The Spies: The Battle of Bosworth Terrace [SiltBreeze 2014]

Rebroadcast from:  http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/nat-music/audio/2592335/the-spies
Originally aired on Radio NZ National Music, Saturday 12 April 2014

Wellington in 1979: A fairly unlikely bunch of musicians, artists and vagabonds went almost unnoticed in the squats of Wellington’s Bosworth Terrace, playing and recording together, loosely grouped under the banner of “The Spies”. Matthew Crawley speaks with The Spies’ George D Henderson about the rather unusual circumstances that led to the recording of The Spies album The Battle Of Bosworth Terrace, and why it’s taken 35 years for it to surface.

Duration:  11′ 11″

AXEMEN – Derry Legend (LP) – Luxury Products [2014 Remake/Remodel]

Reprinted from: http://www.othermusic.com/products/axemen-derry-legend

Derry Legend
Derry Legend

As with their fantastic 39 Clocks reissue, Luxury Product once again live up to their name with a beautiful package on this LP, originally released on Flying Nun in 1989. Derry Legend was the second proper Axemen album and it is also the band’s most immediate and coherent statement. Coherent is a pretty funny term to apply to this group, who always seemed to teeter on the brink of it and more often fell into chaos, but compared to their earlier work, the sprawling double album Three Virgins and earlier cassettes Scary Pt. III and Big Cheap Motel (all of which have been reissued by Siltbreeze over the past few years), Derry Legend is a perfectly distilled statement of all that the band was capable of. This is a record that shifts from off-kilter rock ‘n’ roll to Tin Pan Alley ballads to what is most likely New Zealand’s first (and only?) anti-drug, conscious, rap/rock hybrid — and all of this is even before you get to the track called “Human Hot Dogs!”

I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of any New Zealand bands that might have been the forbearers of such insanity and can’t really come up with any. Surely there must have been some Captain Beefheart and Bonzo Dog Band records involved and there are a few moments, like on the album opener “Disc to Disk” and closer “Mourning of Youth,” where they don’t seem too far off from the sound that made Flying Nun famous. You get the sense that if they wanted to they could have made a classic LP in that mold, but thank god they didn’t, as what they did make is far more unique and wonderful. If anything this record reminds me of a Kiwi version of Alex Chilton’s Like Flies on Sherbert, as it embodies that same sort of free-spirited, devil-may-care attitude, and like that album the more you listen to it the better it sounds. (March 19, 2014)

Reviewed by Dave Martin

Straight to Hell :: album :: SHOES THIS HIGH

reprinted from: https://www.midheaven.com/item/straight-to-hell-by-shoes-this-high-lp

STH LP Rear
STH LP Rear

While Shoes This High’s existence was a mere glint in the eye of Father Time (a year or more, tops), they made every second count, stalking the New Zealand post-punk landscape—both North and South islands—with ravenous abandon. For most fans, their legend and reputation rest solely on the strength of one highly formidable (and collectable) self-released 7-inch EP from 1981. And as anyone with ears who’s had the good fortune to come in contact with its jagged, scabrous genius can attest, the cry invariably rings out afterward: “Mein Gott, is this all there is?” In the 30-plus years since its initial release, the answer has been a most unflinching “yes.”

That is, until Siltbreeze tapped into the massive tape library of famed New Zealand underground music archivist Bob Sutton, who had in his possession a white-hot live scorcher of the group, culled from a set that went down at the infamous Billy the Club way back when. Straight to Hell showcases a band at the peak of their menacing powers.

[Deceased] Guitarist Kevin Hawkins slashes and rips strings from his ax like a mad butcher; the rhythm section of Jessica Walker and Christopher Plummer is par excellence, while the sneering, contemptuous vocals of singer S. Brent Hayward spit like poison darts above the swagger.

Expertly sequenced by Jared Phillips (Times New Viking), Straight to Hell is a most welcome and astonishingly great artifact that delivers in buckets a shivering, toxic rain you always knew had fallen.

Vinyl comes with a digital download of the complete album plus the four studio tracks from the original 1981 EP. One-time edition of 500—buy now or cry later.

MP3 samples, flac and other formats:
https://www.midheaven.com/item/straight-to-hell-by-shoes-this-high-lp

SHOES THIS HIGH: Straight To Hell

reprinted from:
http://www.othermusic.com/products/shoes-this-high-straight-to-hell

SHOES THIS HIGH: Straight To Hell
SHOES THIS HIGH: Straight To Hell

Some of you have been slow to re-board the New Zealand Reissue Train for reasons perfectly understandable: can’t get into the psychedelic pop sounds, sounds like rain, same people play in all the bands, this all happened years ago/half a world away/what’s it got to do with me?, etc. For that last one, you’re on your own, but if you’ve been holding out for something truly dangerous from the back pages of Kiwi musicology, Shoes This High is the group for you.

Existing for a pinch between 1980-81, the only truly comparable band in the country, in terms of sheer intensity, would have been the Gordons (who I’m sure Shoes This High broke multiple stages with), but while that group was focused on a more long-term, weightier burn, Shoes This High — vocalist S. Brent Hayward, guitarist Kevin Hawkins, bassist Christopher Plummer and drummer Jessica Walker — were more content to stick and move, steal your wallet, stab you in between the ribs and slap you about.

All they ever committed to vinyl is a single four-song EP, but Straight to Hell issues for the first time a long-lost live set delivered by the band in its prime (and tacks on the 7″ tracks for comparison as a digital download). All but one of the songs in the set were ever heard by audiences outside of New Zealand in some truly reckless venues.

Punk is still in the air, but there are two other big components of their sound: the Fall, who by way of a brief snippet at the beginning of “Shouting Eat Sh*t” they must’ve been familiar with, and the Contortions, who unless any copies of No New York made their way across their borders, they couldn’t have possibly known about.

The guitar work and vocals here are absolutely vicious, frothing-mouthed and violent, introducing far-flung tenets of no-wave brutality to the punters, and the rhythm section anchors everything down in the maelstrom of slashing noise and invective hurled off by the rest of the band.

Despite what you might pre-conceive a nearly 35-year-old live tape might sound like, Straight to Hell captures this group with brightness and clarity, at peak psychosis.

If you were looking for a band that could rip your hair out from 7000 miles away, this here would be the one.

-Doug Mosurock (February 5, 2014)

Flying Sorcerers debut release out

Reprinted from: https://theflyingsorcerers.bandcamp.com/album/the-self-fulfilling-prophecies-of-the-flying-sorcerers

William Daymond: “This has been a long time in the making but The Flying Sorcerers debut release is now available. We have set it as “name your price” on bandcamp but it will only be like this for a few days so those curious should get in quick.”

flyingsorc

flyingsorcerersWilliam Daymond – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Paul Glubb – Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Margaret Gordon – Drums, Vocals

credits

released 22 November 2013
Engineered and recorded by Tom Watson at The Car Club, Newtown, Wellington, 7 November 2011.
Overdubs completed sporadically throughout 2012 and 2013 in Paul’s basement, Newtown, Wellington.
Mixed by Annabel Alpers and Adam Cooke in Baltimore, MD, August 2013.
Mastered by Tom Watson at The Orange Room, Wellington, 17 & 19 November 2013.Photography by John Collie, Cover Art by Margaret Gordon, Cover Design by Mike Boulden.Special thanks to Annabel Alpers and Adam Cooke, Tom Watson, Mike Boulden, Nick White, John Collie, Catherine Henehan, Terror of the Deep, Matt Bullimore, Simon Nunn, Jared Kelly, Uncle Shandy, Dave Imlay, The Family Practice, Joe Sampson, Brett Stanton, Riki Gooch and Mike Gibson.

Straight To Hell – Shoes This High LP out Jan 2014

Reprinted from: http://www.midheaven.com/item/straight-to-hell-by-shoes-this-high-lp

Ghost Ranch X - Fats White
Ghost Ranch X – Fats White; cover art for ‘Straight to Hell’

While Shoes This High’s existence was a mere glint in the eye of Father Time (a year or more, tops), they made every second count, stalking the New Zealand post-punk landscape—both North and South islands—with ravenous abandon.

For most fans, their legend and reputation rest solely on the strength of one highly formidable (and collectable) self-released 7-inch EP from 1981. And as anyone with ears who’s had the good fortune to come in contact with its jagged, scabrous genius can attest, the cry invariably rings out afterward: “Mein Gott, is this all there is?” In the 30-plus years since its initial release, the answer has been a most unflinching “yes.”

That is, until Siltbreeze tapped into the massive tape library of famed New Zealand underground music archivist Bob Sutton, who had in his possession a white-hot live scorcher of the group, culled from a set that went down at the infamous Billy the Club way back when. Straight to Hell showcases a band at the peak of their menacing powers.

Guitarist Kevin Hawkins slashes and rips strings from his ax like a mad butcher; the rhythm section of Jessica Walker and Christopher Plummer is par excellence, while the sneering, contemptuous vocals of singer S. Brent Hayward spit like poison darts above the swagger. Expertly sequenced by Jared Phillips (Times New Viking), Straight to Hell is a most welcome and astonishingly great artifact that delivers in buckets a shivering, toxic rain you always knew had fallen. Vinyl comes with a digital download of the complete album plus the four studio tracks from the original 1981 EP. One-time edition of 500—buy now or cry later.

Shoes This High posters – from the awesome collection of Bob Sutton

Up Front with the Yub Nubz

such a tease
such a tease

Hot on the soles of their forthcoming new 12″ release ‘Sac Tap Nut Jam’, the Axemen are chaffing at the bit for punters to step up into the stirrups climb into the saddle and hitch their wagons to the new guiding star, the star that comes from the South, the star that IS the Axemen. The current lineup, showing impeccable taste chose this outlet for their first official interview regarding the new album.

Steve McCabe - still working on the John Halvorsen / Eraserhead look
Steve McCabe – still working on the John Halvorsen / Eraserhead look

Steve McCabe, speaking from his idyllic kiwi coast bach in the Coromandel on the verge of a 3 month sabbatical in the Pacific Islands, was the first to speak out on the release:

Steve McCabe: “I was initially troubled by the concept of plant (‘inanimate’) objects being incapable of feeling pain. This is the reason we embarked on the ‘Sac Tap’ project in the first place. All things were pointing in this direction, we had a levy-breaking wall of song built up ready to breach the sea-walls, with nowhere else to run!” he enthused in answer to my first utterance “Hello”.

IMG_5391
William Daymond – Role Model for troubled youth

William Daymond: “Dragan came over and showed me the famous ‘swizzle-sticks in a jar’ experiment – believe it or not this was the first time i ever experimented with this kind of experiment – and frankly it blew me away. My ‘Sac Tap’ commitment started there”.

IMG_5341
Stu Kawowski – aka Ludwig van Beathoven

Stu Kawowski: “Yeah I kinda dug Will’s naivete in the beginning, but by the end of the sessions we were churning it up free flow like a machete machine with overblown muscle-cloth spun on a quantum wheel upon which no-one can see which way its rotating but experienced users can count the bleats”

IMG_5354
Dragan Stojanovic – go ahead… tap my sac!

Dragan Stojanovic: “I count my blessings. And I think the other lads are counting theirs. The Axemen are the only band I would get out of bed to play in. Of course I’m fantastic in bed too!”.

Accolades are already pouring in from all over the world and the roundabout at Stokes Valley Road is fast becoming a local tourist attraction, with double-decker buses frequently thrilling passengers by driving around it multiple times, in one case until one elderly passenger threw up (she soon recovered when the tour guide pointed out Dragan Stojanovic walking down the road to the alchemists and giving her and the other passenger his trademark “fingers” gesture – a Serbian sign usually reserved for Croation soldiers – much to the amusement of the appreciative cheering passengers).

Idols and rivals check out the scene
Idols and rivals check out the scene

Watch this Space[case] spacecasefor new revelations!

The Axemen wish to thank Ryan and Mor at Spacecase who were instrumental (and vocal) in making the project happen…  http://www.spacecaserecords.com/ cheers dudes!

Wellington Recording Diary – Day 1 [25 Feb 2013]

Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington
Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington

Day 1 recording at the Taita lockup went handsomely, boding well for the forthcoming Spacecase Records single .

Axemen Feb 2013, at the Taita Lockup, Upper Hutt. Photo S. Kawowski
Axemen Feb 2013, at the Taita Lockup, Upper Hutt. Photo S. Kawowski

The group, together again for the first time in a while in Wellington learned and laid down 5 soundbed tracks as single candidates in record time, as per usual. This being Day 1 of a 3 day session after which the  selection will commence, a process as arduous and gruelling as any Papal selection ritual.

Once the tracks have been selected work will start on overdubbing and production, a painstaking and often grisly set of steps involving adding, cutting, refining and polishing reminiscent of the inner workings of a diamond factory.

Looking forward to Day 2 and subsequent sessions – No serious bloodshed to report as yet.

EQUIPMENT:

Steve: Fender Telecaster thru NZ made Hotcake distortion pedal and Marshal JCM 800
Dragan: Gibson Les Paul Junior, Gibson Les Paul through Jet City head thru Laney 4×12 cabinet

William: Fender Precision Bass thru Rockit 120 and Crate 15″ cabinet

Stu:

Paiste Hi-hats

5 x Zyldjian cymbals

Ludwig snare

Pearl kick

Pearl / Maxtone Toms with Remo pinstripe skins

MICS:

Behringer C1 condensor mic (overhead drums)

Rode NT 2000 (overhead drums)

2x Shure SM58

Peavey Instrument mic

various other instrument mics

RECORDER:

Zoom R16

TRACK LISTING:

A view to die for (McCabe)

Caught you fighting (Stojanovic)

Google That Girl (McCabe)

High Horse (Stojanovic/McCabe)

Kookaburra (Stojanovic/McCabe)

LOCATION:

The Dragan’s Lair, Taita, Upper Hutt, Wellington, NZ

THANKS TO:

Spacecase Records

Mighty Mighty

Phantom Billstickers

Theaxemen.org

——————–

And, if you’re in Wellington this week, be part of NZ Music History and come along to the Mighty Mighty Recording Axemen Party on Wednesday 27 Feb – It’s free and it will be recorded!

Spacecase to release next Axemen 12″ – Recording Party at Mighty Mighty

spacecase
Spacecase Records – Kiwi music pushers
Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington
Axemen Recording Party, 27 Feb 2013, Mighty Mighty, Wellington

US label Spacecase Records is proud to announce they will be releasing the next Axemen 12″ LP – just as soon as it is recorded! Axemen spokesperson Stevie McCabe, speaking from his beach retreat at Te Puru, Coromandel Peninsula, stated: “Me and the lads are over the moon about the Spacecase deal – we can’t wait to record the new material in Wellington later this month!”

The single will feature new material and the 12″ track-list will be finalised after the recording sessions later on this month (February).

“We’ll be recording in the studio and at a special free live recording party at the Mighty Mighty on Wednesday 27th Feb – we’ll use the best of the best of the recordings and we hope to do some writing as well – all in all its going to be super-intense” enthused McCabe.

newafterThe recordings and gig will feature the same Axemen line-up which toured Australia in December 2011 – Steve McCabe, Dragan Stojanovic, Stu Kawowski and William Daymond.

Arrest made in Wellington punk death case

Reprinted from http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/8066478/Arrest-made-in-Wellington-punk-death-case

olice have arrested a man with the suspected murder of Wellington punk rocker Steve Andrews in London.

Steve Andrews, 46, the flamboyant singer in 1980s and 90s bands Vas Deferens and Flesh D-Vice, was a warm, friendly man who wouldn’t hurt a fly, friends say.

He was celebrating his girlfriend’s birthday in Putney, southwest London, at the weekend when he was involved in an early-morning altercation outside the Duke’s Head pub.

He suffered serious head injuries and died later in hospital.

London Metropolitan Police have confirmed a 28-year-old man from Exeter had handed himself into police early this morning (NZ time) in Exeter, more than 300km away from Putney.

He had been arrested for suspected murder, though no charges were yet laid.

He was yet to be interviewed by police.

Andrews moved to London about a decade ago, where he was said to be “living the dream”, hanging out with the likes of Sex Pistols singer John Lydon and The Clash guitarist Mick Jones.

He was working as a postman, and was due to return to Wellington soon for a reunion with Vas Deferens.

Friend Nick Farrance said that, although Andrews’ public persona was quintessential rock ‘n’ roll, he was more than that. When he visited him in London recently, Andrews took him to the Tate Modern to see his favourite Picassos.

Old friend Howard Levarko described Andrews as a “diamond geezer”.

He met him in the mid-80s when they were both part of the Wellington punk scene, and said Andrews was friends with everyone.

Childhood friend Drew Aitchison said details of the attack were sketchy but Andrews was never violent. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Wellington identity Rufus Dayglo remembered his first meeting with Andrews in Wellington: “He approached me, and gave me a flier . . . ‘You like punk eh? Come see these guys, they’re the best punk band in Welly!’

“So I turn up to the gig . . . and it’s him . . . on stage. Steve Andrews . . . one of a f…in’ kind.”

‘A REAL PEACOCK’

Dragan Stojanovic, Vas Deferens: Steve had a real sense of showmanship. He was an actor as well, and he had a really good sense of humour. He was a real peacock. Clothes were his thing. He was gentle and peaceful and generous to a fault. He knew heaps of people. If we were walking down Cuba St to Manners Mall it would take us over an hour, he would always say hello to everyone.

Gareth Smith, Vas Deferens: Steve wouldn’t hurt anyone. His look was all theatrical – he was Jack Sparrow before Jack Sparrow. When you think of Keith Richards and Johnny Lydon, Steve was those guys combined.

Wellington punk rocker dies in London by TOM HUNT AND SOPHIE SPEER

Reprinted from: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/8063235/Wellington-punk-rocker-dies-in-London

Steve Andrews, John Lydon
L-R: Steve Andrews, John Lydon 

London police have launched a murder investigation following the death of a Wellington punk proponent after an early morning assault.

Steve Andrews, 46, was a key figure in Wellington’s early punk scene but had been living in London for about a decade.

It is understood he had been out celebrating his girlfriend’s birthday on Saturday night in Putney, southwest London.

Steve Andrews
Vas Deferens on the Luger Lager in 1991

Steve Andrews Steve Andrews Steve Andrews Steve Andrews Steve Andrews

London Metropolitan Police confirmed a murder investigation had been launched.

While police believe they know the identity, he still has to be formally identified.

Next of kin were aware, police said.

Police were called to a fight near the Duke’s Head pub on Lower Richmond Rd at 12.30am on Sunday (UK time).

He was  taken to a south London hospital suffering serious head injuries and pronounced dead at 6pm on Sunday.

No arrests had yet been made.

Friend Nick Farrance had visited Andrews in London two months ago.

Andrews took Mr Farrance to the Tate Modern in London, and would often post photos of European castles on Facebook.

He had worked as a postman since getting to London about a decade ago.

He was due to return to New Zealand for a reunion tour with his Wellington band Vas Deferens.

Old friend Howard Levarko described Andrews as a “diamond geezer”.

“I can’t picture a world without Steve Andrews. He was a character. He was just a legend.”

He met him in the mid 1980s when they were both part of the Wellington punk scene, and said Andrews was friends with everyone.

“Everybody loved Steve. He would walk up to a complete stranger and talk to them. He was known by a hell of a lot of people.

“It’s hitting us pretty bloody badly.”

In the last few days, Andrews had posted photographs of himself on Facebook with British punk legend Mick Jones from The Clash.

Mr Levarko said that was testament to the way Andrews lived his life, and his friendly nature.

“He’s living the dream. He went up to these people and they seemed to warm to him.”

Childhood friend Drew Aitchison said details of the attack were sketchy but Andrews was never violent himself.

“He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Friends were “gobsmacked” by news of his death.

Following news of his death, Andrews’ Facebook page has become a tribute page.

Tom Larkin, from Shihad, wrote: “I’ll never forget you jumping on our table at midnight espresso at 4 in the afternoon and screaming a song to me and Sarah Stewart, freaking the shit out of every uni student in the whole place – I will miss you bud. RIP x.”

Darryl Ward described Andrews as “one of the most decent blokes I have ever known”.

A STREET LEVEL STAR

Andrews was the frontman for Wellington punk band Vas Deferens, which friends remembered as a raucous good-time live act that played around the capital throughout the nineties.

Dozens of heartfelt messages and reminiscences of Andrew’s larrakin presence on the Wellington music scene have been posted on Facebook since news of his death.

‘‘I hope you’re in your idea of heaven taking your place among the rock gods and goddesses. Gone way too soon, and senselessly. Prayers and deep condolences to Steve’s family, and friends near and far. RIP with the angels, sweetie XXX,’’ wrote Teuila Grace Tualaulelei on Andrews’ personal Facebook page.

Some who didn’t know Andrews personally remembered him as a fixture in Wellington’s Bohemian quarter, where he was often seen riding his BMX with his hair piled high, clad in denim jacket and brothel creeper shoes.

‘‘I remember just before I moved into town, he was one of the first cats I noticed, (just a wee wannabe i was) an dare i say, aspired to. RIP Steve. I never knew u very well, but will always will remember who you were, around the streets of our Punk City!!!!’’ Kevin Lapslie wrote on the Wellington Up the Punks fan page.

Rufus Dayglo wrote on Andrews’ personal Facebook page: ‘‘When I first met Steve…I was new in Wellington, He approached me, and gave me a flyer…. “You like Punk eh? Come see these guys, they’re the best punk band in Welly!”..So I turn up to the gig…and it’s him..on stage….Vas Deferens. Steve Andrews…One of a f**kin’ kind.’’

Friends said there was a real gentleman behind the larger-than-life persona.

‘‘Steve was a diamond geezer who will be remembered by many of the Wellington old guard. RIP Steve – very sad,’’ wrote Kapiti guitar-maker Dave Berry.

Photos of Andrews, almost always his punk rocker finery, were shared around Facebook by mourning friends. Band photos from the 90s emerged as well as a picture of him with Sex Pistols singer John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten.

‘‘Out of all the nameless fans that Lydon has met over the years I’ll bet he remembers Steve,’’ wrote Berry.

Introducing William ‘a girls best friend’ Daymond

A girls best friendIn the wake of the departure of Bob Brannigan and Mick Elborado’s increasingly angry instability the remaining Axemen  would like to introduce the new beacon of rock’n’roll ardour, the hope of  Axemen Generation Y, the bass-bone connected to the backbone, the rhythm king, a girls best friend… William Daymond.

Born in 1984, Daymond injects the vigour of youth into the unit and his infectious enthusiasm has infused the band with a new surge of energy – and ladies, believe me, the surge is working!

Well known as much for his extensive musical knowledge as for his work with The Pickups, Green Eyed Owl , Cougar Cougar Cougar, The Flying Sorcerers, The Steffan van Soest Hit Machine, Terror of the Deep (amongst others) , Daymond  adds his versatility and another layer of complexity to the steaming porridge that is the Axemen class of 2011.

Welcome Aboard!

by Amebic Sec Vet