This Nation's Dreaming: Room Full of Clocks (1989)

 |   |  1 min read

This Nation's Dreaming: Room Full of Clocks (1989)

It was a good idea at the time which turned into an even better one: follow the story of band playing its first public gig from their rehearsal room to that moment under the lights . . . or in this case on the grubby "stage" at the Rising Sun Hotel in Auckland.

And by sheer chance -- and I cannot remember who suggested This Nation's Dreaming -- the people we picked were interesting of themselves: drummer Richard Barr was excellent and a librarian by day; Phil Smith on bass was a television journalist (he subsequently went on to great things) and had bought his instrument with his Visa card; singer/guitarist Peter Young worked at Rank Xerok and had the business smarts so jacked up the huge rehearsal room in downtown Auckland and the Rising Sun gig; and singer/guitarist Andy Hay, at 25 and the oldest, had coxed the New Zealand rowing eight at Edinburgh and Los Angeles, was a schoolfriend of Phil's and at the time had a lawnmowing contract.

They also wrote great punk-pop rock songs like Gasoline ("go and get the gasoline, we're gonna decorate the sky,  we're gonna give that car a real goodbye") and More Wild Stories ("You are the greatest girl, and I want to be with you . . . . some of the time").

Those songs and others turned up later on their self-produced tape Bud (cover by Anthony Ellison) along with Room Full of Clocks which had been recorded at the Rising Sun.

It was a thrilling gig (the Plague who followed them drew their own skinhead crowd along with This Nation's Dreaming's quieter and more physically slight friends) and the band played . . . well . . .

Yes, they missed a few notes and fluffed a few intros and it didn't start well -- but by the halfway point they were onto it and pulled dancers to floor. I loved it, the band had a great night, their friends were pleased, we got a good cover story, the tape turned up later and I have kept it visible from my desk ever since.

The band made $55 all up.

They broke up not long after. 

For more one-off or unusual songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

Ed - Jan 9, 2012

I was introduced to this band by a friend who worked at the Gluepot, bought the cassette, and waited for them to become huge. Alas it was not to be - a fact which perplexes me to this day. I played the tape so much I ruined it. Thanks so much for posting this...it bought tears to my eyes. Happy days.

Andy Hay - Jan 18, 2012

Hi,

Just read your comment. I was the singer/guitarist in TND and am currently trying to get some remastering done. At the least I will have a CD available of the album if you would like a copy. Let me know.

Gareth Hughes - Apr 6, 2012

Andy! I'm the friend Edward refers to above in his comments. Ex-Gluepot upstairs bar manager. Would happily pay for some copies of the CD. Would love to sell them in our NZ-style cafe in Brooklyn, NY: dubpies.com - Also would like permission to replicate the cassette cover as our company t-shirt - but transposing the BUD into DUB. Let me know! Cheers!

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Steeleye Span: Cam Ye Oer Frae France (1973)

Steeleye Span: Cam Ye Oer Frae France (1973)

As with Fairport Convention (which included Richard Thompson), Steeleye Span were in the vanguard of the British folk-rock movement of the late Sixties. Unlike Fairport however, Steeleye Span... > Read more

Jelly Roll Morton: I'm Alabama Bound (date unknown)

Jelly Roll Morton: I'm Alabama Bound (date unknown)

The origins of jazz are lost in the mists and of course few would be so bold as to say it started on any particular date. One who did however was pianist Jelly Roll Morton who claimed to have... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE SEX PISTOLS, AND BEYOND (2012): No future but plenty of past

THE SEX PISTOLS, AND BEYOND (2012): No future but plenty of past

Given the Sex Pistol's flashpoint album Never Mind the Bollocks came to define punk for many, it's interesting it actually came late in the day. By the time of its release in October 77, the... > Read more

PAUL SIMON; GRACELAND, AGAIN (2012): We can all be received . . .

PAUL SIMON; GRACELAND, AGAIN (2012): We can all be received . . .

Hard to believe from this distance of some 25 years, but Paul Simon's award-winning and much loved Graceland album of 1986 – which went on to sell around 15 million copies – was once... > Read more