The Perfect Strangers: “Not To Be Taken”

Not many recordings have survived of seminal early 80’s Christchurch band The Perfect Strangers. This 8-song cassette selection entitled “Not To Be Taken” was most likely compiled by the late Lindsay Maitland (Crazy Olé! and The Panthers cornet / french horn player). “Not To Be Taken” comprises one side of a cassette, the other being entitled And Band “Outhern”. The tape was given to Stu Kawowski at George Henderson’s N.E.V. pad, Dunedin around 1983/84 (from memory). The SX70 Polaroids here are from a 1980 gig at the Centre Gallery in the Christchurch Art Centre.

Read more here The art and magick of The Perfect Strangers, Chch 1980-1982

1. Options Statement

2. Far Eastern Rhythm Section

3. The Realm Of Solar Gravity

4. Days

5. I Know

6. What is it

7. Garden Of Electricity

8. Listen, The Light

Perfect Strangers live at Christchurch Art Centre 1980. L to R Bill Vosburgh (guitar & vocals), Mark Thomas (vocals), Richard Uti (drums), Helm Ruifrok (bass).
The Perfect Strangers live at Christchurch Art Centre 1980. L to R: Bill Vosburgh (guitar & vocals), Mark Thomas (vocals), Richard Uti (drums), Helm Ruifrok (bass). (photo Stu)
Mark Thomas of Perfect Strangers plays solo, Christchurch Art Centre, 1980 (photo Stu).
Mark Thomas of The Perfect Strangers plays solo, Christchurch Art Centre, 1980 (photo Stu).

9 thoughts on “The Perfect Strangers: “Not To Be Taken”

  1. this is great, I remember a lot of this being recorded, in downtown Chch. Not much of it was in their live set; Garden was; Far East Rhythm section might have been off AB/PS, it is in that style; this is a like the demo for a sequel to that 1/2 EP. This is Bill’s stuff mostly, while live vocals were more of Mark’s responsibility. Is that Bridget Mulcahy singing I Know? And Listen, the Light is one of Helm’s riffs. Days I always thought was a beautiful piece, even in this version.
    I am reminded of Crude and The Aesthetics in parts like “”What Is It”.

  2. Do you think we could hear “Othern”? “Not To Be Taken” is possibly a straight transcription of one of Bill’s reel to reel tapes. The And Band may even have recorded on the other side of it; they were 2 way, 2 track tapes. It was a cheap Sony sound-on-sound so-called “4-track” machine (2 tracks each way = 4).

  3. Yeah OK I can digitise “Outhern” (that’s how it’s spelt on the cassette anyway). Also found a cassette of Mark Thomas stuff (I think) called SMAK ATTACK/ZITWA – ring any bells? –Stu K.

    1. Hi Stu, Does it have a piece on it that starts off “workin? are you bloody well working?” on it? and the sound of a typewriter. Or can you elaborate on other stuff?

      1. Hey Sue, I can’t remember if I ever did digitise that cassette, I can’t remember how it starts off, I’ll endeavour to do that soon. Looks like I promised to do it two years ago! Man time flies😮

  4. Wow…this has been so cool to stumble on.Mark Thomas and I flatted together..crazy days,cool days and well.. And Band/Perfect strangers Shoes This High were all house hold names..Stu thanks for posting these great pics!! A treasure..Very keen to catch up with any AB/PS strangers recordings my old cassette recodings from Bob Sutton have long since given up…they were gems!! Ash

  5. Excellent site and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here: this .. as it’s taken me literally 3 hours and 42 minutes of searching the web to find you (just kidding!) so I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor🙂

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