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Hero image for Alastair Riddell - Give It A Whirl Interview

Alastair Riddell - Give It A Whirl Interview

Interview – 2023

In 1974 singer/songwriter Alastair Riddell's breathy vocals and androgynous allure beamed into staid Kiwi lounges, scandalising older New Zealanders and thrilling a younger generation. Off the back of that talent show appearance Space Waltz's stomping, glam single 'Out On The Street' stormed to number one.

In this extended interview recorded for 2003 TV series Give It A Whirl, Riddell covered many topics, including:

  • Being the youngest punter at Auckland nightclub The Galaxie (3 minutes in)
  • His first band and first paid gig, at Titirangi Tennis Club (almost 6 minutes in)
  • The influence of David Bowie, as well as prog rock bands Yes and Roxy Music (12 minutes)
  • Playing in covers band Stewart And the Belmonts with Split Enz keyboardist Eddie Rayner (22 minutes)
  • Getting a call from future manager Lew Pryme after Space Waltz's trailblazing TV debut (27 minutes)
  • His disappointment with EMI and the demise of Space Waltz in Australia (48 minutes)
  • The "buzz" he got from collaborating with Dalvanius on 1983 hit 'Poi E' (56 minutes)

Read more about Alastair Riddell, on AudioCulture (NZ On Screen's sister website)

This interview was recorded for the 2003 season of TV series Give it a Whirl. All audiovisual content is copyright to Visionary Film & TV, and may not be reproduced.
People say I copy David Bowie but I have a Bowie style voice, and it's actually hard to get away from that, you know.
– Alastair Riddell on comparisons between him and the Thin White Duke, near the close of this interview