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 entitled And Band “Outhern”. The tape was given to Stu Kawowski at George Henderson’s N.E.V. pad, Dunedin around 1983/84. The SX-70 Polaroids here are from a 1980 gig at the Centre Gallery in the Christchurch Arts 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: Stuart Page)
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: Stuart Page).

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

  1. Pingback: The art and magick of The Perfect Strangers, Chch 1980-1982 « The Axemen’s Y2K Blog

  2. 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”.

  3. 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).

  4. 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 😮

  5. Pingback: The And Band: Outhern « The Axemen’s Y2K Blog

  6. 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

  7. Excellent site theaxemen.wordpress.com 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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