Christchurch music videos: Piece of my heart – The Electric Confectionaires

“We designed our own rooms. Mine is essentially my room in Auckland recreated in a small cube in an old warehouse somewhere in Christchurch!” Haddon Smith, band member.

Piece of My Heart


Search our catalogue for music by The Electric Confectionaires.

Find out more about  NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries.

Christchurch music videos: Inside and Out – The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience

The video was directed and edited by John Chrisstoffels, who shot the stained glass windows and tile mosaics in Christchurch’s Anglican Cathedral.

Inside and Out


Search our catalogue for music by The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience.

Find out more about  NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries.

Bicycle band – Cool stuff for NZ Music Month #6

The Bicycle Band

Christchurch’s Bicycle Band claimed to be the only one of its kind in the world. Joshua W. Painter (d. 1944), a well-known distance and trick cyclist, and his brother Fred started the bicycle band in 1895. It was really an offshoot of the already established Christchurch Professional Brass Band. The men held instruments in one hand and steered their cycles with the other, and they rehearsed in the open ground of Barracks Square, Hereford Street. Left to right, front row: H. Woods, T. Dalton, A.J. Watts; second row: G.H. Gordon, W. Crawford, F. Hopkins, F. Painter; third row: F. Taylor, A.W. Gordon.

Circa 1900

Bicycle Band at the Ellerslie International Flower Show

Bicycle Band inaugural performance at Ellerslie International Flower Show, 9th March, 2010.

Bret Painter, great grandson of Fred, had the idea to reform the band and drew together an intrepid bunch of bandsmen and women from Canterbury Brass and the New Zealand Army Band

Christchurch music videos: Stand up – Scribe

‘Stand Up’, Christchurch rapper Scribe’s first single, comes bookended with excerpts from his soon-to-be signature tune — ‘Not Many’.

Stand Up


Read our profile of Scribe.

Find out more about  NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries.

Why does love do this to me?

There’s something about a Kiwi love song that just makes them unique. They are not all hearts and flowers and ‘I’ll love you until the stars fall out of the sky’ nonsense… they can be sweet and sentimental at times, but also gritty, cynical and giving you love as it can be, complicated, hard or just plain messy… and I love them for that.

Some of my favourite Kiwi love songs and lyrics?

Love not given Lightly by Chris Knox

This is a love song to John and Leisha’s mother
This isn’t easy
I might not write another

But it’s you that I love
and it’s true that I love
and it’s more than what it might be
But I knew this was love
And it’s you that I love
And it’s love not given lightly

Why Does Love Do This to Me?  by The Exponents

I miss you
You know that
But when I see you sometimes
I’m cut up and I’m broken
There am I asking you how you are

I See Red by Split Enz

Squeezed me out of your life
Down the drain like molten toothpaste
I feel used and spat out

Don’t Fight it Marsha it’s Bigger Than Both of Us by The Mutton Birds

And I want you to be happy,
But I’d rather that you were still with me
Don’t Dream it’s Over by Crowded House
Now I’m walking again to the beat of a drum
And I’m counting the steps to the door of your heart
These are just a few of my favs, What are yours amongst the New Zealand Music collection?

The alt country revival

I keep reading that some of our excellent local bands like The Eastern and Unfaithful Ways, (including Marlon Williams who will be performing at  New Brighton Library during New Zealand Music Month ) are in the forefront of an alt country revival in New Zealand. Great. Umm… what exactly is alt country?

It turns out that isn’t such an easy question to answer. It’s a sub genre of country – that’s obvious – but after that things blur a bit. Everyone agrees that it involves eschewing the slick productions of the mainstream commercial country music business. Instead it harks back to the music of the working people as preserved by people like Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams. However, its influences are extremely wide – rock, punk, bluegrass, traditional American folk, rockabilly and honky tonk for example.

Some of its best known proponents include Gram Parsons, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Wilco and  Son Volt. Here in NZ is seems to be influencing artists ranging from Flip Grater to the Phoenix Foundation.

Find out more about The Eastern, Unfaithful Ways, Flip Grater and other local musicians on our website.

Are you into New Zealand alt country? Tell me your favourite NZ artist.

Christchurch music videos: Block of Wood – The Bats

Director Jonathan Ogilvie’s clip features a chainsaw of Damocles and the ventriloquist’s dummy from the album cover — and a poignant Christchurch location. The distinctive, triangular ANZ Bank Chambers (where the band members play on the balconies) and surrounding buildings at the intersection of Manchester, High and Lichfield streets were devastated in the city’s earthquakes. 

Block of Wood


Search our catalogue for music by The Bats.

Find out more about  NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries.

Strike up the band – Cool stuff for NZ Music Month #5

PhotoBrass and pipe bands have a long and illustrious history in New Zealand.

Christchurch stands out – the Addington Workshops Brass Band was formed in 1883. It was composed of workshop employees, and formed to feature at picnics and other social events. It continues today as Addington Brass.

Woolston Brass has a been around for a while, as their history reports:

… the band’s founding year is formally recognized as 1891 when George Bonnington took charge and reformed the band under the aegis of the Loyal Perseverance Lodge of the Manchester Independent Order of Oddfellows, a long-winded appellation that, perhaps unsurprisingly, only stuck until 1894, when it was replaced with the title, “Woolston Brass Band”.

Here they are at a street march at the 2001 New Zealand National Band Championship playing Flourish for an occasion.

The Canterbury Caledonian Society Pipe Band formed in 1902.  This year the band won its first ever National Pipe Band Championships in Grade 1, at Tauranga. The band won the Medley and the Street March, and won the piping, ensemble and drumming overall throughout Grade 1.

Celebrate NZ Music Month:

Christchurch music videos: Beatnik – The Clean

“It was a terribly enjoyable afternoon in a scungy coffee bar in Christchurch. We gathered all their mates – most of whom ended up in later Flying Nun bands.” Simon Morris, director.



Search our catalogue for music by The Clean.

Find out more about  NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries.

Christchurch music videos: Victoria – The Dance Exponents

… It’s a film clip, replete with fantasy 80s Christchurch night-life scenes, a doomed blonde, and a fresh-faced Jordan Luck as her saviour. The Arts Centre and deco apartments opposite feature as locations.



Search our catalogue for music by The Exponents.

Find out more about  NZ Music Month at Christchurch City Libraries.