A seminal Flying Nun band, The Verlaines were formed by Graeme Downes in 1981. In the band’s early years Downes was studying classical music at Otago University, and his song-writing combined rock influences with his classical background. These days Downes has a PhD and lectures at Otago. As with many Flying Nun bands of the era, The Verlaines have had international recognition for their work, including Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus covering their classic single ‘Death and the Maiden’. The band’s latest release is 2009 album Corporate Moronic.