Weird Culture – Weird Custom (1986) was, as far as I know, the first record release co-ordinated by the entire New Zealand student radio network. There were twelve tracks on the album, two chosen by each of the six member stations. Radio Active selected the two to represent Wellington: cow-punk combo the Crawbilly Creeps with “A Day in Lucky Gulch” and feminist-folkies Putty in Her Hands gave us “NZ Music” which became an instant favorite and was oft-requested for a long time afterwards.
Putty in Her Hands were a duo consisting of Charlotte Yates and Christine Jeffs. Yates continues to write and record, continuing to release solo records and also putting together the acclaimed compilations of NZ poetry set to music, Baxter (2000), Tuwhare (2008) and Ihimaera (2011).
After the only official Putty in Her Hands release (trick of the Light in 1987) Jeffs took a different turn and became a filmmaker. Her first feature film, Rain in 2001, received tremendous acclaim and led to the Hollywood financed pictures Sylvia (2003) and Sunshine Cleaning (2008).
Have a listen to “NZ Music” here. It’s quite lovely.[audio:https://funeralsandsnakes.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/03‑N.Z.-Music.mp3|titles=Putty in Her Hands “NZ Music” (1986)]
Other notables on Weird Culture – Weird Custom were Jean-Paul Sartre Experience with the very poppy “Let That Good Thing Grow” but my favorite track (other than Putty) was “Happy” by 3 Leaning Men from Palmerston North, a band which featured Alan Gregg who later joined The Mutton Birds. According to Wikipedia, “Another member of the group, Rhys Bevan, moved to the South Island of New Zealand and began a career as a baker.”[audio:https://funeralsandsnakes.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/09-Happy.mp3|titles=3 Leaning Men “Happy” (1986)]
3 Leaning Men was also notable for the first recordings of Greg Malcolm:
Nigel Corbett – Jeremy’s brother, played drums.
Nice to see discussion of Putty – they were an amazing act.