New Zealand Psych
By Greg Watt
with Daniel McGlynn
group led by the song writer and vocalist Mike Dally existed only long
enough to record this single and launch the independent label Ode.
The psychedelically inclined A side features substantial phasing
and the more subtle B side is a protest against the war in Viet Nam.
Sally I Do/ Silver Ship
(Ode ODE 1) 1968
The Action-A Wellington band who like
their English namesakes were influenced by soul and Tamla Motown. In fact
they even recorded an Action(UK) cover in Never Ever.
I Can’t Make A Friend/Romeo And Juliet
The Avengers-From Wellington, they were
possibly one of New
Zealand’s best bands in terms of musicianship and achieved a degree of
chart action. Between 1967 and 1969 they released around twelve singles
and three albums. They were mostly a pop band that recorded a number of
covers, but they did produce some good pop/psych material such as
Waterpipe and Love Hate Revenge, the Episode Six track. Members went on to
Aust. prog band Bakery.
Only Once In My Life/Waterpipe
Love Hate Revenge/Only Last Year
Days Of Pearly Spencer/Daniel The Postman
I Wouldn’t Do That/Love Is A One Way
The Bluestars-Obviously influenced by
English RnB bands this Auckland band recorded one of the all time great
garage/freakbeat singles not just from downunder, but anywhere in the
world. Social End Product is a must hear. They actually sent a tape to
Decca in England which was surprisingly accepted. In fact their first
single, Please Be A Little Kind/I Can Take It was released in England
before it came out in their homeland.
Social End Product/I’m Over Here
(Allied Int.) 1966
The Brew were regarded as New Zealand’s first
“Underground” band. It
was put together by Californian Bob Gillet who was a jazz musician
living in New Zealand. He
had decided to form his own
band to play a new kind of music His
first recruit was guitarist Doug Jerebine who was fond of experimenting
with equipment and sounds. They
only produced one bizarre/experimental single with a distinctive eastern
influenced guitar before splitting and going onto other musical
Jerebine (aka Jesse Harper) went to England and made a powerful
Absolution in the Shade of a Midnight Sun
Bengal Tiger/Tea for Two
(Allied Int JAR 554) 1967
The Challenge-Still at school when they
released their four singles in 1969. Their best known track, The Crunch
was written by Ray Columbus in conjunction with Smith’s Crisps, in the
hope that it would start a new dance craze.
Gone Gone Gone /Reflections of Charlie
Brown (Impact 1047)
The Crunch/Now You Shake
(Impact 1049 ) 1969
Chants R&B-What a band! Supposedly
New Zealand’s answer to the Pretty Things. Not only did they have a
wild stage act, with fans supplying gear for them to smash up, swinging
from rafters and members feigning death, these guys from Christchurch
ran their own nightclub and released two legendary singles. The second
contains two covers that are actually more frenetic and raucous than the
originals. Their leader Mike Rudd later formed Spectrum when the Chants
fell apart in Australia.
I’ve Been Loving You Too Long/I Want
I’m Your Witchdoctor/Neighbour
Christchurch group Chapta evolved in 1969
out of the remnants of the Next Move.
They underwent frequent line up changes over their 3 years and
musically covered a diverse range of styles.
Their first Album Chapta One features a couple of psychedelic
tracks including the very trippy “Journey to the Sun”
Chapta One (HMV HSDM 1009) 1971
Came from Clevedon (hence the name ) and produced a few snappy
pop-pop psych singles in New Zealand before moving to Australia and
shortening their name to the Cleves.
He’s Ready / Lost woman
(Impact IR 1019) 1967
Sunny Goodge Street/ Up the Wooden hills
of Bedfordshire (Impact IR 1036) 1968
Ray Columbus & The Invaders
out in Christchurch as a mainly instrumental band in 1961. They had
their biggest hit with She’s A Mod which had a great English sound and
captured the mood of the times perfectly. Columbus went solo in1966 and
then left for the U.S. where he recorded a masterful piece of freakbeat
with the Art Collection called Kick Me.
She’s A Mod/Poison Ivy
Yo Yo/She’s Gone
We Want A Beat/I’ve Been There Baby
Kick Me/ She’s A Mod
( Colstar 1001
The Dedikation came from Upper Hutt and
enjoyed some fame in New Zealand as their second single ( a cover of
Wait for me Mary Anne replete with phasing) hit number two in the
singles charts. However
they also released a self titled album which features a range of pop,
rock and psychedelic songs.
Dedikation (Phillips BY 843088)
The Dizzy Limits
A Wellington band containing
John “Timberjack” Donoghue.
Their first single contained two original numbers but after that
flopped they tried covers. They had a minor hit in New Zealand with a Beatles cover of
Golden Slumbers. But of
main interest to us here is
the B side to their debut single "Mare Tranquility" which was
written about the Apollo 11 moon landing, the title coming from the
projected landing site. A copy was even sent to NASA headquarters. It's
a great track, mostly instrumental with repeated lyrics and plenty of
(Ode ODE4) 1969
After the Dizzy Limits renamed itself
Timberjack and released one controversial single, he reverted to his
name. His first single was
of particular interest as it featured Johns Sitar playing.
It took a prominent role on this eastern flavoured song he based
on his time with the Dizzy Limits.
Dahli Mohammed / Song for Vanda
( Ode ODE 29) 1972
The Four Fours-Started out as an
instrumental and beat band first recording in 1963.Their better moments
came when they signed to the Zodiac label in 1966.They supported the
Rolling Stones in NZ in 1966 and then tried the cruise ship route to
England where they changed their name to Human Instinct gaining a
recording deal with the Deram label, releasing some now highly sort
after singles and then returning to NZ in 1968 where they released some
also highly sort after heavy prog albums.
Go-Go/Don’t Print My Memories
One Track Mind/Hawaii
The Fourmyula-After a number of names and
personnel changes they settled on the name Fourmyula in 1967.They
enjoyed a string of hits between 1968 and 1971 with their mainly pop or
popsike material. They also tried their luck in England for six months
Come With Me/Honey Chile
(HMV HR 331) 1968
Alice is There /I dig your Act
(HMV HR 334) 1968
I Know Why/ Its only make believe (HMV
HR 335) 1968
I’ll Sing You A Song/Millstream
(HMV HR 374) 1969
one and only single went to #2 in Fiji!!!! Don’t think this sent them
into the realms of superstardom though. Actually it’s a great little
track with an Eastern influence courtesy of some nice sitar work.
Definite psych sounds here and it certainly has a lot earlier sound than
its actual release date.
The Gremlins-An Auckland band that
recorded for three different labels between 1966 and 1968.Mostly power
pop, but they had one single (Blast Off 1970)with psych sound effects.
Their final single was their most adventurous, the A side was
planned to be a central part of a mystical concept album but plans fell
through and only the single remained
Blast Off 1970/Sunday Breeze
(Zodiac Z45 1310) 1967
Kingsforth Hemmingseen/ Don’t just
stand there. (Zodiac Z45
The Group-Recorded two singles for the
small Tree label with the one mentioned below having been comped.
Although released in 1969 it sounds as if it was from a couple of years
People In The Night/Colour Blind
Hi-Revving Tongues-Supposedly released
the first psychedelic single in NZ. Tropic Of Capricorn is a great piece
of pop/psych. After leaving them in 1968, it was thought that John
Walmsley, their bass player went to the U.S. where he became a member of
The Lemon Pipers. Sad to say this is an urban legend as actually that was another New Zealander with the same name.
(The Psychedelic) Illusion/Hate To Go
Tropic Of Capricorn/Baby
I Need Your Loving
House Of Nimrod-A short lived Auckland band who released two singles
well regarded by psych collectors. As they had no other material when
their first single came out they were unable to play live which
obviously hampered their progress.
Slightly-Delic/Reflection Of Our Time
Human Instinct-Started out as the Four
Fours but changed their name on route to England. Supported many of the
big names of the time and their two Deram singles are excellent psych
double siders typical of the English sound of the era. Renaissance Fair
is a great cover of The Byrds track. On their return to NZ they
underwent numerous line up changes and developed into a much harder
guitar based band who released a number of now very rare albums.
A Day In My Mind’s Mind/Death Of The Seaside (Deram)
Renaissance Fair/Pink Dawn
La De Da’s- Probably the most well
known and the best NZ 60’s band. They released a series of great singles
and albums. They certainly took the UK influences to heart both visually
and musically with some of their releases matching anything else available
anywhere in the world at the time. Like a lot of other NZ bands they
headed to Aust. in 1967 and although well accepted they never really
cracked the “big time”. They then tried their luck in England but also
without success. They could never be accused of continually recording the
same type of material and were one of the first bands to release a concept
album in “The Happy Prince” .After returning from England they split
up but reformed in 1971 becoming a hard rock and blues band showcasing the
guitar work of Kevin Borich.
Girl/Ever Since That Night
(Talent City) 1965
How Is The Air Up There/Pied Piper
Don’t You Stand In My Way/I Take What I
On Top Of The World/Hey Girl
Hey Baby/Other Love
All Purpose Low/My Girl
Rosalie/Find Us a Way
Come Fly With Me/Swallow Little Swallow
Come Together/Here is Love
Find Us A Way
The Happy Prince
Experienced great success and chart
action with a number of their approx. fifteen singles between 1965 and
1969.They were more of a clean cut pop band than R & B recording a
number of good cover versions.
I Feel Good/Whatcha Gonna do About It
Painter Man/You’re On My Mind
Dreamtime/I’ll Make You Happy
Bruno Lawrence was to find his way into
many influential bands in the psychedelic era – Quincy Conserve,
Littlejohn and Blerta. His
first single was a borderline inclusion as it is not really psych, more
eccentric pop, but fans of UK styled Pop/pop-psych would find it
Formed in Hamilton their recordings were
a mix of pop or popsike However
their main fame for inclusion here came from their sitar laden psychedelic
–surf crossover songs that appeared on the film “Children of the
Sun” The group were
approached to write the soundtrack, which they did.
The 4 tunes they did for this were also released on their rare EP.
Country Boy/Footprints On My Mind
No 1 Conversation Piece
The folk Trio the Yeomen had one last
fling before breaking up, changing their name to record a “Hip” self
penned tune to reflect the times, complete with backwards sound effects.
This single is so obscure I have yet to find it listed.
See My Way/Teach me how to Fly
Gene Pierson’s real name was Giancarlo
Salverstrin who emigrated from Australia to avoid conscription to Vietnam,
and in an interesting story ended up hiding from the authorities by the
unusual route of becoming a pop star.
While most of his music was in the pop vein, his most psychedelic
moment came back in Australia in his version of “Teach me how to fly”
which was more out there than the more successful version by Jeff St John
released at the same time.
Actually going against the usual trend of
NZ bands relocating to Aust. these guys did the opposite. They were from
Brisbane but moved to and recorded in Auckland. They were apparently a
wild bunch who took the British R & B sounds and style of bands such
as the Pretty Things to heart. A lot of their output was raucous covers
such as Gloria and Security. They pre empted the Sex Pistols by having
their original singer Bobby London getting himself into trouble and
consequently sacked by swearing during the taping of a television show.
Quite radical for the staid outlook of things down under in the mid
60’s. They returned to Aust. in early 1967 but only lasted a few more
months before breaking up.
Last Night/Poor Girl
Is It Over Baby/Hurtin’ All Over
Gracious Lady Alice Dee/Computerised
The Quincy Conserve was formed in
Wellington in late 1967 by singer Malcolm Hayman. Malcolm was an extremely
talented musician who had already been on the music scene for twelve years
by that stage. He began to recruit other musicians from other groups.
They became one of the most talented and professional groups to
appear on the New Zealand music scene in the late sixties. They were
Wellington's first 'supergroup' They
included Bruno Lawrence as well as members of the Underdogs, Top Shelf and
Sounds Unlimited to mention just 3 of interest to collectors.
The group changed members a number of times and broke up and then
reformed. They always had a
mild jazz influence in their music but covered a range of styles with
ease. Their psych material
can be found scattered on their first two albums, “Listen to the band”
and the prematurely named “Epitaph”
They released numerous singles, but the two below would be of
interest to psych collectors.
Ride The Rain/Feel Good
in 1968 they used borrowed equipment until 1969 when they finally got
their own equipment in time to record their two singles.
Their first was the only one that had a psychedelic edge to it.
Trouble /Out of your mind
based pop group around for a very short time in 1969. Phil Pritchard had
spent the later part of the sixties in Australia and when he returned to
his hometown, Wellington in late-1969, he joined up with Simple Image
vocalist Barry Leef and played in this mainly covers band, before deciding
to form an underground band, Highway, to play original material.
They only released one single during their short time.
"If You Think You're Groovy"/"Morning Dew" ( HMV) 1969.
Rumour evolved from the pop group the Surfires and while never bona fide
psych they did produce a couple of pop sike flavoured songs amidst their
more pop/MOR orientated songs
Originated in Christchurch and released
the one single on the obscure Ventura label, the b-side being a cover of
the Byrds track.
I’d Rather Be Asleep/Why?
Shane Hales first outing in New Zealand
music was when he became a member of the Pleazers
in 1966 as a replacement for Bob Cooper in their line-up. He stayed with
them until they broke up in June 1967, by which time he already had ideas
of his own about setting up a band he wanted to call the Shane Group.
Shane convinced Eldred Stebbing of Zodiac Records to record him
with a Bee Gees song called "The Town Of Tuxley Toymaker" of
which there are a number of interesting versions, Shane’s upbeat version
possibly the best of them. After this he went into a solo career, more pop based as he
became a teen idol. Much of
his work was geared towards the pop market but he still did a few
interesting recordings more in a psych pop vein, such as “St Paul”
and he also did more interesting experimental material such as “Black Snow” from his LP “A Natural Man”
The Town Of Tuxley Toymaker"/
Breaking My Heart"
Saint Paul"/"Too Late For Years
Basically a pop band formed in Wellington
in 1967. Their track Spinning Spinning Spinning is a sunshine pop
number reminiscent of some of the US bands associated with Curt
Boettcher and the like. It was a number one hit in NZ.
Spinning Spinning Spinning/Shy Boy
Recorded two singles, the first of which
is a great little double sider written by their hot guitarist Brett Tauri.
He had spent the early 60’s in the US and it shows on No More Now, as
although it was released in 1967 it has a somewhat US garage feel to it
with plenty of fuzz guitar.
Never Trust Another Woman/No More Now
This pop/rock band went through a few
line up changes over the mid 60s, than the group got the chance to go
overseas in 1967 where they played at the Tiles Club in the UK- all the
while observing the new scene around them.
They returned to Wellington and became the premier psychedelic
group in the City playing at the Psychedelic Id.
Sadly they only released one single in this last incarnation before
splitting up. But this rare
single is a very collectable item now.
Lollipop Train/Your way of Life
The group was based around ex Underdogs
guitarist Harvey Mann. The
group played more hard rock and progressive sounds but their LP has a
couple of more progressive/psych numbers that could justify their
inclusion. Their debut album
was largely ignored by the public, but Space Farm continued to pull crowds
and they remained at the forefront of the underground movement until their
demise in 1973. By this time there had been drastic changes within. Harvey
began to forego drugs and alcohol and these changes were reflected in his
song writing and ultimately led to the end of the group.
In 1971 they scored a hit with a cover of
the atmospheric litany "Come to the Sabbat" backed with
"Epilogue". It was a Loxene Golden Disc finalist, and a
controversial one at that. The
publicity and sales from the record was not capitalised on.
Timberjack (the band) did not record again. The single was also the swansong for the group.
Come to the Sabbat/Epiloge
From Wellington this band went through an
incredible fifteen members in their four or so years together. I imagine
that this contributed to the wide range of material they recorded, most of
which were covers. Some of these covers were quite standard but others
such as their 13th Floor Elevator and Fairport Convention
covers were very good. A great pounding double sider which was possibly
out of date by its release in 1967 was their original I Need You coupled
with the excellent cover Got Love. In 1970 they released for mine the best
psych. track to come out of NZ in Ludgate Hill. It’s a tale of the Great
Fire Of London spread over nearly ten minutes, complete with all the psych
effects of the time. Similar to Russell Morris’s- The Real Thing in the
way that everything including the kitchen sink is thrown in, all to good
effect. A classic.
What’cha Gonna Do’Bout It/You’re
Gonna Miss Me
(La Gloria) 1967
I Need You/Got Love
(La Gloria) 1967
Witchy Tai To/Meet On The Ledge
Ludgate Hill –prelude, destruction,
dawning, tomorrow (e.p.)
From Wanganui where their one and only
single sold very well, but if you’ve ever been there you would realise
this would not result in a huge amount of sales and money for the band.
They relocated to Wellington and took up residency at one of the local
night clubs. Two members were drafted into the military in 1969 which
caused the band to split up.
Baby The World Really Turns/Time Beyond
Originally from Napier they relocated to
New Zealands largest city, Auckland.
Played regularly around the place with an English R&B style.
Numerous line up changes probably didn’t help their chances, although
their “I’m good for you” single listed below got to # 20 on the
charts. Dispite their three
singles their best work, especially from a psychedelic perspective, was
left on the cutting room floor – check out their unreleased tracks on
the “Day in My Minds Mind” Compilation for confirmation of this.
underdogs were a Blues band and most of their work had little to do with
psychedelia. They split up and the two ex members Mann and Edwards got
together with Glen Absolom on drums in 1970 and released the 1971 album
"Wasting Our Time" as Pig Mann and Edwards.
This is less blues based than their earlier work, a mix of harder
rock with some slight psychedelic elements.