Skip to main content


Vinyl Vault – “NZ Music”

By Audio, Music, Vinyl
Weird Culture - Weird Custom (1986)

Weird Culture – Weird Custom: National Student Radio com­pil­a­tion LP (1986)

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).

Read More

Back to the vinyl vault - Z.Z. Hill

By Audio, Music, Vinyl

The first of my vinyl memor­ies posts caused a tiny flurry of excite­ment so I thought I’d make it a weekly affair – as I go through the col­lec­tion decid­ing what to keep and what to flip. (Spoiler Alert: All of it!)

Back in 1983 I was lov­ing music – pretty much all of it – but I was going through a pretty enthu­si­ast­ic Northern soul phase. Thanks to a series of Kent/Modern com­pil­a­tions put out by British enthu­si­asts I was hear­ing all sorts of stir­ring stuff. I even thought for a while I might try and col­lect the whole set.

Read More

Vinyl memories

By Audio, Music, Vinyl

I’ve been cart­ing around boxes of vinyl records from flat to flat and house to house since I was a kid. Lots of my records were bought from the plen­ti­ful record stores around the East End of London where I grew up and there­fore car­ried half way around the world when we emig­rated to New Zealand in 1986.

Recently I found myself think­ing that it might be time to finally flick these things on – they take up space on shelves and the turntable nev­er gets used. I’ve become used to lying on the couch lazily choos­ing music from my entire col­lec­tion using an iPhone as a remote con­trol. Yup, I thought – time to de-clutter a bit. But me being me, I could­n’t just take them off to a record store or thrift shop – I had to give them one last listen first.

Big mis­take. They actu­ally soun­ded quite good and I found all those memor­ies flood­ing back – flip­ping through record bins in High Street record shops, or queuing up out­side before they opened to get a highly prized new release. Stuff I haven’t done for a long time.

Read More

Review: The Lloyd Cole Small Ensemble at the Paramount

By Music, Reviews

Lloyd Cole tour poster

Lloyd Cole came to town on Monday night and played some Lloyd Cole songs. With two excel­lent musi­cians (Americans Matt Cullen and Mark Schwaber) by his side, Cole gave us a few stripped down ver­sions of his 80s hits but the focus was on more recent mater­i­al, heav­ily skewed towards his latest album, Broken Record. The res­ult was more like a recit­al for plucked string instru­ments (music stands even) than a tra­di­tion­al gig.

I’d heard that Cole was a funny guy and so it proved – dry, wry and self-deprecating – but the voice is bet­ter than ever and the song­writ­ing chops are still in evid­ence, swap­ping youth­ful yearn­ing for more adult regrets.

Despite his amus­ing prot­est­a­tions to the con­trary, he has always dealt in angst. He’s a troubadour, spe­cial­ising in that awk­ward moment between real­ising a rela­tion­ship is doomed and, you know, it actu­ally being over.

The Paramount remains a lovely ven­ue for this sort of grown-up show but would it really kill them to hide the big lad­der in the wings or build the artist a small stage?

If “My Bag” was your bag you should check out Cole next time he comes to town.

Printed in Wellington’s Capital Times on Wednesday 9 February, 2011