Nick Smith: Requiem (1985)

 |   |  1 min read

Nick Smith: Requiem (1985)

Behind all the big names on the Flying Nun label -- the Bats, Chills, Verlaines, Chris Knox et al -- were a large number of artists who made fleeting flights, but don't deserve to be forgotten.

Those who were there at the time hold special affection for the likes of Fatal Jelly Space, Marie and the Atom, Lee Harvey, the here'n'gone Stephen and Cake Kitchen, and . . .

And lest we forget, there were other small labels -- some very short-lived -- in the Eighties also. Like Real Groovy Records which was an offshoot of the record shop of the same name.

It didn't make too many records, but it did capture on EP the Auckland singer-songwriter Nick Smith.

These days Smith is best known as a journalist (with real cred in what can be the most dull of all fields, business writing) but he has always been a musician.

Songs on his EP Flanker were produced by Chris Knox and Wayne Gillespie, and they were mixed by Terry King and Bill Latimer. There were contributions by harmonica player Brendan Power, bassist Brett Orams, drummer Mike Shields and guitarist Jason Martin.

But in five original songs Smith made his mark, notably on this emotional, searing and almost self-lacerating piece about New Zealand's rugby obsession . . . and the macho culture it has created.

In a one-take, Smith is unsparing of the tradition but also posits himself attracted to it.

"I was 17," he laughs today. "I might be a bit different now."

But it is raw, so the lyrics are reproduced here.

Not an easy listen, but when he cites the play Foreskin's Lament you can hear Smith in that thoughtful, ambivalent company too.

nick

Share It

Your Comments

Craig Gibson - Jan 7, 2013

Flanker was awesome. Incredibly raw and edgy, NZ wasn't ready I reckon, couldve been more. Wish I could find the other songs from this SP online somewhere. last listened to this 20 years ago.

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

James Ray: Got My Mind Set on You (1962)

James Ray: Got My Mind Set on You (1962)

Pub quiz question. Who was the first Beatle to set foot in the United States? If you are thinking back to those famous images of them coming off that PanAm Clipper in February 1964 in New York... > Read more

Elvis Presley: Do the Vega (1968)

Elvis Presley: Do the Vega (1968)

Elvis Presley's catalogue of songs in the Sixties is pretty scattershot. Sessions would often be very productive (the material was hardly demanding) and so the songs would be drip-fed over a period... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Incredible String Band: Wee Tam and The Big Huge (1968)

The Incredible String Band: Wee Tam and The Big Huge (1968)

Sometimes for my own private amusement I will sing aloud The Incredible String Band's The Son of Noah's Brother in its entirety. All 16 seconds of it. The lyrics run, "Many were the... > Read more

10 CLASSIC BLUE NOTE COVERS (2014): Making the music look good

10 CLASSIC BLUE NOTE COVERS (2014): Making the music look good

As you read this, the Blue Note record label is celebrating it's 75th anniversary. The label synonymous with classic jazz -- which went some way to defining the way people understood jazz in the... > Read more