In 2006, Th’ Dudes reformed after 26 years. This documentary follows them on a national tour as members Peter Urlich, Dave Dobbyn, Ian Morris, Lez White and Bruce Hambling reflect on their former lives as late 70s pop stars. Encouraged to behave like stars, they didn’t disappoint. There are frank discussions about sex, drugs, an obscene t-shirt, on-stage nudity and other bad behaviour — but also the stories behind classic songs like ‘Bliss’, ‘Right First Time’ and ‘Be Mine Tonight’, which still captivate adoring, if aging, audiences a quarter of a century later.
Th’ Dudes formed in 1976 — around a nucleus of Peter Urlich, Dave Dobbyn and Ian Morris (later Tex Pistol) — all fresh out of Auckland’s Sacred Heart College. Propelled by the accomplished songwriting of Dobbyn and Morris, Th’ Dudes followed in the footsteps of Hello Sailor and helped Kiwi rock’n’roll shake off its mid-70s lethargy. The band released two albums and a number of classic singles — including ‘Be Mine Tonight’, ‘Right First Time’ and ‘Bliss’. Baulking at the grind needed to make an impact in Australia, Th' Dudes split in 1980. In 2006 they reunited for a tour, and documentary Th' Dudes - Right Second Time.
The holiday season: time to let your hair down, have a swim, give in to your appetite...and have a boogie. From '10 Guitars' to 'Trippin', let NZ On Screen supply the music, with this Top 10 countdown of classic Kiwi party songs. In the backgrounder, former NZ On Screen Content Director Irene Gardiner talks 10 legendary tracks — plus some runners-up.
This slow-burning Ian Morris/Dave Dobbyn song was the B-side of Th’Dudes first single ‘Be Mine Tonight’. Music videos for both songs were shot in a day at TVNZ’s Christchurch studios, in the era before the music video boom – back when, as Dave Dobbyn puts it, “the state made your videos”. A relatively straightforward performance piece, with some outsized masks for visual relief, it has the band largely entering into the spirit of things — with the exception of Dobbyn who shows up at one point with a strange spot on his forehead, before managing a manic stare.
After three years of playing live, the first single from Th’ Dudes was this classic, chiming piece of pop written by Dave Dobbyn. The video was made at TVNZ’s Manchester St Studios in Christchurch. With Dobbyn taking lead vocal, there was no onstage role for Peter Urlich — so he sits at a table in the foreground of the empty nightclub set. Assistant floor manager Peter Bain-Hogg plucked a passerby off the street to play the waitress. The song would become an enduring Kiwi classic — three decades later, it closed out the final episode of Outrageous Fortune.
With a chorus to do any football terrace proud, the final single from Th’ Dudes (featuring Dave Dobbyn, Peter Urlich and Ian Morris) has become one of the great Kiwi drinking songs — though it was written in Sydney to parody hard-drinking pub crowds, and the lyrics namecheck local landmarks (The Coogee, The Cross) and luxuries unavailable back in NZ (Spanish shoes, falafel). The video, shot in the booze-barn like Cricketers’ Arms in Wellington, captures the raw essence of the song as it showcases the excitement of the band’s live show, and offers a snapshot of bar culture in early 80s New Zealand.
This episode of C4's music series Homegrown Profiles looks at the 30 year career of singer/songwriter Dave Dobbyn, whose songs are mainstays of the Aotearoa soundscape. Dobbyn talks about nerve-wracking early days with th' Dudes, where the name for band DD Smash originated, and his long solo career. In a wide-ranging and thoughtful interview, Dobbyn discusses the highs and lows of a life in music, including the mayhem and causes of the 1984 Aotea Square riot, being told his best album was unreleasable, and the satisfaction of writing the Footrot Flats soundtrack.
Brothers Francis, Laughton, Stuart and Brad Kora formed Kora in 2002, with "token white dude" Dan McGruer. Originally from Whakatane, some of the Koras had played with high school band Aunty Beatrice, which won Rockquest in 1991. Melding reggae, rock, dub, roots, funk and vocal harmonies, Kora released an EP in 2004. Their self-titled debut album entered the charts at number 1 in 2007; 2012's Light Years won acclaim. UK electronic act Cabaret Voltaire released an EP of remixes. Brad and Laughton left Kora in 2013, and formed L.A.B; later Laughton joined Kinetic. Francis also sings in the Modern Māori Quartet.
The search for a NZ Spice Girls is underway in the first episode of this pioneering reality series. Manager Peter Urlich (formerly of Th' Dudes) and record company executive Mark Tierney (ex-Strawpeople) hold public auditions to find the all-girl pop group for their record deal and TV series. The good, the bad and the unfortunate are out in full force. Nearly all of the candidates are happy to proclaim their self-belief and desire for stardom, and to be subjected to the exhaustive selection process that could result in them becoming instant celebrities.
The video for Tex Pistol's chart-topping, electro-pop tinged remake of 'The Game of Love' is a stylish triumph for budding teenage director Paul Middleditch - and one of the high points of New Zealand music video making in the 1980s. Tex Pistol, aka former member of Th'Dudes Ian Morris, is dressed in black and white with silver tipped cowboy boots and big red semi-acoustic guitar; while the soundstage, covered in a sheen of water, and blacked out except for a handful of spotlights, is all reflective surfaces for Morris and backing vocalist Callie Blood.