The Avengers: Waterpipe (1968)

 |   |  1 min read

The Avengers: Waterpipe (1968)

Warwick Freeman's useful book New Zealand Top 20 Singles of the Sixties confirms – using his formula – that Wellington's Avengers were one of the most successful bands of the decade.

They charted five top 10 singles, among them the number two hit Love Hate Revenge, and using Freeman's ranking system were one of only four local acts in the top 50 of the Sixties.

With their name chosen as a result of a Sunday News competition – and with the obvious link to the popular television series of the same name – they were launched and at their first photo session were dressed dapper wearing bowler hats in the manner of John Steed, the character from that British television series.

Their collective talent however meant they hardly needed such gimmicks.

Brought together to play a new venue – some would later accuse them of being a manufactured group – they quickly had their own fan club, appeared on television and in the course of their three-year life-span knocked out three albums and won good notices in Britain, Australia and the US.

avTheir Days of Pearly Spencer (a cover although their catalogue was stacked with originals) went top 10 in West Germany.

Their fascinating and lengthy story is fully told at audioculture here, written by Grant Gillanders . . . but is also reprised in liner notes to the new 24 song collection Everyone' Gonna Wonder on Gillanders' Frenzy label.

This song was written by Chris Malcolm who penned a number of songs for the band (among them the hit Everyone's Gonna Wonder) is a dreamy piece of period pot-pop. Malcolm's story is a brief but fascinating one also (see here).

He was a man who appeared, delivered excellent songs, then disappeared off again.

For more one-offs, songs with an interesting backstory or just plain odd things see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Various People: A crowd at the futbol in Buenos Aires

Various People: A crowd at the futbol in Buenos Aires

Okay, this is from the "Maybe you had to be there part" shelf in the Elsewhere vaults but . . . In Buenos Aires we went to a huge soccer ("futbol") match at Rio del... > Read more

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

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... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ROBERT GRAETTINGER: The ghoul of Third Stream

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ROBERT GRAETTINGER: The ghoul of Third Stream

When big-band leader Stan Kenton took a left turn from the dancefloor into music for the concert halls in the late Forties he increasingly left much of his audience behind. By aiming more... > Read more

NATHAN FORD INTERVIEWED (2014): The highly proactive listener

NATHAN FORD INTERVIEWED (2014): The highly proactive listener

Nathan Ford laughs quietly when I ask him about the strange, whispery folk album by Kitchen Cynics (Scotland's Alan Davidson) he's posted at his music blog. It isn't exactly what I'd call... > Read more