In Love With Those Times: Flying Nun and the Dunedin Sound

By: Dave McGonigle

Posted 04/11/2005 - 10:10:18 PM by johnmav:
 I am really looking forward to reading this... there's so much brilliance to cover... The Chills ("Brave Words," "Submarine Bells," "Soft Bomb"), The Clean ("Modern Rock" and "Unknown Country" plus a lot of earlier stuff... "Compilation"), Straightjacket Fits ("Hail," "Melt," and "Blow."), Able Tasmans ("Hey Spinner," "Somebody Ate My Planet" and the amazing "Songs from the Departure Lounge") .... simply brilliant bands... If you're new to this label...pick up any of the above mentioned titles... you won't be sorry...
Posted 04/11/2005 - 10:36:41 PM by :
 Dunedin`s downtown is literally that, a point at which all the rainwater of the surrounding hills and valleys, must ring tinnily beneath, via the echoes of gutters and drains, into a wash of harbour. There are so many shadows cast on a Dunedin day, they run like dirty watercolour, painting the main thoroughfare charcoal grey. The steep streets are jagged streaks down a windowpane. It`s not always raining, but when it does, people whinge & music gets made. This is how I imagine the Dunedin sound.
Posted 04/12/2005 - 05:21:09 PM by thickfog:
 Erm, Heavenly Creatures definitely wasn't "...Peter Jackson's first film". If you haven't seen "Bad Taste" you're missing out! Legendary DIY style on a par with early flying nun recordings.
Posted 04/12/2005 - 05:30:43 PM by MacGee:
 Good point, thickfog. I think I meant that it was his first *mainstream* film. Having said that, I prefer 'Braindead' put a whole new spin on lawnmowers for me...
Posted 04/12/2005 - 06:20:57 PM by The_Ledge:
 Thanks for this excellent piece. I picked up a copy of In Love With These Times for 99p in HMV in 1991. I was already a big fan of The Chills but I was blown away by the quality of the other stuff on the compilation. This inspired a trip to NZ in 1994 from which I returned with about 25 CD's and an intimate knowledge of most of the underground record shops in the country. Everyone should own at least one FN compilation.
Posted 04/12/2005 - 09:45:45 PM by :
 Yes, a comprehensive write-up. Adding to johnmay`s batch... Snapper`s Buddy ep, The Verlaines (Juvenilia, Hallelujah, Bird Dog et al.) & absolutely everything by the 3Ds!!! PS. try `AuCkland`
Posted 04/12/2005 - 10:06:11 PM by johnmav:
 as a correction to my above list... I meant Able Tasmans' "Store In A Cool Place" album... a truly beautiful album and a deserving finale for such a remarkable band... ...although... having said all that... If you've never heard them before, "Songs From The Departure Lounge" is a helluva introduction / compilation... On another point... Two songs that perfectly encapsulated what Flying Nun were all about: "Pink Frost" & "I Love My Leather Jacket" both by The Chills... the band that lead me to Flying Nun...
Posted 04/13/2005 - 12:06:01 AM by fraew001:
 can i point you guys at my website? oh and lets not forget the christchurch bands from the same era - the vacuum, bill direen, drowning is easy, terminals, renderers, scorched earth policy, pin group, the shallows, roy montgomery etc...
Posted 04/13/2005 - 12:51:15 PM by fygmynt:
 GREAT stuff so far. i discovered the dunedin scene through merge's fantastic clean anthology, and it was just about all i listened to for 5 or 6 months. hopefully, the verlaines recent best-of compilation, "you're just too obscure for me" will soon be available in the states. i bought from the excellent NZ online record store,, and it's a must-have for those unfamiliar with the band's music. also, i haven't heard anybody mention the bats yet. THE BATS!! "daddy's highway" is probably my favorite kiwi LP, period. and let's not forget split of the most bizarre and wonderful "commercial" rock bands in the history of the world.
Posted 04/13/2005 - 07:27:34 PM by glenno1:
 All Flying Nun fans should get hold of the book "Positively George Street" by Matthew Bannister, ex-Sneaky Feelings (warning to Chris Knox fans - he doesn't come out very well)
Posted 04/14/2005 - 01:29:49 AM by fraew001:
 well bannister's book is a decent read.. its a bit wrong in places though... i recommend 'have you checked the children?' a book based around the NZ punk explosion written by george 'wade' churton, plus 'stranded in paradise', which is a bit dated now, but was _the_ book on the history of nz pop and rock when it was released in the late 80s. there hasn't really been a book yet that's totally covered the flying nun / nz underground scene in full...
Posted 04/14/2005 - 01:51:22 AM by :
 Hmm, true, there ain`t much choice of books on FN/Dunedin Scene per se, but +vely George St is a painful read. Bannister spends pages intellectuallising and poetically analysing his own & his band`s songs. He`s essentially trying to right what he sees as the historical injustice done to his band, by framing the Sneaky Feelings story within the wider context of FN. That would be all well and good if his tone wasn`t so damn umbrageous and bruised. Unfortunately it doesn`t work as purposefully bitchy mini-soap either & there`s never a trace of irony. I gave up after two-thirds of it & I had a huge interest in the subject matter. You`d be much better to buy the Sneaky Feelings CD of the same name, if this band interests you.
Posted 05/04/2005 - 06:15:41 PM by EJRecords:
 An article on Dunedin and the only mention of Alastair Galbraith is misinformation? (Alister Parker was the singer/guitarist in The Gordons, not Galbraith). Harsh!
Posted 05/05/2005 - 03:19:55 PM by MacGee:
 EJ, thanks for spotting that mistake. But Galbraith isn't there for a number of reasons: one, the narrative of this piece deals with events from the birth of Toy Love to the (first) death of The Clean, ending in 1982. The Rip, Galbraith's first band, didn't release anything on FN until 1984 (the 'Timeless Piece' EP). Secondly, *none* of his solo stuff is on FN. Thirdly, I've completely neglected the experimental side of NZ music by focusing on FN and not discussing Xpressway (amongst others) - which is a necessary compromise in a piece that's already rather long.