A brief history of Gisborne rock

Audioculture's compact history of 1980s Gisborne music.

Audioculture's compact history of 1980s Gisborne music.

KNEES UP: The Wasp Factory's self-titled album was released in 1986. Pictures supplied

The online “noisy library of New Zealand music” Audioculture has logged a compact history with pictures of music to come out of Gisborne in the 1980s. In the opening entry, The Far East in the 1980s, Gisborne man Grant McDougall remembers provincial Gisborne’s “two surprisingly good record stores”.

“Vibes was run by Tony Murdoch. Guy and Dunsmore had a sports shop in the front and the music shop in the back. You had to walk past fishing rods and rugby balls to pick up the latest copy of RipItUp, it was just odd. But both shops were staffed by people who really had their fingers on the pulse.”

Among the short accounts of Gisborne acts are Marching Orders, The Wasp Factory, and the Big Fix. Marching Orders’ techno style was a radical vector in the home-grown music stakes for blues-rock saturated Gisborne in the 1980s.

Included in Audioculture’s tidy menu is an outline of Gisborne’s little-known label, F-Star Records, that was centred around a small handful of local musicians, most of whom rarely played outside of the Gisborne-East Coast area, says the page.

“In just under three years the label managed to release six records, including Wasp Factory’s brilliant Steel Blue Skies. But as fast as the label and those behind it sprung up, F-Star was gone, and has been largely forgotten since.”

The Wasp Factory story includes Alley Oop’s review of the band’s 1987 Hick-Hate EP.

“That great rock’n’ roll should flourish in Dunedin is, on the face of it, quite improbable. Even more so implausible is that it should also spring up in Gisborne. To these ears the one truly great F-Star record and indeed the best NZ 7” by far of 1987 is the Hick-Hate EP.’

“Kicking off with the anthemic (in the best sense) Steel Blue Skies, you are immediately struck by the huge guitar sound. The band hits like a truck and then the beautifully timed riff shops in and whacks the top off your head.”

The Audioculture

The online “noisy library of New Zealand music” Audioculture has logged a compact history with pictures of music to come out of Gisborne in the 1980s. In the opening entry, The Far East in the 1980s, Gisborne man Grant McDougall remembers provincial Gisborne’s “two surprisingly good record stores”.

“Vibes was run by Tony Murdoch. Guy and Dunsmore had a sports shop in the front and the music shop in the back. You had to walk past fishing rods and rugby balls to pick up the latest copy of RipItUp, it was just odd. But both shops were staffed by people who really had their fingers on the pulse.”

Among the short accounts of Gisborne acts are Marching Orders, The Wasp Factory, and the Big Fix. Marching Orders’ techno style was a radical vector in the home-grown music stakes for blues-rock saturated Gisborne in the 1980s.

Included in Audioculture’s tidy menu is an outline of Gisborne’s little-known label, F-Star Records, that was centred around a small handful of local musicians, most of whom rarely played outside of the Gisborne-East Coast area, says the page.

“In just under three years the label managed to release six records, including Wasp Factory’s brilliant Steel Blue Skies. But as fast as the label and those behind it sprung up, F-Star was gone, and has been largely forgotten since.”

The Wasp Factory story includes Alley Oop’s review of the band’s 1987 Hick-Hate EP.

“That great rock’n’ roll should flourish in Dunedin is, on the face of it, quite improbable. Even more so implausible is that it should also spring up in Gisborne. To these ears the one truly great F-Star record and indeed the best NZ 7” by far of 1987 is the Hick-Hate EP.’

“Kicking off with the anthemic (in the best sense) Steel Blue Skies, you are immediately struck by the huge guitar sound. The band hits like a truck and then the beautifully timed riff shops in and whacks the top off your head.”

The Audioculture

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Chris Bourke - 3 months ago
Hi - thanks for the mention of AudioCulture. We hope to feature more stories about Gisborne and the East Cape music in the future. This URL doesn't appear to be working though. cheers Chris Bourke
http://gisborneherald.co.nz/csp/mediapool/tinyurl.com/ycougwba

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