Being a bit too young to have caught them at the time, I’d often heard that Straitjacket Fits live beat the hell out of their recorded stuff. That always struck me as a pretty big call, given how good their catalogue sounds. But, wow, That Video!
Absolutely phenomenal live band on a good night. I saw them umpteen times from just before their landmark first ep came out to the above-mentioned BDO finale. A couple of times they played a shocker, but generally they really could rip your head off.
As for their recordings, the albums certainly have their moments, but they also lack the sizzle they had live - and I've seen / heard plenty of Shayne Carter interviews in which he says much the same.
It always puzzled me why they simply didn't do what several of their contemporaries to very good effect and simply go into Writhe Recordings in Wellington with Brent McLaughlin as engineer, rather than faffing around in pricey, flash studios in Auckland or LA and coming out none the better.
The Straitjacket Fits and Thundercub clips are not only both great rockin' pieces, but also one hell of an object lesson in how much video technology has progressed.
Oops ! Sorry David, shouldn't have assumed it was a leather jacket. Also, I'm clearing getting confused with some other clip that I'd heard was filmed on the Close To Home set.
Great story, you young punks must've been pinching yourself about getting to see the Igster in action.
Just remembered: David said it was filmed on the set of late '70s - early '80s NZ soap (!) Close To Home at TVNZ's Avalon studio. David's the young guy in glasses wearing the leather jacket in the background, btw.
If anyone can identify the venue, I’d love to know where it is.
I've exchanged a few e-mails now and again with a bloke called David MacLennan who was a scenester on the Wellington punk / post punk scene and he was there, so I'll see if he can elaborate on this.
The NZ charts weren’t quite so flash – top 10 songs of the year:
So what ? That doesn't negate the fact that there was a plethora of innovative, cutting edge music being made here in NZ, US, Britain and elsewhere. The charts have always been about commerce, not art.
I heard BW was a riot.
No surplus, Sky City asking "Please sir, can I have some more?" and Mike Sabin being investigated on assault allegations. Hmmm, must be Christmas, time to dump the bad news, it'd seem.
Joyce has handled this "unbelievably incompetently over the past few days" Hooten has just said on RNZ Nat.
"Absolute buffoonery, these people are muppets" - Hooten again.
The best non-fiction I've read this year was Robert Hilburn's magisterial Johnny Cash - A Life. Even if you're not a fan of his actual music, it's a cracking, superbly-written story. A fascinating, warts 'n' all insight to one of the giants of 20th C music and American culture.
Antony Beevor's Stalingrad was gripping. I just assumed it'd be an interesting, but basically prosaic recounting of the facts. Instead, after a few pages, it became clear it was a lot better than that.
It really got inside the character and psychology of the Russian and German armies and, especially, their commanders. It clearly and succinctly outlined the appalling conditions and brutality but without being merely gratuitous. Great read.
On a lighter note, Harry Ricketts' How To Watch A Cricket Match was plenty of fun. His enthusiasm was a pleasure to follow and the anecdotes were always entertaining.