A manufactured group that went on to score acclaim and psychedelic-pop hits, the Avengers were formed to play a residency at a new nightclub in Wellington — their name chosen in a newspaper contest (one of the winners was Dalvanius Prime). They became one of the capital’s most successful 60s acts, with three albums (including the first 'live' LP by a NZ rock band). But a relentless schedule left little time for songwriting; they disbanded in Australia after vocalist Dave Brown was unexpectedly hospitalised for eight weeks.
Emerging on the Flying Nun label in the late 90s, Bressa Creeting Cake was heralded as a young band "brimming with ideas". Their self-titled 1997 debut album - made up of 15 tracks swinging between psychedelic and progressive rock (including single 'Nervous Wreck') received acclaim, but then the trio went their separate ways. Geoff Maddock (then going by the stage name Geoff Creeting) and Joel Wilton, went on to form pop-folk band Goldenhorse alongside Kirsten Morelle. Ed Cake has released a solo album and produced Don McGlashan and The Brunettes.
Complete with go-go dancers and psychedelic swirls, this delightfully campy video from Garageland evokes the style of 60s music shows (eg C’mon) more than the pop-punk and grunge-filled 90s from which it came. The unusually tall aspect ratio may be an allusion to the far less widescreen televisions of the past — a look abandoned in a second music video, made for the same song. The alternative video played with screens in a different way, using the same segmented-frame style that director Gina Birch refined in another Garageland promo, Feel Alright.
The Great Unwashed were an eclectic spin-off of legendary band The Clean. 'Neck of the Woods' comes from the later, louder period of their short existence. The accompanying video has a touch of experimental film to it. Alongside trademark Flying Nun primitive animation, and stand-in guitarist Stuart Page wearing a loopy mask, the lyrical mentions of sun and moon are imbued by psychedelic lightshow effects, ala 2001: A Space Odyssey (although on a somewhat tighter budget). The video was allegedly shot at TVNZ Christchurch’s studios, on the Miss New Zealand set.
An offshoot of legendary Flying Nun band The Clean, The Great Unwashed recorded two psychedelic-pop albums in the early 80s. The first — Clean Out of Our Minds — was recorded in Christchurch by brothers Hamish and David Kilgour in 1983, while they were giving The Clean a rest. By their second recording, the brothers had been joined by Peter Gutteridge (Snapper), who gave the band a harder sound. The Great Unwashed are seen as an important part of Flying Nun heritage, linking from The Clean to the music all three members went on to make.
This 1982 Radio with Pictures report surveys the Dunedin music scene, and the bands who are starting to be grouped together under the label ‘the Dunedin Sound’. Critic Roy Colbert discusses the influence of punk pioneers The Enemy and Toy Love, and the benefits of being outside fashion. A roster of future Flying Nun notables are interviewed, including David Kilgour, Shayne Carter, and Jeff Batts (The Stones). Martin Phillipps is psychedelic, and Chris Knox dissects the new bands’ guitar-playing style (without using the word "jangly"!). And then there’s Mother Goose.
One of NZ’s first psychedelic bands, Auckland act The Hi-Revving Tongues formed in 1967. They had recorded their first single within a week, but had to wait until 1968 for their first hit (with ‘Tropic of Capricorn’, the self-penned title track of their first album). They moved to Australia in 1969 but then had a NZ number one with the uncharacteristically poppy ‘Rain and Tears’ (a Loxene Golden Disc winner that year). Vocalist Chris Parfitt went solo after their appearance at the Redwood 70 festival, and the rest of the band continued as The Tongues.
Swirling smoke, effervescence, distorted angles and overlaid band members emphasise the psychedelic aspects of this track (from JPSE's final album) in this Jonathan Ogilvie-directed clip. Layered guitars and structured drumming push this polished pop song forward. Bassist Dave Yetton pulls out the stops to provide a yearning, confessional lyric.
The NZBC's premier 60s music show was the ultimate pop confection, complete with hip presenter Peter Sinclair, hyperactive go-go dancers, pop art set and breathless pace. In one of two surviving episodes, regulars Mr Lee Grant, Herma Keil and Billy Karaitiana cover the hits of the day, with help from guests The Gremlins (previewing the psychedelic pop of their song 'Blast Off 1970'), 50s rock'n'roll pioneer Bob Paris, and "southern songbird" Bronwyn Neil. The show is rounded out with a medley of nostalgia favourites — including a cameo from Sinclair.
Thanks to You topped the New Zealand music charts three weeks after its release in 1967, and earned Mr Lee Grant the Loxene Golden Disc Award. In this performance on C’mon, introduced by the legendary Peter Sinclair, he performs the hit in a distinctive three piece suit against a changing psychedelic backdrop. Mr Lee Grant’s Kiwi tour was split between shows for his sometimes hysterical teenage fans, and cabaret shows for the adults. The combination made him one of the country’s most popular acts, and saw him named 1967’s Entertainer of the Year at the NEBOA awards.