 2018  |  9 min read

After her Red Shoes album in 1993 – her seventh album in the 15 years since her debut The Kick Inside – Kate Bush did what she always seemed to do between albums, disappear. As with Scott Walker and others, Bush is not the recluse which she is painted but just someone who doesn't much care for public attention when there is no work to promote or discuss. “My desire... > Read more

Wild Man (from 50 Words for Snow)

FROM SOPHISTICATED YOUNG TO SPOOKY YORKE (2018): The changing sound of the cinema

3 Dec 2018  |  5 min read

Excluding musicals like South Pacific, West Side Story and so on (where the songs are the soundtrack), the sound of music in films has changed considerably over the decades. Classical composers like Victor Young who brought sophistication, whimsy and historical knowledge to his soundtracks (Dark Command, For Whom the Bell Tolls) and Alfred Newman (scores of scores including How the West Was... > Read more

Suspirium Finale (Yorke)

THE MAORI VOLCANICS REMEMBERED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2018): New Zealand famous in the world

1 Dec 2018  |  <1 min read  |  1

Years before New Zealand pop bands began trying to establish themselves in the Britain and the US, the Māori showbands were ambassadors for the country’s music. And of the showbands, the Māori Volcanics travelled further and lasted longer than their many contemporaries: they performed in nearly 60 countries over four decades. Interviewed on television in the 1990s, Mahora Peters... > Read more


29 Nov 2018  |  8 min read  |  1

When Kate Bush released her fifth album Hounds of Love in '85 it came three years after her demanding but quite extraordinary The Dreaming. Even despite that hiatus – and an earlier gap of two years between Never For Ever and The Dreaming – she was still only 26. She may seem to disappear from attention from time to time, but she was certainly prolific. And always... > Read more

Eat the Music (from The Red Shoes)

KATE BUSH REISSUED, REMASTERED AND RECONSIDERED, PART ONE (2018): From Heights to margins in four uneasy steps

27 Nov 2018  |  8 min read

When Kate Bush released her debut album The Kick Inside back in 1978 the musical landscape was a very strange place . . . and yet the strange voice which propelled her to attention with the remarkable Wuthering Heights (complete with eye-catching video) seemed to fit nowhere. “I was worried the public was only into the bizarre quality of my first record,” she later told British... > Read more

Sat in Your Lap (from The Dreaming)


24 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

When, in the late 1950s, impresario Phil Warren took over Auckland’s Crystal Palace Ballroom, he used his customary flair and promotional skills to resurrect interest in a place which had fallen from favour in the previous five years. Among his marketing campaigns was a series of advertisements in the Auckland Star which read, “Oh! If Epi Could See It Now!” Epi... > Read more

SUPERETTE; REISSUED AND EXPANDED (2018): Got a tiger by the tail

19 Nov 2018  |  3 min read

By the end of its first decade, Flying Nun's bands had enjoyed critical acclaim, were getting solid support from student radio and print media, and some were spreading their wings and touring overseas. The label itself wasn't in quite such good health and in fact was constantly teetering on the brink of collapse. Why? "In the ten years from 1981 to the end of 1990,” label... > Read more

Killer Clown

SPACE FARM REMEMBERED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2018): Reaching for the spiritual sky

17 Nov 2018  |  1 min read  |  1

Although Harvey Mann and Glen Absolum were not alone in embracing the spiritual philosophy of Krishna consciousness which emerged in the early 1970s, they were among New Zealand’s most visible adherents to this path of spiritual enlightenment. So much so that in May 1972 the New Zealand Herald reported on the phenomenon of the chanting, shaven-head Krishnas on Auckland’s... > Read more

JIMI HENDRIX; ELECTRIC LADYLAND REMIXED AND EXPANDED (2018): Not such a slight return to the voodoo child

15 Nov 2018  |  6 min read  |  1

The notion of “the group” is firmly embedded in rock culture. From the Ronettes through REM and the Ramones to Radiohead, the concept of a small coherent unit is a cornerstone, even if in some instances – as with the Rolling Stones, Motown acts and famously Menudo – the moving parts may change. Think the alphabet: Abba, Beatles, Clash, Doors . . . A few artists... > Read more

Angel Caterina (1983) demo


12 Nov 2018  |  11 min read

Half a century ago when The White Album appeared, large parts of the Western world and beyond seemed to be tearing themselves apart, just six months on from the incense'n'marijuana whiff of the Summer of Love. 1968 began badly and got worse: During the Tet Offensive in January Vietcong insurgents rose up all over South Vietnam and one unit got into the grounds of the US Embassy in Saigon;... > Read more

Good Night rehearsal

STEVE KILBEY OF THE CHURCH INTERVIEWED (2018): Having to go through all these things again

11 Nov 2018  |  14 min read

Whoever first said it, someone probably centuries ago, doesn't matter because the essential truth of it holds true: Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. In popular music the wish is often that Big Hit which can lift a band or artist from the wings and place them on centre-stage where those things they've yearned for – money, fame and acclaim – all follow.... > Read more

Reptile (from Starfish)

KIWI PSYCHE-ROCK AND POP RESURRECTED (2018): Do you think you're groovy?

11 Nov 2018  |  3 min read

Once again compilation enthusiast Grant Gillanders trawls the vaults, magazines and his very large contact book to bring another couple of installments of his usefully annotated collections of New Zealand music from a time when men's hair and collars were longer and bell-bottom trousers were de rigueur for both sexes. His on-going A Day in My Mind's Mind psychedelic rock series reaches... > Read more

LEW PRYME REMEMBERED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2018): The silver Sixties star with a secret

10 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

It’s a measure of the popularity of singer Lew Pryme in the mid 1960s that he should appear in the John O’Shea directed music/comedy movie Don’t Let It Get You alongside Howard Morrison, the young Kiri Te Kanawa, the Quin Tikis, Herma Keil and then-hot Australian singer Normie Rowe. Pryme – with his chiselled looks, wide smile and bleached-silver hair swished back... > Read more


7 Nov 2018  |  1 min read

Directed by Lee Tamahori, the opening scene of the 1994 film Once Were Warriors is among very few viscerally powerful sequences in New Zealand cinema. The camera lingers on a picturesque scene of Aotearoa New Zealand scenery of a river and mountains … then pans down to reveal it is just a power company billboard beside a motorway slicing through urban blight. As much as its visual... > Read more

BOB DYLAN: MORE BLOOD, MORE TRACKS, THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 14 (2018): Songs blowing around his skull

5 Nov 2018  |  7 min read  |  1

When David called Kevin on a freezing night in Minneapolis just after Christmas 1974 he had an unusual request. He was looking for a small-bodied Martin acoustic guitar and he thought Kevin, a brakeman on the railroad and part-time musician, may be able to help. Kevin, a guitarist, called his friend Chris who had a guitar shop in the northern district of Dinkytown and, even though he... > Read more

You're A Big Girl Now (take 2)

THE ZOMBIES: ODESSEY AND ORACLE, REVISITED (2018): Still casting its strange spell(ing)

12 Oct 2018  |  4 min read

In this 50thanniversary year of big albums, many getting expanded reissue – Beggar's Banquet, the White Album, Are You Experienced and others – there will inevitably be those whose anniversary flies by largely unacknowledged. Like the Zombies' mostly wonderful, enduring and enjoyably misspelled Odessey and Oracle. To be fair though, O&O largely went... > Read more

Beechwood Park

HARRY LYON INTERVIEWED (2018): The solo Sailor goes back To The Sea

8 Oct 2018  |  9 min read

Harry Lyon laughs. Yes, he confirms, at 68 he just released his debut solo album. But let's allow him some leeway here, after all he has been kinda busy since he first started getting paid for gigs way back in the mid-Sixties. There was the long-running Hello Sailor which he co-founded with Dave McArtney and which soon enough included Graham Brazier, both now... > Read more

Luxury Cargo