Every Day In May – Day 23: More Thrilling New From 1981!

The idea? Every day in May, to mark NZ Music Month and 38 years of his own rancid opining and reportage, Gary Steel will present something from his considerable behind. Personal archive, that is. In 1981 I was to be found weekly in Wellington’s Evening Post reporting on the latest Kiwi pop news in a column called, um, Counting The Beat. Here’s the fourth (and mercifully final) instalment.

Blam Blam Blam with Dick Driver
Blam Blam Blam with Dick Driver

TASTE OF BOUNTY’S debut single will be released in early November. Titles are ‘Sunshine Lover’ and ‘South Island’, written by Roy and Tai Fuiomaono respectively. The band is readying new material for its summer gig schedule which will include a national tour to coincide with an appearance at the Sweetwaters festival.

Sweetwaters, which is currently subject to the usual speculation as to the lineup, is confirmed for January 30, 31 and February 1, 1982. Two local bands that have been given top slots at the festival are Blam Blam Blam and the Screaming Meemees, no doubt in large part due to their success these past months.

Shock of the month is that Dick Driver, formerly of Pop Mechanix, has joined the three-piece Blam Blam Blam. Blam Blam Blam are all foundation members of the Whizzkids, the band that Andrew MacLennan left to join Pop Mechanix when Driver left the steering wheel!

modal_A1176More on Blam Blam Blam and brother band the Screaming Meemees: both have new singles out within a month, the Blam’s example going by the rather extravagant title of ‘Don’t Fight It (Marsha) It’s Bigger Than Both Of Us’. Both bands will have albums out in the new year and their previous singles are being released in Australia. The Blam’s Australian release is a mini-album comprising both their 4-track EP and their recent release, ‘No Depression’/’Gotta Be Guilty’.

The Valentinos bring to a respectable number the amount of 30cm singles released by New Zealand bands. Their debut on RTC couples ‘Mad Mary’ with ‘Looking At You’ and ‘Don’t Let Go’ and was recorded at Harlequin Studio.

The Androidss, famed for their brash, over-the-top burlesque pumping punk bashes, debut through Ripper Records with ‘Getting Jumpy’ and ‘Auckland Tonight’.

rip20Former New Zealand computer boys Mi-sex are due to give birth to their third album Shanghaid in November. More new products include an album by Graeme Gash (formerly of mellow folk-rock band Waves), R’n’B band The Furys’ Race Record EP, and a 30cm vinyl slice from Auckland new wavers Danse Macabre.

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3 November 1981

The Spaces LabelCHRISTCHURCH BAND THE Spaces is touring the North Island to promote its second CBS single ‘Got Me At A Disadvantage’. The group will pay The Terminus next Monday and Tuesday. Not an original band, perhaps, but it has a reputation for energetic live shows that boast the added novelty of Don Ray’s electric bassoon. ‘Got Me At A Disadvantage’ shot to Number 21 on the national charts this week.

Christchurch musicians seem to be the only ones taking the initiative of do-it-yourself operations and coming out the stronger for it. The wall-of-noise Gordons have recorded their long-due debut album in Harlequin Studios in Auckland but it will not see the light of day until the band can raise sufficient funds to buy the tapes back off the studio. This will be the first Gordons product since the ‘Future Shock’ EP released more than a year ago and recently marketed by the group in Australia.

Also out of Christchurch: Pedestrians release a single called ‘Sunday Papers’, schoolboys Ballon Dessai prepare release of their debut EP with a free comic on Flying Nun Records, and Art Decade record an LP.

Down the island even further, we find The Clean in Dunedin waiting for release of their second record, an EP, and getting ready to tour next week.

Wellington is on the touring schedule this time.

Ballon D'Essai at Star and GarterThe Danse Macabre 30cm single due out on Reaction through Polygram is garnering rave reaction for its supposed high quality production. As we all know, NZers have had to put up with gutless wonders in the production department for too long. So we’ll be looking forward to those sonic booms! GARY STEEL

Notes: Taste Of Bounty? The Spaces? The Valentinos? Who? I guess it’s nature’s way to erase all memory of ordinary bands. I certainly can’t remember what any of them were like. I’d forgotten that ‘news’ about Dick Driver joining Blam Blam Blam. Did it actually happen? And just imagine if the Gordons had never been able to raise the cash to get the tapes of their debut album? What a tragedy it would have been had that classic album never seen the light of day!

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