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

George Harrison: Bye Bye Love (1974)

George Harrison: Bye Bye Love (1974)

And it's a belated happy birthday to the former British model Pattie Boyd who turned 74 on March 17. Boyd is something more than a footnote in pop culture – she was only a model for a... > Read more

The Searchers: Love's Melody (1980)

The Searchers: Love's Melody (1980)

Despite the durability of Gerry and the Pacemakers' Ferry Cross the Mersey, there is little question that the most successful group out of Liverpool in the Sixties -- aside from that other one --... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

NEW YORK, THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11: In a New York State of Mind (2002)

NEW YORK, THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11: In a New York State of Mind (2002)

Beyond the wingtip is a clear blue sky, exactly the same kind out of which tragedy arrived a year ago.It is September 11 and I'm flying into New York, America's capital of brashness but which... > Read more

LOCUS AND LOCATION: THE SOCIO-GEOGRAPHY AND POST-COLONIAL DISCOURSE IN DON McGLASHAN'S DOMINION ROAD

LOCUS AND LOCATION: THE SOCIO-GEOGRAPHY AND POST-COLONIAL DISCOURSE IN DON McGLASHAN'S DOMINION ROAD

Don McGlashan is one of New Zealand's most respected and successful songwriters. He been awarded the Apra Silver Scroll for songwriting 47 times and has been given honorary doctorates from many New... > Read more