Category Archives: Fishrider Records

Élan Vital “Shadow Self” release tour

Élan Vital are about to embark on their first NZ tour, in support of their debut album “Shadow Self”. You can find out more about the album in an informative interview with the band on Under the Radar.  

UK mail-order specialists Norman Records summed up the appeal of “Shadow Self” succinctly: The trio pull off a fine thing in taking the rich organ sounds of vintage days and applying their textures to the structures of synth-pop. Yum yum! Shadow Self is moody and dance-able dream-pop to lose your head in.” 

NZ TOUR DATES –

Dunedin 21.4.2017
None Gallery with Strange Harvest and Pesk
https://www.facebook.com/events/1009159292519159/

Wellington 28.4.2017
Caroline with Earth Tongue and Ë ‘ ñ , T
https://www.facebook.com/events/1466769236728679/

Auckland 29.4.2017
The Wine Cellar with Peach Milk and The Pleasure Majenta
https://www.facebook.com/events/403159800068836/

Auckland 30.4.2017
Audiofoundation with File Folder
https://www.facebook.com/events/795224270644572/

Christchurch 6.5.2017
New City Hotel with Dog Power and Ov Pain
https://www.facebook.com/events/1867243293534981/
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The Distractions “Kindly Leave the Stage”

Fishrider Records is proud to co-release the third and apparently final album by Manchester post-punk legends The Distractions with our UK partners Occultation Recordings. The Distractions songwriter Steve Perrin now lives in New Zealand and the drummer on this album is Fishrider Records & The Puddle’s Ian Henderson, so the album has a strong local NZ and Dunedin connection.

“Kindly Leave The Stage”, is released less than 5 years after the critically-acclaimed “The End of the Pier”. That second album took over 30 years to appear following their 1980 Island Records debut “Nobody’s Perfect”, which came out a year after their Factory Records single “Time Goes By So Slow” in 1979 – the single immediately preceding Joy Division’s “Transmission” single.

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7″ Singles by The Distractions 1979 – 1981

Fast forward to 2017 and time no longer goes by so slow for founding members guitarist and songwriter Steve Perrin and vocalist Mike Finney. “The classic narrative structure is beginning-middle-end so three seemed like the right number,” says Steve. “Also I thought it was important to formally say ‘goodbye’, both to the fans and to each other.” Mike adds, “I think that there was a lot of unfinished business after the first album, and I feel lucky that we got the chance to complete it properly.” The Distractions, not so much a great lost band as a great found band, are taking a final bow.

Ian responded to a distress call when regular Distractions drummer Mike Kellie was unable to make the “Kindly Leave the Stage” sessions due to ill health. Sadly Mike passed away earlier this year. The album is dedicated to his memory. He was very much part of these sessions in spirit, such was the impact he made on the other Distractions in their time together in the studio and on stage. Mike was a larger-than-life legend, with a drumming career starting in the late 1960s with Spooky Tooth, then playing with post-punk band The Only Ones between 1979 and 1982 (and again when they reformed in 2007).

KLTS_LP Credits

This is a special album for a lot of reasons. The international rescue mission by a spare drummer from the Dunedin label that has worked closely with Occultation Recordings (appearing in human form here as the Distractions other guitarist Nick Halliwell) was also a fitting way for Fishrider to repay the generosity shown by Occultation Recordings over the years in helping our artists’ releases find a foothold in the UK and Europe, and to celebrate 5 years of a label arrangement spanning the whole wide world.

“Kindly Leave the Stage” is available on LP and CD and as a download. It also comes in a very limited edition package with an additional 6-song 10″ mini-album of unreleased songs, poster and other items. It is available in NZ/ Australia/ Oceania from Fishrider Records and in the UK/ Europe and US from Occultation Recordings.

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Steve Perrin of The Distractions, recording “Kindly Leave the Stage” in Exeter, September 2015

Steve Perrin on the Manchester post-punk scene in the late 1970s…

“It was a much more diverse scene to start with than people seem to give it credit for in retrospect. In retrospect everyone’s got a leather jacket and spikey hair, whereas if you’d taken photographs of the initial line up of Buzzcocks, The Fall, us, Warsaw or whatever we all looked pretty different and we all played pretty different kind of stuff but we just happened to be friends. We knew each other and played on the same bill and people didn’t have a problem with that. People didn’t seem to think it was odd that us, who were basically a pop band, sang love songs, were supporting The Fall who were a different proposition altogether. That didn’t seem strange.”

… and on how The Distractions were signed to Factory Records in 1979

“Tony Wilson rang my Mum, and I was not around, so I got home and she said “Peter from The Buzzcocks and that Tony Wilson off the telly have been on the phone”. She just got used to that sort of thing. Tony was very good with people’s Mums. He could be very charming.

Then I spoke to him and he said “we’re really interested in doing something and you’re going to be single of the week in the NME.” I thought he was a bit mixed up, because what had actually happened was there was a review in the NME by John Cooper-Clarke [of their first EP on TJM Records], which was a very short, positive, short review, so I thought maybe he’s had a drink or something. And what had happened is he’d spoken to Paul Morley who had told him that he was not happy with the John Cooper-Clarke review and he was going to review it again next week and make it single of the week that week. So that was that. And he said “Do you want to record for Factory?” and we went “Yes, we do”.”

“Time Goes By So Slow” was released in September 1978, catalogue number FAC12. FAC 13 the following month was “Transmission” by Joy Division.

Distractions & Joy Division NME

Introducing Èlan Vital & “Shadow Self”

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Èlan Vital – Renee Barrance, Danny Brady, Nikolai Sim [photo by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay]

Introducing Èlan Vital – Cold Wave straight from the Southern Ocean. We are thrilled to be releasing their debut album “Shadow Self” on 24 March 2017 (NZ).

While Èlan Vital are notionally cold wave synth-pop, no-one in Dunedin follows any ‘rules’ around genre or style of music. Èlan Vital also incorporate garage-psych keyboards and fuzz bass in the mix to produce something dark, Gothic and danceable which has a beating heart.

They share a member (Danny) with another favourite rule-breaking Dunedin post-punk-electronica band Death And The Maiden, so if you enjoyed their debut you will definitely want to give Èlan Vital’s “Shadow Self” a listen.

Official NZ release date is 24 March but we will be fulfilling pre-orders from 24 February.
Official UK release is a bit later on 12 May (blame Record Store Day in April) but our co-release partners Occultation Recordings have it available to their mail-order customers from March. It is also available on iTunes.
If you want to find out a bit more about the band Lo & Behold recently published a great introduction to the band with some fabulous photographs and Noisey previewed a track called “Dreams” from the album.
Band photo by Phoebe Lysbeth Kay http://www.phoebelysbethk.com/
Here is “Janina” – video by Erica Sklenars, styling by JPALM
And here is the title track used as the soundtrack to  JPALM ‘Discordia’ fashion video:

The Prophet Hens touring NZ

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The Prophet Hens embark upon a NZ tour in January in celebration of their second album “The Wonderful Shape of Back Door Keys” which was recently released on Fishrider Records (NZ) and Occultation Recordings (UK).

Thursday 12 January – ChristchurchDarkroom, with Grawlixes . Tickets here.

Friday 13 January – DunedinDog With Two Tails, with Ultramafic & Grawlixes. Tickets here

Friday 20 January – Wellington Meow, with Moses & Grawlixes. Tickets here.

Saturday 21 January – AucklandFreida Margolis, with Paul Cathro & Grawlixes

This Dunedin based jangle pop outfit of “Chills meets Belle & Sebastian pop alchemy” (according to The Finest Kiss in the US) made its mark all over the world with its debut album “Popular People Do Popular People”; praised as “psychédélisme plaintif” by French music weekly Les Inrocks, given 10/10 in reviews by UK mailorder specialists Norman Records’ staff and customers. Both albums have featured on BBC 6Music radio shows from Marc Riley, Gideon Coe, and Steve Lamacq in the UK.

The Prophet Hens are touring with Grawlixes, a Wellington (by way of Dunedin) based acoustic pop outfit, featuring sweeping male-female vocal melodies & harmonies (Penelope and Robin from The Prophet Hens), with accordion and guitar. Grawlixes toured extensively throughout Europe with French for Rabbits in 2015 and are preparing the release of their first album “Set Free” in July 2017 on Home Alone Music.

 

 

 

“The Dunedin Sound – Some Disenchanted Evening”

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“The Dunedin Sound – Some Disenchanted Evening”, by University of Otago Music Department Senior Lecturer Ian Chapman,  was published in New Zealand earlier this month. As you may have already gleaned from its title, it is a book about Dunedin music. Well, about Dunedin music from 1977 to 1992 to be precise. Seventeen of the dozens of bands existing, performing and sometimes recording during this period to be even more precise. One of those bands is The Puddle.

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The book is a combination of images (photographs, posters, set lists and associated ‘ephemera’ of the era) and words. The images make up about 70% of the book, and the words are mostly personal observations of ‘involved bystanders’ rather than musicians for the most part (although there are a few of them contributing), including a closing chapter/ essay bridging the past to some of the present via Fishrider Records.

It’s not the last word on the subject but it is the first book to attempt cover the scope of the City’s music scene during that era. It is a great – spectacular at times – visual accompaniment to the music.

The book also provides a guide to discographies (some of which continue past the era covered in the book). It doesn’t ignore the present, for which we are most grateful, as the past has a habit of overshadowing the present in Dunedin.

Here’s a great review of it from the knowledgeable London fan of the “sound” at Did Not Chart.

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The Shifting Sands tour the US in October

Shifting Sands Trees3Dunedin psych-rock band The Shifting Sands released their 2nd album “Cosmic Radio Station” in late 2015, praised as “…Multi-faceted guitar pop channeling New Zealand’s ‘80s Flying Nun sound…”  by Uncut magazine and finding an appreciative audience around the world.

Now the band is set to bring its fuzzed out dreamy South Pacific psychedelic guitar rock to the US West and East in October.  Read about US musician Sharon Van Etten’s love of the band on Brooklyn Vegan.

7 October – 321 Lounge at Taix French Restaurant, 1911 W. Sunset Boulevard, LA with Rough Church

8 October – Mountain Rambler Brewery, 186 S Main St, Bishop, California 93514

12 October – Bar, 254 Crown street, New Haven CT w/ Dinowalrus

13 October – Rough Trade Records, 64 N 9th St, Brooklyn, NY – w/ Omni

14 October – Elvis’ Guesthouse, 85 Avenue A, New York, NY

17 October – Arts Riot, 400 Pine Street, Burlington, VT w/ 1881

19 October – The Crown, 1910 N Charles St. 2nd Fl, Baltimore, MD

20 October – Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA w/ The Writhing Squares

22 October – The Pinhook, 117 W Main St, Durham, NC

24 October – Grimeys instore (at 5pm), 1604 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN

24 October – Exit/In, 2208 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN from 8pm w/ Neon Indian

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The Prophet Hens release their 2nd album

The Prophet Hens‘ second album “The Wonderful Shapes of back Door Keys” is built upon melodic jangling guitars, swirling Casio keyboards & the voices of Penelope Esplin and Karl Bray singing upliftingly melancholic songs about hope & despair, joy & regret, ambition & reality, coming together & drifting apart.

Their 1st album “Popular People Do Popular People” is also being (re-)issued on LP at the same time as this new album comes out. It made its mark all over the world, praised as “psychédélisme plaintif” by French music weekly Les Inrockuptibles, given 9/10 in reviews by UK mailorder specialists Norman Records’ staff and customers and featured on BBC 6Music shows by Marc Riley and Gideon Coe.

Both albums are available in NZ/ Australia now and, in the UK/ Europe from Occultation Recordings. They are available in stores from 19 August 2016.

“The magic, merry-go-round keyboard washes remind the listener of fun times and maybe just a hint of The Chills, alternating between the somewhat downcast lyrics and bright, swirling melodies. It’s this dichotomy that makes this band and its forebears so fascinating.” The Big Takeover (USA)

“a very enjoyable record, especially those of us who belong to the “cult of the flying nun”…” Indienauta (Spain)

“…this pure hit of solid – if astutely restrained – joy.” Stereo Embers (USA)

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The Prophet Hens – L-R Penelope Esplin (keyboards, vocals), Robin Cederman (Bass), Karl Bray (guitar, Vocals), Chris Butchard (Drums) – Photo by Phoebe Mackenzie http://www.phoebelysbethk.com/