Once upon a time the Axemen began life as a seething mass of algae in a cess-pool located at the back of a disused factory somewhere in North Dunedin, New Zealand.The exact location of the cess-pool has unfortunately been lost to the ravages of time, but the factory still stands – a disused, vacant shell with little hope of being restored to its former majesty. Following a sudden meteor storm in 1983, the Axemen rapidly evolved, developed fully functional hands and ears (where before there had only been useless stumps) and metamorphosed rapidly into one of the most radical, chaotic and inspired rock bands of all time.” & so on.
They were one of the World most killingly funny bands but no one knew about it before the internet age. Beside many own released cassettes they has released three albums by the legendary Flying Nun Records. Prices of these items are extremely high nowadays. (For example the Peter Wang Pud used CD is 25-80 Euros, the vinyl are between 35-100 Euros.)
Suitable phrases for their music: radically independent do-it-yourself lo-fi garage art punk. But “I hung out with the Hare Krishnas in Christchurch for a little bit. They used to have free vegetarian dinners on Sunday nights. The music was pretty cool. There was sort of a Beatles connection with Hare Krishna. Stu was really into John Lennon. We were all Beatles fans.” Moreover their last cassette was a tribute album to Elton John in 1992. It’s so frightening, is not it? When I first met with them in 2011 I cried out “Oh my God! What is it?”
The first video is a rare and baffling TV performance in a Saturday morning kid show in 1991. The song (Hey Alice!) turns into a promo for their just released CD. I’m sure, many New Zealander children cried for Axemen CD after the show.
And the destiny has reached him too. They have become discovered. Their albums were re-released in the US by Siltbreeze. And now here is the new, yes the new Axemen album! Sac Tap Nut Jam. It’s less chaotic like the usual. A song from it.
With an episode with the knife-edge cliffhanger to rival the ‘Who Shot JR?’ Dallas episode, the RICHY27ABLE channel’s first season drew to a close on Tuesday 15 June with the much awaited SEASON FINALE.
The New York Times described the final episode as ‘Fellini-esque and quite superb’ while Egyptian dissident Hamand X tweeted “for 3 and a half minutes, the revolution stopped for 200 seconds there was no conflict :O”, as he shared his iPod screen with soldiers who minutes ago had been sniping at them but laid down their arms to join the rebels in another kind of revolution, the YouTube.
Adding to the speculation is the question mark over Bens participation in the next series following the runaway success on the independent circuit of his ‘Fusil de Chasse’ following its last minute inclusion as a short at Sundance this year. Whist Ben dismisses such rumors as speculation it was widely reported he was seen in long discussions with Redford following the screening.
(re-printed courtesy of siltblog: Axemen’s ’3 Virgins’ Double LP NOW AVAILABLE)
FINALLY! After a couple of years in the RE-making, the Axemen’s legendary dbl lp ’3 Virgins, 3 Virgins, 3 Visions’ (hereafter known simply as 3V’s) is available for order. Originally seeing the light of day on the Flying Nun label in 1985, 3V’s is a broad canvas of sound, seemingly channeling other likeminded cornerstones of fringe rumble such as ‘Trout Mask Replica’, ‘Exile On Main Stree’t & ‘Tago Mago’. Just like last time (remember?) this is a limited edition run of 600 & housed is a stunning full color gatefold sleeve. Prices are as follows;
*LIMITED TIME OFFER*
Add to your order both previous Axemen titles; ‘Big Cheap Motel’ lp + Scary,Part III double lp for only 15$ more! No extra shipping cost either!That’s 3 more lp’s! What a bargain!
(Just make sure to mention when ordering).
Paypal to; firstname.lastname@example.org
*AND WHILE YOUR HERE*
Check out this AMAZING 3 Virgins promo film shot back in the day by Stu Kawowski & Lawrence Lens (Nux Vomica, Portage mastermind);
Please visit. thanks andrew.
News has broken of the death of Tony Peake. Tony was a central figure in the Christchurch punk and post-punk scenes.
I had the good fortune to catch up with him in Christchurch in 1994 where he was up to his eyeballs opening a new dance club. Despite that he made time for an interview. One of my favourites of that particular research mission. He was warm and open and honest and you can’t ask for more than that. I was curious about his role in punk and The Newtones whose two singles and compilation tracks were (and are) era favourites. You can download Tony’s Newtones’ track Christchurch part 2 here. The resulting story was printed in Social End Product in 1995 and is reproduced here. The Newtones’ Mark Brooks remembers the times here.
After The Newtones broke up Tony was a member of Yen and then a dance club organiser and DJ. He also booked the Gladstone and was a keen promoter of post-punk groups.
Simon Grigg shares some memories here. Check the comments as well.
There is a compact album worth of songs he was involved with out there waiting to be compiled together with three Newtones videos and TV footage of Tony fronting The Vandals.
RIP Tony. You made a difference.
Live and on Record
The Newtones – New Way – Class of ’81 – Propeller Records comp. LP – March 1981.
An early piece of sound shaping and sampling. The Newtones’ new way.
The Newtones – Paint the Town Red/ China/ Christchurch part 2/ Santa Anna – The Newtones – Newtones Music 7” EP – Recorded by Fred Kramer and Arnie Van Bussell at Nightshift Studios in Christchurch. Number 13 in June 1981. One week in chart.
Their debut EP, simply called The Newtones, documented the Christchurch trio’s rise from early punk roots in The Vauxhalls, The Vandals, Aliens and Street of Flowers with a stinging version of the Flowers’ China, a Tony Peake song echoing the aggression of the punk years and hinting at his love of sixties psychedelia. and the flanged pop/ rock of Mark Brooks’ Paint The Town Red; an effortless Christchurch anthem.
The Newtones – My World/ Incidentially Dreaming – Newtones Music 7”. Recorded by Fred Kramer and Arnie Van Bussell at Nightshift Studios in Christchurch. Number 47 on 24 January 1982. One week in chart.
More street pop from the prolific Newtones. My World is a Mark Brooks song taken for a long stroll by Brooks’ bass, Martin Archbold’s drums and Tony Peake’s guitar. Incidentially Dreaming is a wispy love song with airy Peake guitar.
Dates (The Newtones play all shows): August ’80 – Star and Garter. 13. September ’80 – XTC. Christchurch Town Hall. 12. December ’80 – Playthings. Solitudes. Canterbury University. 12. January ’81 – Volkswagens. 25 Cents. Androidss. Christchurch Arts Centre. 8. Techtones. 3ZM concert. QE 2 Park. 9. Victor Dimisich Band. System X. Christchurch Arts Centre. 14. Gladstone. 21. 22. 23. 24. March ’81 – Playthings. Gladstone. 12. 13. 14. Ballon D’Essai. Gladstone. 23. 24. 25. April ’81 – Class of 81 Show. Newmatics. Screaming Meemees. Blam Blam Blam. Gladstone. 20. May ’81 – Gladstone. 7. 8. 9. June ’81 – Volkswagens. Gladstone. 11. 12. 13. Gladstone. 25. 26. 27. August ’81 – Gladstone. 27. 28. 29. October ’81 – Gladstone. 15. 16. 17. Androidss. Playthings. Ritchie Venus and The Blue Beetles. Gladstone. 26. November ’81 – Shoreline. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. aft. 14. Playthings. Mainly Spaniards. Star and Garter. 19. 20. 21. January ’82 – Terraces. Gladstone. 7. 8. 9. February ’82 – The Clean. Ballon D’Essai. Tall Dwarfs. Canterbury University. 6. Star and Garter. 12. 13.
copyright – Andrew Schmidt – 2005