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Straitjacket Fits + Dimmer National Tour Announced

Straitjacket Fits + Dimmer National Tour Announced

Monday 17th September, 2018 8:45AM

Legendary songwriter Shayne Carter is reuniting both his trailblazing group Straitjacket Fits and left-field rock / soul project Dimmer for a four date national tour this November and December. Last sighted playing a surprise show at the epic Auckland's Kings Arms Tavern closing party in February, Straitjacket Fits were international indie-rock titans in their late 80s / early 90s heyday - their back catalogue includes such indelible hits as 'She Speeds', 'If I Were You' and 'Bad Note For A Heart', three sublime studio albums and their flawless debut EP Life in One Chord. Carter's follow-up project Dimmer explored a shadowy realm of blistering guitar freakouts and beat-driven soul, with standout tunes including downtempo crooner 'Evolution' and guitar-wrecking debut single 'Crystalator'.

This will be the first reformation tour by Straitjacket Fits since 2005, with Carter playing alongside original members John Collie and Mark Petersen, with Dimmer members James Duncan and Vaughan Williams filling in on bass for David Wood, who passed away in 2010, and the Dimmer set featuring Carter, Williams, Duncan and drummer Gary Sullivan (JPSE). Capacity for all venues is strictly limited for these very special shows, so snap up your tickets while you can. Here are the details...

UPDATE: Due to popular demand an extra show has been announced for Wellington, here's the updated info...

Straitjacket Fits + Dimmer

Friday 30th November - Dunedin, Captain Cook*
Saturday 1st December - Christchurch, The Foundry*
Thursday 6th December - Wellington, Meow* 
Friday 7th December - Wellington, Meow* (sold out)
Saturday 8th December - Auckland, Powerstation

Tickets available HERE via UTR*

Here's Straitjacket Fits' spine-tingling 1987 classic 'She Speeds'...

Listen to their 1993 single 'If I Were You' from final album Blow...

Here's Dimmer's noir-ish 2001 single 'Evolution'...

Press release:

“A brilliant evening with one of New Zealand’s perhaps most under-rated greatest bands. Am I talking about the Fits, or Dimmer? Doesn’t matter really. They were. They are.” 13th Floor, February 2018 And it’s happening again, for four once-more-in-a-lifetime shows:

When the Auckland live music institution Kings Arms hosted a series of gigs to mark it’s closure at the start of 2018, possibly the most special was the unexpected reunion of the Straitjacket Fits alongside Shayne Carter’s post Fits outfit, Dimmer.

It was the first live appearance by Straitjacket Fits since a reformation tour in 2005, and the first in five years by Dimmer. The full house in Auckland was treated to three decades of transcendent rock music packed into a searing two and a quarter hour show, with the pair of bands playing back to back sets. Now the two groups will reconvene for a series of repeat performances with a special one off tour through New Zealand’s main centres in late November and December,.

Hailed in their day as “the greatest guitar band in the world” by English rock weekly Melody Maker, Straitjacket Fits cut a swathe through the late 80’s / 90s International alternative rock scene. Emanating from Dunedin and at the forefront of their label Flying Nun’s impeccable international reputation, the Fits’ combination of blistering guitars and potent, haunting melodies earned them a reputation as one of the most powerful live acts on earth with journalists around the globe regularly tripping over themselves to find superlatives to describe the band’s scorching live shows.

From their classic debut EP Life In Chord, which featured songs like She Speeds and Dialling A Prayer, to their swan song LP Blow, recorded in LA for American major label Arista, Straitjacket Fits produced a body of work that stands as one of the most vital and original in the New Zealand rock canon. Their combination of jet engine guitars, psychedelic pop scapes and melodic innovation meant they predated, and musically predicted, the British shoe gazer movement, later bands like Radiohead, and the generation of guitar bands that followed in their wake.

The show earlier this year proved that the power of the Fit’s music hasn’t waned. The website “13th Floor” noted ;

“A brilliant evening with one of New Zealand’s perhaps most under-rated greatest bands. Am I talking about the Fits, or Dimmer? Doesn’t matter really. They were. They are.”

The Fits line up will be the same that appeared at the Kings Arms show with Carter joined by drummer John Collie, guitarist Mark Petersen, and Dimmer members James Duncan and Vaughan Williams filling in on bass for original bassist David Wood who passed away in 2010.

Carter, Williams and Duncan will team up with drummer Gary Sullivan in the Dimmer set, which will cover the entire spectrum of that band’s decade and a half existence.

Dimmer first appeared in the mid 90s on the Sub Pop label with the pyrotechnic instrumental Crystalator. ​Carter then withdrew into the shadows for five years before re emerging with the surprise soul noir and rock minimalism of the first Dimmer album “I Believe You A Star”, which is now recognised as a New Zealand classic.

Dimmer released three more albums over the next several years, “You’ve Got To Hear The Music”, “There My Dear” and the rockier “Degrees Of Existence” before Carter pulled the plug on the band in 2012. For Carter the forthcoming Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer tour is something of a career retrospective with each band leading naturally into the other, although as the singer himself notes, “Mainly it’s an opportunity to play some bad ass rock n roll with my mates.”


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Straitjacket Fits / Dimmer
Fri 30th Nov
Captain Cook, Dunedin
Straitjacket Fits / Dimmer
Sat 1st Dec
Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Christchurch
Straitjacket Fits / Dimmer
Thu 6th Dec
Meow, Wellington
Straitjacket Fits / Dimmer
Fri 7th Dec
Meow, Wellington
Straitjacket Fits / Dimmer
Sat 8th Dec
The Powerstation, Auckland