Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Terminals - Subway 09.04.88

The Terminals

Here be another of James Greig's live recordings from back in the good old days. 
I remember tying my horse up outside this bar, kicking in the saloon doors, Smith & Wesson in both hands, ready for the usual showdown before I could get to the bar for my usual whisky bottle. 
The coffin maker was always hangin round outside rubbing his hands...
Oh hang on, shit... hang on, that was a Clint Eastwood film. 
I will hand you over to James now... 
He has a more reliable brain.

Terminals. Subway, 1988

James Greig   3:46 a.m.

Terminals were part of an event where I saw the first three Flying Nun bands I'd ever seen live. Flying Nun Xmas party, hosted by Maryrose Crook (in 'The Max Block' at that point, pre -'Renderers') above an auto parts joint in Oxford Terrace, Christchurch, probably 1987.
I was 17 and didn't understand the way things worked at all, to the point where, I was offered a toke of the ol' Mary Jane and I asked what it was. Dick. Glad I declined, because I had to drive anyway.
Terminals were something. It was before their first release, the 'Disconnect' EP came out.
Stephen Cogle's pipes got to me especially. That warble was/is the sound of the three tenors being forced to dry dock a ship by themselves.
This thing Rob's put up is a recording of a gig they did a year or so later at The Subway,1988.
Recorded on the Walkman again, which I lost when my car got nicked one night. The filth found the stolen vehicle, but, unfortunately, the walkman was gone, as were the doors to the car.
Why the doors?! No wonder...... I'm not really a big Doors fan :)
I was more upset about the walkman than the car, vastly unlike my father. But then his idea of music is a dinner party, with the 'Cats' soundtrack on the stereo, and the stereo turned off.
Anyway, I bet those fuckers who nicked my car used the walkman for nothing more than farting into it and hearing it back (the pricks) if they could even work out how to do that, before selling it to a pawn shop.
Terminals this night at The Subway were a joy to see. Kind of a different band back then, but the same ethos. Ross Humpheries was still there, in the days before Brian Crook showed up and gave the sun the blisters it deserves.
To Rob, this sounds like a sedate version of the band. Listening to this again my memory doesn't suggest that. They just became dirtier and more intense when the line up changed. There has always been a dark and forboding beauty about them, which I cherish. You could call some of these pieces great 'pop' songs, often buried beneath hunger, anger, worry and misplaced love.
So enjoy this for what it is; a recording made at a time when some bands in the lower half of the south island of NZ embraced the psychededic and poppy sounds that came out of the '60s and made them their own.

Download: Terminals Live at The NZR Tavern.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Shellac - Live in Auckland, New Zealand 1993

Steve A.  Showing off his Dead Moon apparel.

Ok, stuff is comin in thick and fast now.
Yet another cracker from James Greig's tape collection.
And she's a real banger.....
Covering first album and early 7" material, the set list is a Shellac fan's wet dream.
The recording itself is a little rough round the edges. I tweaked it here and there but left it largely intact as it holds up reasonably well. You can play with the knobs on your amplifier if the EQ is not agreeable. Play away.... I give you free reign.
I wasn't present for this concert but did see Shellac in NZ in Christchurch at the turn of the century (2000AD) at the old Jetset Lounge (Aka The Subway, New Zealander Tavern, etc) with none other than HDU and that was a complete mind-fuck.
It was one of those instances where I'd heard the rumour they were coming to town but refused to believe it. I'd heard these kind of lies before. And besides, my friends like to play tricks on me because I'm really gullible. Then I realised they really were coming to town so I dutifully ran to score a ticket and hey presto, made the gig. Actually James was there too but that was before we knew each other. I think he spat on me because I had long hair. But I'm not one to hold a grudge. I can move on......grow up...... it's just saliva after all. Who gives a monkeys?

So anyway, Shellac are insanely cool. If you don't know anything about them, you should buy the first album and listen to it 1000 times. Then you will understand how this engine works.
Steve is also a sound engineer. He's recorded more bands than Kmart have items for sale.
He carries a lot of weight. He holds the keys.....he unlocks the doors....he has the master tapes...
But not this tape.
We have this tape.
And we will not disclose its location.
But we are willing to bargain.
How about, the entire Shellac collection on vinyl (signed by the band), plus some T-shirts, some post cards, some rare hand screenprinted gig posters from days gone by (framed), access to Electrical Audio 24hrs (free), playing at my wedding, my Mum's 70th birthday and introducing us to your circle of other rock star friends? That sounds fair to me. I will be wearing a suit & holding a briefcase, outside the Corner hotel (you know where it is) next week on tuesday at 3.22pm. Don't be late or the monkey gets it. And as an animal rights spokesperson, I beg you to save that fucking monkey. He's the last of his kind and if he gets it, it's goodbye race of rare monkeys.

Hey do you wanna hear my sound engineer joke? I made it up myself & I'm quite proud of it.

Q: How do you know all sound engineers are child molesters?
A: They like playing with little knobs.

Now come on, that is fucking funny.

Shellac Live in NZ 1993  for the download.....

You won't believe how lucky you are.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Dead C, Alastair Galbraith, Plagal Grind - Live at the New Zealander Tavern 1988

I raided James Greig's tape box recently and found some pure gold. He made some awesome recordings in the late 80's including this one. This tape was probably the best of the bunch though so I had to get it done quickly... gonna hand you over to James now. He has something to say....... Artwork above courtesy of Lynton. Something to throw on your ipod.....


When I was three years old my grandparents took me to some kind of wildlife park in Africa. They duct-taped me to the back of a lion, which I thought was fuckin' bullshit, because I was hangin' to see some bands instead. I sparked up furiously and forced them to take me to see Dead C. and Plagal Grind at the Subway. It took us a while to get there though as my grandparents chose to travel by pedalo (peddle boat, for you non-Mexicans). I was eighteen when finally I arrived. The gramps left me to it and headed back offshore. Luckily (and incredibly) I'd picked up my trusty SONY walkman to record the event on the way through the Galapagos islands. Miracles do happen.

Although I hate the kind of people who say stuff like 'Oh, I saw them before they were popular!'
I'm gonna say: 'I saw them before they were popular. Fuck you'.
There were only 25 to 30 people in the entire bar.

Alastair Galbraith got things going with a solo set that floored me (well, the whole night did).  At one point, halfway though a song, he yelled out 'Its gone out of tune!'. He tuned that fucking guitar up faster than you could speed-read The Hungry Caterpillar! Carried on the song like nothing had happened, and chugged on through his set with astounding beauty.

Next up: Plagal Grind.
Plagal Grind for this concert were: Alastair Galbraith, Peter Jefferies, Robbie Muir and Jono Lonie.
I missed the first night of this extravaganza (they played two shows....I was still in the pedalo at the time...) when some skinheads managed to nick Jono's effects pedals. An employee of the Subway used some kind of muscle and got them back, but not until the end of the weekend, so he didn't get to use them on the night I showed up on the red carpet. Didn't matter - well, it would have to Jono, I'd imagine - but they played a blinder! Not sure if Jono used someone else's pedals for the night, but Alastair's apologies for not sounding the same, due to the theft, were unrequired. I only saw them about three times over their scant existence (once every twenty years) but Alastair's songs augmented with a band... well, you just have to hear them; I can't describe the intensity, but hopefully Rob's upload refects it.

And then Hell comes along.

I CAN, on the other hand, at least TRY to describe Dead C. that night. One word: Fuck.
And I don't mean sex; I mean it in the sweary way..
As much as I'm looking forward to Bob's uploads with this shit, my memory of this night is still insanely present. Much like a when you're a kid and you remember the first time your parents bought you your first island for Christmas.
A band that have NEVER given a shit about what you think of them, they've swayed between 'songs' and pure improvisation for their 30 year tenure. The first time I saw them was at the Old Star in Addington, supporting Bailter Space (I was smuggled in by older types). Bruce Russell had taken me under his wing when I was 16, stuffing vinyl into covers and making coffee at Flying Nun Records after school. Having said that, Dead C scared the shit out of me that night. Bruce's version of 'The Wheel' was harrowing, to say the...but I digress.....
At the Subway they were slightly less nightmare-ish, and certainly more funny, possibly due to the banter between 'songs'. Out of the few people who were present that night there were a few divisive shout outs, but they were (hopefully) yelled in jest. For example, when they finished 'Bad Politics' someone yelled out 'Ah, bullshit!!' Bruce's answer: 'Bitchen', I believe is the expression.'
I still can't really describe Dead C. to anybody, and that's their fault, to be perfectly Francis with you. You'll just have to listen to what Bob's put up on his blog. So I'll address the banter between 'songs'.
Michael: 'This next song is called "Fire".'
Bruce: ' Which is what we'd like to use on the bastards who stole Jono's fuckin' foot pedals last night.'
Audience: 'Gaffaw!'
After another 'song', Dead C style: Bruce: 'From one head-long pop song to another'
Audience: 'More gaffaw than before!'
Before their closing 'song', a version of T Rex's 'Childen of the Revolution' (and I mean a cover version in the loosest possible way):
Alastair: ( from the audience) ' Where's the party?!'
Bruce: (on stage) 'I'd rather have a cup of tea.'
Alastair: 'Well I'd rather have a party, so where is it?!'
It's a great recording. No skill or talent on my part, outside of buying a good recording machine and punching the record button.
Dead C. change all the time, and this recording is just a slice of their life, but it was a very important one for me (slightly reflected in the Into The Void Documentary); you don't need to to 'learn' how to play an instrument, ya just need to plug it in and go for it. If you want to be Eric Clapton, fine. You won't see me at any of your shows though. But I'd still welcome you around for a cup of tea. Unless you're a dick.
By the way: Don't ever write Dead C. without the full stop. Your period could come on when you least expect it.....

James Greig. Dec 2015.

Divided into three downloads:
1. Dead C.
2. Plagal Grind.
3. Alastair Galbraith.