Flying Nun Moments

  • Russell Brown,

    We've snared a copy of the limited edition Flying Nun 4CD box set and we're giving it to you! Well, one of you - that being the winner of our Flying Nun Moments competition. We're asking you to share your Flying Nun Moment: be it a great gig, a special tune or that time you flatted with Shayne Carter. Be creative. And we'll toss around some Little Brother t-shirts for the runners-up. Because we're like that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

176 Responses

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  • Chris Wilson,

    My favourite Flyin Nun moment happened in Orientation week at Otago University in 1997. King Loser were playing and all of a sudden all the lights went out stage and the Union Hall was in darkness. Sean O'Reilly comes out from stage left, dumps lighter fluid on a cymbal, sets it on fire and starts dancing round the flames. Rock and roll.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 3 posts Report

  • Phil Mackie,

    There have been many over the years, but one of the more memorable was way back near the start of my working life when I had to go to Auckland with a colleague to do a couple of days work, and had 2 nights to spend....


    Last night
    K Road
    His choice

    Goodbye Clean
    Hello Chills
    My choice

    Caught the same show in Wellington at the old Terminus Tavern too. Sublime. Can't remember the name of the Auckland Venue.

    Lyall Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report

  • Richard Wain,

    perhaps my most memorable Flying Nun moments weren't particularly musical except in terms of the personnel involved having musical links, esp. to the Nun (RIP, whatever this thread may otherwise imply!).

    yes, it's that damn football thing (y'know, soccer).

    for example there was the last bFM vs Flying Nun game (Russell Brown was in the b team with me too as I recall, but several of the girls in the squad actually worked harder, especially Renee Jones, formerly of the Nun I think? but now of IMNZ/NZ Musician etc, she was everywhere).
    anyway Shayne Carter, playing for the Nun, got a good ball just outside the six yard box with all the time in the world, picked his target and drilled it past me in the box... but then Renee's boyfriend Phil Armstrong got the ball upfield, spotted big Dylan of Flying Nun off his line in the opposite box and dinked a beautiful floating chip over the flailing custodian and into the net. Draw... Apparently Newsboy and friends were doing a live commentary on bFM on the sideline, never heard it though.

    then there was the final outing of the winter game two seasons ago, when Shayne and I were the sole NZ representatives in a new Latin American side that year - imaginatively called America. we'd clinched the Cup already and needed a win to take out the 3rd Division and win promotion too... the winner was duly delivered by a wonderful late strike from outside the box into the top corner from a top player, Mariano, of Argentina.
    The final whistle blew.
    All the Latinos grabbed each other, cheering and leaping around, the whole bit: whipped their shirts off, whirled them around their heads, took off on a victory lap, chanting and singing.
    Shayne and I stood there, looked at them, then at each other before bursting into laughter and sheepishly walking to the sideline.
    bloody undemonstrative Kiwis eh? somebody taped it, was pretty funny to see the contrast...
    team pic taken shortly afterwards here:

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report

  • Scott Common,

    I've got a couple of flying nun moments which would fit the bill I reckon - but the first one from my memory is probably the best.

    At the time I would have been 18 or 19 (so over a decade ago) and had got myself hooked up with a short lived music magazine which some friends had started up. Already being a bit of a Nun fanboy at the time I was blown away when our editor managed to get me a time to interview Shayne!!

    When we bolled on up to the venue (getting there was another story for another time) we were greeted by a smiling Shayne who suggested we pop outside to do the interview. Not being professionals I'd not organised much in the way of set questions for the interview, but had my trusty tape recorder to hand.

    Shayne proved to be very nice, and he sat in the parking lot with us for over 2 hours talking about stuff - despite my sometimes less than diplomatic questions (which had my editor holding her head in her hands and imagining that we'd never get another interview in our lives) - some examples.

    - I couldn't help noticing Shayne, that as you've moved on from the wash of Melt to a more agressive style of tracks, that your on stage sneer seems to have increased [cue my editor shaking her head frantically at me as I ask this] - is this intentional?

    - Do you get sick of real reporters asking you all the same questions ? Have you ever just wanted to string them along and feed them some bullshit to see how gulliable they are?
    [this provoked much laughter from Mr Carter and a sigh of relief from my editor].

    - I haven't seen you guys play "Such A Daze" live before, why? The answer was a quizical look and Shayne going, actually the new guy doesn't know it, but it's mostly D and G so we could teach him. They then included it in the set list for the night!

    - The track "Done" has some stong links to hip-hop, we're not going to see the 'Fits go all urban and stylish are we?
    [quickly followed up by me trying to scrabble and insinuate that the 'Fits were already stylish and that it's a cool track!]

    There were many other somewhat embarrassing questions that my mind has purged - but Shayne was so damned nice about the entire thing! Needless to say the gig that evening was brilliant, and soon after they played their (at the time) last show at the BDO.

    Within a year of doing this interview I was playing guitar (I use the term "playing" quite fluidly considering my skill at the time) in a band and have been playing in bands ever since.

    I've had plenty of interactions with other Nun bands, I followed JPSE round the country on tour (which creeped them out to start with), spent a fair while drinking and doing Nos with Dave Mitchell before a Chug gig, and have almost been run over by Chris Matthews!

    The Nun have a lot to answer for in my life :-0

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report

  • Joanna,

    I will always have a special place in my heart for the tall skinny doorman at the old Bodega who used to let the 16 year old me in to see the mid-90s wave of Flying Nun like Garageland, Superette and the 3Ds. I was so in awe of their awesomeness that I didn't even take advantage of my settings to get drunk, because I wanted to have all my senses about me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report

  • Daniel Clarke,

    There really was one,
    On Radio With Pictures:
    A nun who could fly!

    Hong Kong • Since Dec 2006 • 1 posts Report

  • Martin Lambert,

    A couple of Nun moments of mine were in London a few years back:

    - seeing Garageland play one of their first gigs of their UK residency period - bloody great show in small venue, mostly Kiwis on their OE (like myself) in the crowd, after the show having a drink at the bar got into conversation with a nice Kiwi gent who turned out to be Roger Shepard (sorry if the spelling is wrong Roger!) and a young lady I thought I recognised - when I asked her who she was it was Denise from the 3Ds! Thought here would be a perfect opportunity to try and get inside the mind of the man when my friend (who'd had a bit to drink!) almost threw herself at Roger's knees thanking him for 'all he'd done for NZ music!' A very embarrassed looking Mr Shepard & Denise soon departed, leaving me to pick my friend up, her apologising all the way home and feeling rather sheepish for her crazed act of devotion!

    - Chris Knox playing in London (in stubbies) complaining that he had come to England to play to English people and what did he get?? A room full of f*ckin' Andrew Fagan (who was there) and his mates!! At same gig including the lyrics "Philip Schofield on a double decker bus!" into a couple of tracks - Schofield was starring in Jason & the AT Dreamcoat at the time, Knox was pointing out that the last time he had seen him had been presenting teens music telly (remember Shazam?) in NZ and the sight of huge images of him on London's public transport was a bit of a shock to the system. All the Kiwis in the crowd were pissing themselves, English girlfriend at the time had no clues...

    North Shore • Since Dec 2006 • 6 posts Report

  • greg jackson,

    Given I was the chemical haze on the offstage mattress at Mollett Street all my memories are hazy.In fact my favourite Nun moment is nicked from my retired punk partner.Sharon .She says that at Canterbury University the prize for deluded ideas went to her fellow studentl, Roger Sheppard, when he announced he was off to start a record label.
    Imagine that, here in Godzone, back when cultural cringe reigned and Muldoons still dragged their knuckles across our tiny national stage.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 1 posts Report

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    Roger's desktop orange... there's a whole story there.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report

  • Greg Wood,

    Since he rang, one ad break into What Now, I'd been waiting for him to turn up. And then, mid afternoon on a South Auckland Sunday sometime in 1986, my sixth-form schoolfriend John appears at the front door, flushed and focused, fresh from Real Groovy with the Holy Grail: the just-released I Love My Leather Jacket; the 12" version as hefty, weighty, and valuable as the subject of the song. He somehow persuaded his mum to let him borrow the Avenger, and on his two-month-old license has driven all the way to Queen Street, on the motorway, by himself, and back, with the Leather Jacket on the passenger seat, without losing it. Legend.

    Before I go on, sip your Santos Flat White and think back to those vinyl times when only the Open Late Café was ever open, unless you knew where to find DKD; remember cold night fumblings in mum's car, big sisters with access to Swappas, and the tactility of lowering the needle into the groove -- the closest any of us got to sex back then.

    So, let’s play it.

    Problem: John has no turntable.
    Solution: My dad has a stereo.
    Problem: Mum and Dad have friends over for a beer, in the lounge.
    Solution: "Just once. We'll play it just once and then leave."

    Four bemused adults on wide velour couches.
    Three bottles of Khutze on the coffee table.
    Two spotty 16-year-olds.
    One three-minute moment in time.

    Now back in Aucktown • Since Dec 2006 • 86 posts Report

  • Ana Simkiss,

    I was a bit young for the 80's wave of Nun but have since dug pretty deeply into the back catalogue - these re-releases and such are just the ticket. So, no stories of the Bats or the Clean - my favourite Nun moment comes courtesy of Chris Knox - well a couple of moments actually...

    Moment one - back inthe mid 90's students at Auckland university were very busy having run-ins with the police and protesting at this and that, mostly fees. Most notably the Registry Building was taken over for 8 days as I recall, which was quite an acheivement (although, in the way of these things, nothing, in the end, was acheived). Anyway... as student gatherings tend to it turned into a bit of a party on Friday. Someone, I've no idea who, managed to organise a bit of live music that evening, with Marty Source and the Source (anyone else remember them!? hilarious). and Chris Knox.

    So, on a balmy summer evening, a few hundred students got to see Chris, in his stubbies, standing on the registry steps singing "and it's students I love, and it's students I love..." and telling us to all piss off and get a job. Classic.

    Another memorable one, this one at the Gathering in 2000/01 - about thirty faithful rockers huddling around Chris and pogoing madly as he cranked the amp up (attempting to drown out the sound of the dance music blasting from the main area). A failure, but a noble one...

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 141 posts Report

  • Simon Grigg,

    She says that at Canterbury University the prize for deluded ideas went to her fellow studentl, Roger Sheppard, when he announced he was off to start a record label.

    I used to drink far too much whiskey with Roger in 81-82 upstairs at Warners in the Square. He was working in the record shop in Columbo St. I used to ship the funny indie 7"s I was distributing back then to him for Chch sales (Hercos, Gordons..which was not a FN record..Mockers and the like) and had got to know him fairly well because of it. He rang me about Sept 81, to place an order, and said he was thinking of starting a label. I told him not to be so bloody silly. How could you start a label in Chch? The worst advice I ever gave anyone. Thank god he ignored it.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report

  • Danielle,

    Another Chris Knox story. I think there are probably hundreds of those, but anyway: Houston, Texas, 2000 or thereabouts. Yo La Tengo come to play a show and Chris Knox, of all people, is support. American boyfriend and I bowl on up there, and Chris's schtick at that point was to do a big finale with 'The Joy of Sex', get two people to get up on stage and sing/play the song while he runs madly around the crowd, freaking out. I, of course, am the only person in the room who knows 'The Joy of Sex' (possibly the only person who even knows who Chris Knox is!), so I am pushed up on stage and do the 'bay-bay-bay-bay-bay-bay...' bit, while a Texas native who knows some basic chords is the guitar-playing choice. During the final moments, Chris asks both for a round of applause for us and somewhere to stay for the night. I say 'I have a futon!', and Chris says 'let's hear it for Danielle and her futon!' Crowd goes wild (weirdly). He and Barbara came over after the show (Ira from Yo La Tengo actually said 'nice singing!' to me when we were hovering around waiting! One of the great moments of my life), and Chris rearranged my Beatles Yellow Submarine dolls. (They stayed in the same poses for years!) The next morning they took us out to breakfast at the House of Pies. I cannot tell you how utterly surreal it was to be sitting in the House of Pies in Houston, Texas, with Chris Knox and his partner, eating pancakes.

    (Martin Lambert, from the Shore. Hmmmm. I went to school with a Martin Lambert. At Rangitoto College. 1988-1991. You don't happen to be him, do you?)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report

  • Donald Reid,

    Flying Nun memories:

    The Bats playing the Wanaka Rugby Club rooms, August 1985. Crazy farm boys hanging off the rafters, drunk 13 year olds puking in the car park and in the middle of all this… The Bats, playing their own brand of gentle-jangle pop. Fantastic incongruity.

    What about… Straightjacket Fits blowing The Jesus and Mary Chain off the stage at Sammy’s in 1988. Or a few years later at Mountain Rock (one of SJF’s last gigs) when Shayne sang with fire and fury as he faced sheets of horizontal rain.

    Radio With Pictures memory: arriving at school on Monday morning after seeing the brilliant video for ‘Randolph’s Going Home’ on RWP. I remember Arthur Fulton being pissed off he missed it.

    Another great video: Snapper's ‘Buddy’. Remember when Kevin Smith’s character in Gloss played ‘Buddy’ on his tape deck – a moment when the underground collided with the mainstream.

    Interviewing Alec Bathgate after the release of Gold Lamé – what a bloody charming fellow… (with possibly the most underrated masterpiece in the FN catalogue).

    Seeing King Loser channel bizzaro Nancy and Lee.

    Dunedin, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 17 posts Report

  • dyan campbell,

    I have a lot of Flying Nun stories, and most of them involve some Nun or other trying to make me laugh out loud.

    This recollection involves Russell Brown and Grant Fell of the Headless Chickens.

    Back in '91 when Planet Magazine - Russell and Grant were both driving forces of that magazine. Russell was reading a typed transcript of a lengthy interview I had done with David Kilgour.

    During my interview with David our conversation had turned to Russell.

    "Where's Russell from?" I had asked.

    "I think he's from Timaru" David has replied.

    Reading this Russell erupted into anguished bellows -


    Over Russell's shoulder I see Grant Fell waving his arms mouthing this to me, explaining:


    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report

  • Aidan Heerdegen,

    There is a symmetry here ... maybe.

    The first time I went along to a Radio Massey announcers meeting and they had a few spare copies of "In Love With These Times" that they thought they'd give away to the hard working announcers.

    Yep, I won one. I felt like such a heel, I hadn't done any announcing or actual work and I was one LP to the good, but I wanted that record so much. I resolved to earn that LP dammit! I did do a fair bit of on-air work in that crappy little studio out the back of the sports hall over the next few years.

    I still have the album. By gum some of the bands on their are classics. I ended up seeing nine of them live. Every single one of them was better live. The energy that surged out of the crowd when Shayne and the boys started into 'She Speeds' was breathtaking, and they responded, pushed it right back at us, and we went even more mental. Outrageous. Thanks for that Shayne.

    Bailter Space were incredibly good, but in a more detached, surreal way. I got the feeling they wouldn't have cared if there was noone listening, they enjoyed making these amazing noises and were just letting us in and if we liked it too then stay and listen. The noise they produced was mind altering, so loud, and yet so subtle. Sublime.

    The Chills. Seems sort of sad now, so much promise, so many set backs. Such beautiful pop songs. The real surprise for me was how good they were live. Heaps of energy, way edgier than any of their recordings. Seems a shame noone every captured that side of them. Perhaps they needed the services of Steve Albini.

    My biggest Nun regret? Missing Chris Knox playing here in Canberra. I even rang the Student Union to find out the exact time and date. They got it wrong. Bastards. Poor old Chris played to three people apparently. Vowed never to come back here again. I felt bad I hadn't added that critical mass. Chris Knox is a legend in Hawaiian shorts and deserves an audience of at least four.

    So .. the first post to Public Address. Will I be an undeserved winner again? Wait and see eh?

    Canberra, Australia • Since Dec 2006 • 2 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,



    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Manakura,

    Favourite Flying Nun moment:

    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.

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report

  • Simon Grigg,

    brilliant, The Skeptics would've approved

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report

  • Manakura,

    I would hope so, bless there lil' lamb blood stained cotton socks. Can't even begin to tell what it was like to be in a small rural community decimated by the neo-lib reforms, having the towns biggest employer shut down, and a year later The Skeptics release AFFCO, it replaced the national anthem in our household for quite some time.

    Whaingāroa • Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    (Martin Lambert, from the Shore. Hmmmm. I went to school with a Martin Lambert. At Rangitoto College. 1988-1991. You don't happen to be him, do you?)

    Virtual high school reunion, happening right in front of your eyes.

    Danielle, who last I saw working in a music store in Takapuna.

    My best flying nun moment was Chris Knox playing outside the Student Union on a summer afternoon in... 1995? 96? He left that little keyboard playing it's little repetitive ditty and wandered into the crowd, pulled off some woman's shoe and sucked on her toes. A true Chris Knox moment which only he could get away with.

    I'd never seen anything like it before, or since, thankfully :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • bob daktari,

    Hundreds of stories but thanks to Russell’s, um, cringe I'll share this one:

    It was 1983 and I was dragged into the senior boys common room at Timaru Boys High, (no shame here for all the wonderful years I spent in that town/city), thinking I was about to be reintroduced with the insides of a toilet bowl I was pleasantly surprised when instead I was played The Verlaines Death & the Maiden and asked my opinion, (I was a bit of a music geek, still am), my initial impression wasn’t that positive but on the second and third play I was captivated…. it was the start of a musical love affair that continues to this day… a day I expect (hope) to get my box set. (Discount this as an entry into the comp thank you)

    One could say that simple moment in time changed my life, twelve years later after attending possibly hundreds of gigs by Nun bands, buying and digesting dozens of releases and becoming quite the fan boy I started working for the label and did so for a good number of years.

    From simple beginnings anything is possible, that’s what Flying Nun always meant/means to me, a label that allowed many people to realise dreams they didn’t know they had, even a music geek from Timaru…

    One wonders what ever became of that orange?

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report

  • Jonathan Dodd,

    18 years old, first O-week at Waikato, and I'm introduced to a woman who was to become my wife - 18 years together now, with the kids and the whole bit.

    Did I mention it was at a Clean concert??

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 1 posts Report

  • Danielle,

    Virtual high school reunion, happening right in front of your eyes.

    Danielle, who last I saw working in a music store in Takapuna.

    About fifteen years ago! Sorry to hijack the thread, but holy crap. *That* Kyle Matthews, who I believe went right through school with me from go to whoa. Hello! :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report

  • MaskedAvatar,

    Well, truly my best Flying Nun moment was meeting Sally Field some years ago.

    More topically, but nothing to do with the Dunedin Sound, I enjoyed watching the Flying Nun doco on telly a couple of years back when the story of the infamous "Fall In A Hole" album unfolded. Being an immigrant from the west island and a long standing fan of the Mancunians, and having acquired the double vinyl bootleg on its release in Australia in the 80's (a nice rarity in today's terms), I had missed all the controversy and had never realised the audacity behind this release. But on watching the doco I had to applaud the Kiwi ingenuity/piracy/commitment to repay the rightful owner of the "intellectual" property contained in this recording of the Fall's live performances.

    And my appreciation of Flying Nun's core activity, before selling out, has grown ever since.

    H'Siffaen Shield • Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report

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