Hard News by Russell Brown

38

Flying Nun: Thirtysomething

The 30th anniversary of Flying Nun Records, being celebrated this month with a series of shows and a really very tasty "30 Year Ale" made by Epic, finds the label where it began its long, strange journey: back in indie-label land and principally owned by founder Roger Shepherd.

There's one big difference, of course. Flying Nun now has 30 years' worth of back catalogue to show off. That catalogue is excerpted and presented in Flying Nun's Greatest Bits, a two-CD compilation that begins with The Clean's 'Tally Ho!' and concludes with recent signing F in Math's 'Don't Look Down'.

It's out on Monday, and you can see the full track listing here and stream the whole thing via the Herald online's Entertainment section here.

And here? Well, you can win one of the three copies I've got to give away.

It's my strong inclination to make it a competition rather than a mere giveaway. But I'm aware that we've kind of done that before, with the Flying Nun box set released for the 25th anniversary, shortly after Warner Music took possession of the label (and shortly before it adopted a policy of ignoring its catalogue and letting the brand decay). Back then, it was a Flying Nun Moments competition, in which the best of the stories were truly excellent, and Manakura's winning entry was for the ages:

Sneaking a copy of The Skeptics ‘AFFCO’ music vid into a conference presentation organised and attended by meat industry bigwigs. A small revenge for making half my whanau redundant in 1986 at Whakatu, and the other half redundant in ’94 at Tomoana. It was 1996, so I must’ve been about 15 I think.

Around the same time, I also republished the Rip It Up story I wrote from an interview conducted with the Doublehappys' Wayne Elsey just before he was tragically killed in a train accident, and my rather florid account of touring Europe with The Chills in 1987. There has also been the likes of Graeme Downes' appreciation of The Clean's Boodle Boodle Boodle, Singing G Against the E Chord.

So I'm inclined to throw the brief open: just write what you like. About the track  listing of the compilation, this month's shows, gigs of the past, Flying Nun's future, whatever. I'll pick the best in a few days' time and get your CDs out to you. Have fun.

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