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The Plague Auckland Headline Show Announced

The Plague Auckland Headline Show Announced

Chris Cudby / Photo image: Richard von Sturmer and The Plague at Nambassa Festival 1979 / Tuesday 16th March, 2021 12:04PM

Aotearoa art-punk / performance pioneers The Plague are playing their own headline gig at Karangahape Rd's Neck of the Woods, following the frustrating (yet necessary) development that Punk It Up V has been bumped down the road to late 2021 / early 2022 due to ongoing Covid restrictions. Founded in 1978 and featuring members of Blam Blam Blam, Swingers, Coconut Rough, Pop Mechanix, Fetus Productions and DD Smash, The Plague's all-star lineup includes frontman, actor / writer / poet Richard von Sturmer (writer of 'There is No Depression In New Zealand'), Mark Bell, Tim Mahon, Andrew McLennan aka Snoid, Sarah Fort, Amala Wrightson, Scott Colhoun and drummer John Murray. Notorious for their untamed theatrical performances, The Plague are squeezing onto one stage to bring the ruckus with X-Features and DJ Dubhead on 22nd April, 43 years after they originally formed. Don't miss them unleashing 'Mystery No Mystery', '7 Day Plan', 'Kiwi Keith', 'Voodoo TV' and 'Panthers Of Sound', plus newly recorded numbers 'Glandular Fever' and 'Private Property'... 

"Sprung from the brain and heart of actor / writer / poet Richard von Sturmer, The Plague showed that a band could be more than just louche young men playing riffs and striking poses - it could be theatrical, confronting - and at times celebratory. The Plague was a sharp-clawed cat amongst the pigeons of seventies New Zealand music, and no-one who saw it came away unchanged." - Don McGlashan

"The Plague formed in February 1978 as a reaction to the lack of vision and social awareness of bands in Auckland, as well as the negative atmosphere in New Zealand at the time. We decided to create a group that would unleash pure energy and madness on stage. Because we started as non musicians we worked from the words, not from a tune and this made us realise that, as performers, we had a responsibility to not only give our audience something visually exciting, we could make our audience think. In March 1978 we gave our first concert at Westlake Boys High School. We managed to perform seven songs to a very excited audience.

In July 1978 we needed people who awareness went beyond just playing music in a band. After many weeks of disappointment we gained Andrew McLennan, Mark Bell, and Ian Gilroy the singer, guitarist , and drummer from the Warm Jets who had just disbanded. For the first time, The Plague had a firm musical foundation from which we began to develop.” - Richard von Sturmer

The Plague 
with X-Features and DJ Dubhead
Thursday 22nd April - Neck Of The Woods, Auckland

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Check out wild vintage footage over on the NZ On Screen site HERE (Part Three, from 4:40 onwards) of a body painted Richard von Sturmer and The Plague performing at Nambassa Festival 1979.

Press release:

Own songs questioning the kiwi condition and tradition TICK!
Suburban teenagers learning their instruments Tick!
Great name TICK!
Iggy Pop-esque type frontman TICK!
Made their own posters TICK!
Performed at the premiere of David Blyth’s Angel Mine movie (WARNING: Contains Punk Rock cult material) at Auckland’s Civic in late 1978 with the Suburban Reptiles TICK!
Booked their own shows TICK!
Committed their vital originals to magnetic tape TICK!

Members of the Plague would move onto groups who have become “fxcking legends maaate!” (and they are !) Blam! Blam! Blam! Pop Mechanix & Coconut Rough, The Swingers, and Fetus Productions. Richard would pen the lyrics for alternative NZ national anthem There Is No Depression In New Zealand while establishing a name for himself as not only a musician, but artist, playwright, film maker and most recently, the writer in residence at Waikato University.

Seventeen year old Tim Mahon talked The Plague onto the well-documented NZ alternative lifestyle festival NAMBASSA in January 1979. Members of the Plague took to the stage in front of a massive afternoon crowd wearing nothing more than bodypaint . Witness the performance online ... it's fearless.... and you can see part of it here (go to Part Three 4min 40secs)

In late 1979, The Plague would condense to the Whizz Kids with Tim, Mark, Ian and Andrew. The following year they recorded Occupational Hazard for a split single with the Spelling Mistakes / Rena.

Forty one years later, while putting a collection of Plague material together, Tim hustles the local annual punk celebration we know as Punk It Up to include the Plague in its line up. Sadly, Punk It Up 2020 to 2021 fell victim to multiple lock down postponements and is rescheduled for next year. The Plague have revisited, relearnt, and rehearsed Mystery No Mystery, 7 Day Plan, Kiwi Keith, Voodoo TV, Panthers Of Sound and recorded two songs Glandular Fever & Private Property from 1979 with Bob Frisbee at his K Road studio, and now need to perform….

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The Plague
Thu 22nd Apr 7:00pm
Neck of the Woods, Auckland